Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Stocking Up

Following my earlier post on white chicken stock, I wanted to look at evolving this basic stock into something more interesting. I tend to freeze all bones left over from roasts to use (make sure you mark them well or you’ll end up with mystery bones in the freezer) but most butchers will happily give you bones for free as they get charged for disposal themselves – do call ahead to “order” your bones though as they normally get sent off before the weekend. And please, don't use "mixed" bones - what's the point of going to this effort only to confuse the flavours.

This method works for all meat stocks.

  • Minimum 1Kg of beef/lamb/chicken/etc. bones
  • 1 large onion or leek
  • 2 large carrots
  • White chicken stock (to cover the bones so no fixed volume)

If the bones haven’t been roasted (from Sunday Roasts for example), then toss them in a little oil and roast at 180 degrees for 40 minutes or so.
Take these bones and place in a large pot and bring to the boil, allow to sit at a rolling boil for 7 to 10 minutes and then strain into a colander. Rinse the bones to clean them of any impurities and clean the pot too.

Peel and chop the carrot and onion/leek into fine dice (the more surface area you expose, the better the flavour transfer)  and put in the now clean pot, add the cleaned bones and then cover with the white chicken stock (I like to cover the bones by a good two inches)  and then slowly raise the temperature to a very gentle simmer and leave for a minimum of 6 hours (but as long as you can).
When done, strain through a muslin lined chinois or sieve and there you have your stock, from here you can reduce for flavour as required.

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