Beef or Veal Stock

The taste of veal stock does not have much character, but its gelatinous structure gives body to all other meat and poultry stocks, and therefore to the finished sauces made from them. Without veal you have to use a lot of chicken wings, beef shanks, or even pig’s feet (trotters) to get this structure.

Since good veal bones are not always available, I often use parboiled pork skin or pig’s, feet (after the trotters are cooked you can eat them grilled with lots of mustard). For a full beef flavor, use oxtail. Beef shin gives the most body to the stock, but half shin and half chuck works well, too.

Put bones and meat back into a cleaned pot and cook for six hours, with the usual constant skimming and a little bit of gentle prodding in the first thirty minutes. This is the only way you can be guaranteed a clear stock.

For brown stock, roast the bones for forty-five minutes in the oven and follow the procedure as in lamb stock.

Read more

Ingredients

Method

Put the veal and the pig’s foot in a large stock pot that will hold the meat and water to cover it by 6 inches. Bring the water to a simmer while skimming off any scum. Gently move the bones around and skim again, all this for about 45 minutes. Turn off the heat, and let the pot sit for 5 minutes.

Drain the bones and meat in a colander and run cold water over them to completely clean them of all scum. If you don’t, the stock will be cloudy and grey and lack clarity of taste.

Clean the pot and put it back on the stove. Return the bones to the pot and cover with water (or stock if you are doing a double stock), going through the same procedure as the first time but without discarding the water. The moment the stock simmers it should be clear, so turn down the heat to low, add the vegetable mix, the herb bundle, and salt. Simmer gently for 6 hours. Turn off the heat and let the stock sit for 15 minutes to let any solids fall to the bottom.

Ladle the stock out into a sieve lined with cheesecloth (or through a very fine strainer) into a container large enough to hold it (another pot, perhaps). Strain the last few inches of stock at the bottom of the pot into another container in case it has solids in it that would cloud the stock. If it does not, then add it to the main body of the stock.

Let the stock cool and then immediately refrigerate, uncovered, until it is cold. Then cover and keep refrigerated for up to 2 days, or freeze in 1- or 2-cup containers for later use.

,