Rich Veal Stock

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes about

    4 pints

Appears in

Floyd on Britain & Ireland

By Keith Floyd

Published 1988

  • About


  • 4 lb (2 kg) veal bones
  • 2 calf’s feet, halved
  • 8 oz (250 g) carrots, chopped
  • 8 oz (250 g) mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 oz (125 g) onions, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 14 fl oz (415 ml) dry white wine
  • 7 pints (4 litres)water
  • 8 large tomatoes, skinned, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 large bouquet garni of fresh herbs
  • 1 bouquet garni, bound with 1 small leek and 1 stick celery
  • 1 head garlic
  • 2 medium onions, each stuck with 1 clove
  • 4 carrots
  • Salt


First of all, brown the veal bones and feet in the oven at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C), turning from time to time. Transfer to a big saucepan and then put all the chopped vegetables into the roasting tin in which you have cooked the bones.

Set the tin over a medium heat and lightly cook the carrots, mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic until they soften, but don’t let them brown. Tip in the wine and continue cooking until the wine has almost all gone, then scrape all the vegetables from the tin into the saucepan with the bones.

Cover with the water and bring the mixture to the boil, turn the heat down immediately and allow to simmer. Skim off any scum and grease that appears on the surface: do this two or three times in the first 30 minutes of cooking. Next add the tomatoes and bouquet garni and continue to cook for at least 3 hours on a low heat. Strain the stock through a very fine mesh into a bowl and allow to cool completely. You can now pour it into small freezer tubs ready for future use.

However, it would be a good idea to take half of the stock that you have made, put it back into the pan and reduce it by three quarters. When it cools it will set to a jelly, and you can pop this into a little freezer tub or ice-cube trays and freeze it. You will find that this rich jelly, which is called a meat glaze, is a wonderful thing to help you make sauces for, say, a steak, whereas the lighter veal stock provides you with a wonderful liquid for making a casserole.

Now, this is how you use your reservoir of veal stock. Supposing you wanted some game stock, perhaps for braising or stewing some pigeons, all you now have to do is take out a few of those game leftovers you have frozen in the deep freeze. De-frost them, chop them into small pieces and brown them in hot oil in a saucepan. Then add a chopped carrot and chopped onion and cook these along with the bits of meat until soft but not brown. Pour in 1 pint (600 ml) of good red wine, chuck in a couple of crushed juniper berries, a bouquet garni, 1 pint (600 ml) of veal stock (not the glaze), and 2 pints (1 litres) of water and simmer the whole thing for a couple of hours at least, skimming off any scum. Strain the stock through a fine mesh. Reserve half as game stock and reduce the other half to two-thirds of its original volume. If you wanted to make a chicken-flavoured or duck-flavoured stock and, of course, subsequently a duck or chicken glaze, you do more or less exactly the same thing; and depending on whether you want a white sauce or a brown sauce, you use red or white wine.

If you take the trouble, perhaps twice a year, to prepare all these stocks and freeze them, on the nights you cook your wonderful meals for your friends you can do so in a very relaxed manner. At least always have some chicken stock and glaze, because all the meat, poultry and game recipes in this book can be made with this. Or use this all-purpose stock.