Classic Meat Gelée

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    2 quarts

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Classic recipes for meat gelées are almost identical to basic brown and white stocks except that a gelatinous element is added. It is then clarified with additional meat and egg whites, although properly made stock—carefully skimmed and never allowed to boil—should not require the addition of egg whites.

The following recipe calls for moistening 3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) of meat, such as veal or beef shanks, stewing hens, or chicken carcasses, with water or stock. If water is used, extra gelatin is provided by combining a split and blanched veal foot with the meat. One veal foot, split into halves and cooked for 6 hours, will set 4 quarts (4 liters) liquid, so it is necessary to gauge the amount of gelatin that will be in the finished gelée; if gelatinous cuts of meat are used or an already gelatinous stock is used to moisten the meat, then adding a veal foot will make the finished gelée too gelatinous.

As the gelée stock cooks, it loses a certain natural vitality that is best restored by adding a small amount of chopped mirepoix or coarsely chopped fines herbes.


veal foot, split in half lengthwise (for water-based gelée only) 1 1
meat 3 lb 1.5 kg
onion, halved 1 medium 1 medium
clove 1 1
carrot, 1 medium, coarsely chopped 4 oz 125 g
clear veal, beef, or chicken stock, or water, cold 4 qt 4 L
large bouquet garni 1 1


  1. If using water to moisten the meat, blanch the veal foot, starting it in cold water.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Place the meat, onion halves (one studded with the clove) and carrot in a roasting pan, and lightly brown them in the oven.
  3. Transfer the meat and vegetables, and blanched veal foot, if using, to a 15-quart (14 liter) stockpot and add the cold stock. Slowly bring the mixture to a simmer. This should take at least 20 minutes; it should never boil. Skim off any scum or fat that floats to the surface.
  4. Add the bouquet garni and continue simmering the stock for 5 hours. Skim every 15 minutes or so. Add water or stock as needed to keep the ingredients covered.
  5. If the gelée stock is perfectly clear, carefully ladle it through a coarse chinois, then a fine chinois, and finally a fine chinois lined with cheesecloth. If for some reason the stock is cloudy, it will need to be clarified (see “Clarifying Gelées,”).