Milk Stock

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Favored in Shanghai, this stock, despite its name, does not resemble white milk. Instead, it is an almond-white color. What makes it a favorite in Shanghai and elsewhere is its extraordinary richness, which makes it ideal for sauces and soups. It is also a good basic stock for anyone who prefers not to eat chicken.

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds pork feet, quartered by your butcher
  • 3 pounds fresh ham, with skin intact, halved
  • 13 quarts water
  • 20 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 16 scallions, white portions only (8 ounces)
  • 1 pound onions, halved
  • Β½ teaspoon white peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • β…“ cup Mei Kuei Lu Chiew (see Wines)

Method

To water-blanch the meats, first, using a paring knife, scrape any impurities from the feet until they are almost white. Put the feet, ham, and 5 quarts of the water into a large stockpot and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to boil for 2 minutes, then turn off the heat. Pour off the water, run cold water into the pot to rinse off any residue on the meats, then pour off the water again. Remove the meats from the pot, wash and dry the pot, and return it to the stove top.

Place the blanched meats back in the pot. Add the garlic, scallions, onions, and the remaining 8 quarts of water, stir to mix well, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 15 minutes, checking from time to time and skimming off any residue that appears on the surface. Raise the heat to high, add the peppercorns and salt, stir to mix, and allow the liquid to return to a boil. Add the chiew, stir well, and again allow the liquid to return to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle boil, cover, leaving the lid slightly cracked, and cook for about 4Β½ hours, or until the skin falls off the bones of the pork feet.

Turn off the heat, cover the pot, and let rest for 30 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh strainer into clean containers to store for later use. (See recipe for tips on using the leftover meats.) Cover the containers and refrigerate for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. A thin layer of fat will form on the surface of the refrigerated or frozen stock. Leave it in place until you are ready to use the stock, then skim it off with a large spoon just before using.

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