Single and Double Stocks

Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
After the scum has mostly stopped forming, the vegetables, herbs, and wine are added and the cooking is continued at a gentle simmer until most of the flavor and gelatin have been extracted from the solids. The liquid is strained through cheesecloth or a metal strainer without pressing on the solids, which would extract cloudy particles. It’s then thoroughly chilled, and the solidified fat removed from the surface. (If the cook doesn’t have the time to chill the stock, he can soak away much of the fat from the surface with cloth or paper towels or specially designed plastic blotters.) The stock is now ready to use as an ingredient, to make braised and stewed meats and meat soups, or as a savory cooking liquid for vegetables; or it may be reduced for use in a sauce. The cook may also use stock to extract a new batch of meat and bones and produce the especially flavorful, highly prized—and expensive—double stock. (Double stock can in turn be combined with more fresh meat and bones to make a triple stock.)