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Old 10-18-2010, 01:15 AM   #1
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Stock vs. Broth

I am doing some investigating about stocks and broths. I came across an older thread on this site and it was very helpful but I am still a bit confused.

It seems as though a stock is made from meat, bones and even vegetables if a veggie stock is needed. A stock is made by cooking for a long period of time and saved to use in soups, stews or other recipes calling for stock. Like risotto.

A broth is boiled with meat and/ or veg for a shorter period. Right?

I did read the link that Goodweed of the North provided and there was a lot of information.

I think I'm this confused because I have never seen a store-bought stock with any gel in it whatsoever. In fact, the stock I have bought in the past tastes identical to broth. And I am comparing chicken stock to chicken broth, etc.

I would like to know:

Are stocks and broths similar in their process, with the exception of the bones in a stock? And the more "gel" in a stock the better?

Thank you SO much in advance for your help on this.

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Old 10-18-2010, 09:09 AM   #2
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The older thread you referenced has some excellent information for you....
Today the two terms are frequently used interchangeably in recipes...books, magazines, TV shows etc. ~~~ One could think about it this way...In someways it has to do with the meat bone ratio...Mostly bones...little or no meat will give you stock...Mostly meat/skin/fat etc with little or no bones will give you broth...Stock will be more gelatinous (because of the bones) which some cooks deem important...The use of mirepoix, a mixture of carrot, onion, celery along with various herbs is desirable in both...Some recipes may benefit from "The Trinity"...Onions, Celery, Bell Pepper ~~ Bay leaves, Thyme and Garlic would be popular additions in those recipes also ~~ Stock is a longer drawn out process...Some would say the results are, in the end worth the effort.... Broth is usually a shorter process and in some recipes (IMO) work just as well...HTH

Just Have Fun & Enjoy!
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:47 AM   #3
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UB nailed it, as usual.

The reason for your confusion yourstrulyewalani is that the two terms, stock and broth, no longer hold the same meaning that they used to. Stock used to refer to a bones cooked in water to extract the collagen. Broth used to mean meat and other flavorings cooked in water to extract flavor. From your initial post it sounds like that is what you understood as well. These days though, as UB said, the terms have become interchangeable. Store bought stock is more like what you described as broth. It is a flavorful liquid that is used for soups and bases for other dishes. The gelatinous stock that you described you will only see if you make it yourself, and it is worth doing if you have the time and desire. The more "jellied" it is, the better.

Basically, you are not as confused as you think you are. You actually have a very good understanding of what stock vs broth is. It is the general public and stores and sellers that are confusing you by calling then both the same thing.
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Old 10-18-2010, 09:55 AM   #4
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The traditional definition is that stock is made with bones and broth is made without bones. The veggies are there to flavor the meat stock/broth, they don't effect the definition. Vegetable broth (using the traditional definitions, there is no such thing as vegetable stock - no bones) is made from just vegetables and seasonings.

Stocks take longer because of the extra time needed to extract the goodies from the bones. The gelatinous texture of stocks comes from the bones and can add a nice texture to a hot dish. The commercial stocks probably have enough bones used to meet the legal definition of stock but not enough to make a difference in the texture.

In a lot of recipes, stock and broth are interchangeable.
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:25 AM   #5
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Thank you to Uncle Bob, GB and Andy M for your help. I keep hearing more and more about the "trinity" which brings such a good flavor (otherwise I'm sure it wouldn't have such a name!). Now it's time to make some STOCK and have fun with it.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-18-2010, 10:46 AM   #6
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"The Trinity" or "Cajun Trinity" is an old term that refers to a group of aromatic seasonings, consisting of Celery, Onion and Bell Pepper. Often, two others are included; garlic and chopped parsley.

"Mirepoix" is a French term referring to a similar group of aromatic seasonings; Celery, Onion and Carrot, along with occasional use of garlic and/or parsley.

No doubt that The Trinity derived from mirepoix when the French settlers came ashore at Acadia, Canada, and then were forced to relocate to Louisiana by the British, but why the substitution of Bell Pepper for Carrot, I can't say. I could only speculate that Bell Pepper grew more readily and perhaps carrots didn't do so well. Or perhaps it was even a change of taste, making the new land their own.

In any case, the flavor difference is not insignificant.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:06 AM   #7
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"Stock" sounds more robust than "broth," so that's often what both stock and broth are called these days.
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Selkie View Post
"The Trinity" or "Cajun Trinity" is an old term that refers to a group of aromatic seasonings, consisting of Celery, Onion and Bell Pepper. Often, two others are included; garlic and chopped parsley.

"Mirepoix" is a French term referring to a similar group of aromatic seasonings; Celery, Onion and Carrot, along with occasional use of garlic and/or parsley.
Perhaps the details are not huge but I am sure glad to know what these terms mean. Thank you for your help!
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:43 PM   #9
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I was confused about this as well. I'm the kind of person that likes to use the official meanings even if they're both generally accepted. For the same reason I prefer to use the word "Chile" instead of "Chili, Chilli, or Chillie"
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Old 10-21-2010, 01:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Kay View Post
...I prefer to use the word "Chile" instead of "Chili, Chilli, or Chillie"
Are you referring to the peppers or the meat dish?
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