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Old 03-29-2006, 05:47 PM   #1
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The power of a good stock

Here of late (the last 5 years maybe) I have grown to seriously respect the power of good stock.

The casual standard, MaryquaW, [I cant spellit] is just the tip of the ice burg. It's like at least better than water to me.

Generally these days if it calls for "water" in anything I cook, I am looking for the alternative.

I love "super" condensed stock, almost a syrup in sugar terms.

A good stock just gives me tremendous courage.

I have cooked stock adding to it for 4 days to get to flavors that come from nowhere else.
By the time you cook it to that level, you can add it to most anything and it will taste like a skunk on a stump
(Jest kidding)

And a sauciers dream............

These days if I cant START with SOME kind of stock, I just dont even want to cook it.

I am not a professional chef by any stretch of the imagination. Not even remotely close. But I can tell by what I have learned that a true chef takes a good stock very seriously.

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Old 03-29-2006, 06:22 PM   #2
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I frequently make my own chicken stock, but have never mastered beef stock. I do have some beef soup bones in the freezer from a friend who has buys his beef on the hoof and has it butchered. They've been in there over a year...I guess I need to get them out and make my broth.
From what I've read, you put them in a roaster pan along with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, S&P, and dried herbs of your choice, and let the whole thing caramelize. Then you remove the meat and vegies from the pan and put in a stock pot. Put water in the pan, put it on the burner and let come to a boil to deglaze the pan, then add the liquid to the stock-pot along with enough water to cover the bones and vegies, and let simmer for hours. Finally strain, discard bones and vegies, and simmer stock, uncovered, until reduced by half.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:22 PM   #3
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Love to make stock Ham Hock.

It always gives the house a lovely aroma, and the product is great.

Will reduce it to make what the French call glace de viande.

And put those little nuggets in the freezer.

It is tough being a saucier at heart and being a home cook with only two people to feed.

But I enjoy the exercise of making the stock, and the derivative sauces, and we do have some great meals.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:27 PM   #4
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Aunt Dot, anytime we have a ham-bone, we use it for ham'n beans or crowder peas. When we have a whole ham, like at Christmas, there's enough bone for two meals, so I use one and freeze the other.
You're right...I love that aroma...especially when there are onions and garlic in the same pot.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:29 PM   #5
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I appreciate both of you, but please tell me, can you buy the flavor of a real stock?

I just dont think it can be done.

It's not sumthin you can just "buy", at least to me, but I use smoked ham hocks in my stock so much these days that I should just callit "Hock Stock".

My seafood gumbo would be absolutely nothing, without a good stock, absolutely nothing.
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Old 03-29-2006, 06:43 PM   #6
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I myself cook them down to almost glaze and then put them up and freeze them in little "cigars" in a baggie, so I can just pop it out and put the "stuff" on something.

I do chicken, pork, and seafood, and use the chicken on almost anything.

But when I cook them I put the stuff that I really like in them like lots of onions and garlic and sometimes some other stuff. No salt. I never salt my broths because I dont want it to challenge the final dish.

I have cooked them out of all KINDS of stuff, my friends ask me what am I cooking, I say FLAVOR for the next thing....

I like them cooked down to almost nothing to store them, it has a flavor unsurpassed and it freezes like a gem.

anyway........

Some people say it's cooking twice, but it aint to ME........
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:04 PM   #7
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Ham, do you ever make vegie stock? Just throw your vegetable scraps in a plastic bag in the freezer, and when you get a big bag full, put them on to boil.
Tops of leeks, the tough ends of asparagus stalks, mushroom stems, the tough outer stalks of celery, and the like are good. Don't use broccoli stalks...they'll give your broth a nasty flavor. Peel and slice those for use in stir-fries. Do add roughly chopped carrots, quartered onions and halved heads of un-peeled garlic, plus fresh or dried herbs of your choice.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:20 PM   #8
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I guess I dont do veggie stocks because I throw away all those things you had in that. (and that is something to think about to me)

Stock is traditionally made of scraps, which is what you are describing.

I am positive it tastes better than just plain water!!!!!!!

I think the whole idea of stock came from just where you point to, but in this day, I dont have to boil anything that has flavor, that I have purchased, to feed myself.

And neither does anyone else unless you live in a 4th world country.

To me, making a stock for something is only the first step to making something really good. It's not the garbage, even though garbage works pretty darn good.

There is an art to boiling good garbage. I just aint got it down.

Sometimes I will spend almost as much to make a good stock for seafood gumbo, as I will spend on the gumbo itself.

To me, stock is the master of the culinary universe, as long as you have one that actually works with whatever it is you want to serve.

Two things rule - pork fat & real good STOCK!!!!!!!!
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:21 PM   #9
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maryquaw ?? mirepoix?? diced carrots onion celery? ; Spanish call it soffrito often adding tomato and green pepper.
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Old 03-29-2006, 07:27 PM   #10
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Yep thats it but since I was a kid that combo was onion garlic bell pepps and celery.

"the cajun Trinity" + garlic

I throw in the carrots most of the time as some sort of sick joke and because they are dirt cheap.

Never tasted one thing done with carrots and thought,

"this flavor just wouldnt be the same without carrots"

I think carrots in this mix is a culinary road sign and respect for our elders who didnt have brown sugar by the ton to their access.

