Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

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The length of time a stock is to be cooked is determined by the base ingredient. Large, meaty raw beef or veal bones require a longer period of gentle simmering to extract all of the flavor contained in them than do smaller chicken bones. Brown stocks usually require longer cooking time (about 4 to 6 hours) than white stocks and vegetable stocks, which are generally fully flavored after about an hour. Fumets usually require no more than 30 minutes to maximize their flavor. It is a good idea to taste the stock regularly, as you want to stop the cooking process just when all the flavor has been extracted from the ingredients. If a stock is overcooked, it can turn bitter and saline and will not be salvageable; an undercooked stock will taste weak and watery. In the latter instance, if it has already been strained and defatted, the stock may be returned to the heat, brought to a rapid boil, and reduced to intensify the flavor. However, when this rapid reduction is accomplished, the stock will almost always lose its fresh, clean flavor. (This is not to be confused with the reduction process used to achieve a highly reduced demi-glace.)