However I will say that a carrot and string bean steamed with onion until all the water is gone and then coated with honey and lemon is fit for a king.
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Old 03-29-2006, 08:38 PM   #11
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Check this site for information about mirepoix. I tried to look it up earlier, Robo, but I chouldn't figure out how to spell it either. Thank's...I'll remember now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mirepoix_(cuisine)

Sorry, that site won't come up. Anyway, it's a French thing, onions, carrots & celery that can be varied in several ways.
To the best of my memory, the Trinity is onions, celery and bell peppers.
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Old 03-29-2006, 09:19 PM   #12
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Ma cherie! I agree with ALL of you------can't cook without a homemade stock-----even cook it with rice. And living in Kazakhstan they always set out their chicken carcasses and beef bones for sale because the locals make soup, stews, all the time. I've made some great stock here because of it. Plus, you won't find canned broth here---the Kazakhs would probably laugh if they saw it. And you be right about broth being the essence and heart of a good gumbo-------never even thought of using anything else. Never made a vegetable stock before but I'm going to hold onto my vegetable tidbits and give it a whirl. Spasiba!
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Old 03-30-2006, 05:08 PM   #13
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My husband considers me the queen of stock. I'll turn anything into stock. BTW, I learned that stock means it has bones in it; without bones it is broth or boullion. That said, I love to make roasted veggie stock (leeks, a couple kinds of onions, red bell pepper, celery, carrot, all roasted until brown then simmered). Do this with the veggies done outside over the coals and you'll have something worthy of any smoked ham/hamhocks stock. But my husband claims I'll turn anything into stock and then soup, and he isn't far from wrong!
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Old 03-30-2006, 07:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Constance
I frequently make my own chicken stock, but have never mastered beef stock. I do have some beef soup bones in the freezer from a friend who has buys his beef on the hoof and has it butchered. They've been in there over a year...I guess I need to get them out and make my broth.
From what I've read, you put them in a roaster pan along with carrots, celery, onions, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, S&P, and dried herbs of your choice, and let the whole thing caramelize. Then you remove the meat and vegies from the pan and put in a stock pot. Put water in the pan, put it on the burner and let come to a boil to deglaze the pan, then add the liquid to the stock-pot along with enough water to cover the bones and vegies, and let simmer for hours. Finally strain, discard bones and vegies, and simmer stock, uncovered, until reduced by half.
Connie can you get Kim to crack the beef bones for you? I have the butcher do that for me, my hammer is not the right size and I don't want a bone splinter in the eye, but after cracking I roast the bones and meat trimmings that I've put about 6 tab. of evoo over in the oven for about 30 min. I try to get it a nice carmalized golden brown. then I saute mushrooms til they stat to give off liquid and then I put them in a bowl and finsih sauting onions, add tomato, celery,carrots and a little garlic, then add that to the mushrooms and spread over the bons and roast to a rich golden brown for about an hour I watch carefully so they don't burn.I transfer dones and veggies to a strainer set over a bowl to drain off fat.then transfer to a large stockpot. Pour in enough water to cover by about 3 inches 6-7 qts. add som tomato paste and pepper corns bring to a boil and skim reduce heat and simmer uncovered 6-7 hours skim form time to time..Wow, that was long winded
All I really wanted to say was cracking the bones then roasting seems to give me a richer flavor.

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Old 03-31-2006, 04:10 AM   #15
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Kadesma,

You're making my kitchen smell great already!!!!!! I can't wait to use up the lame excuse for a beef broth that I now have to try your version---I'm really glad that you went into all the detail. Thanks again!
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Old 03-31-2006, 10:00 AM   #16
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I also hail from the "stock is best" camp. I always have chicken stock on hand, concentrated, then frozen in ice cubes. Right now, I have some seafood stock as well. I need to make some beef stock. I've got some bones, but need some more. I've also saved and frozen the gelatine that comes out of the roast beef from work. I'll make some beef stock, then add the gelatine at the end, this way I won't have to reduce it so much. I should get quite a load of beef stock. Now, I've just got to find some more bones. Those are hard to come by around here. I'll probably have to talk to my local butcher to get exactly what I want.
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Old 04-01-2006, 01:11 AM   #17
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I think that beef stock is the hardest and most expensive to make and almost impossible to get a good reproduction of commercially. Good beef bones for stock can cost as much as a steak sometimes, and the procedure to roast them, then simmer, can take ages (whereas for poultry stock you can get chicken leg/thigh quarters for a song, dump them in a pot with acoutrements, and get a great chicken stock. Or use the carcase of any kind of bird you've roasted). Beef, to me, takes a lot more work. Hubby makes the very best onion soup, so I make the effort to get him a good stock to begin with. Poultry stock of various kinds I have on hand most of the time.
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Old 04-01-2006, 12:39 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expatgirl
Kadesma,

You're making my kitchen smell great already!!!!!! I can't wait to use up the lame excuse for a beef broth that I now have to try your version---I'm really glad that you went into all the detail. Thanks again!
Thanks expatgirl,
The first time I did this, I was frantic, trying to get everything done,worrying how it was going to taste..Nearly bit anyone who cameinto the kitchen..It does take time, but, when you're finished, it's well worth the time and trouble.
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