Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Recipe: Stock

Alright, so call me a numbskull but I never knew that when you made your own stock, you were meant to roast the bones first. Now, thanks to Anthony Bourdain, I do, so all is as it should be. I made some lamb stock this week, reducing it down and down until it became a thick, caramelised condensation of demi-glace goodness that I socked straight into the freezer for future sauces.

Buy 2-3kgs of roasting lamb bones from the butcher. Smother with tomato paste, dust some plain flour over the top and bung them in a 180 degree oven in an oiled tray to roast. Turn a couple of times. Add some onion and carrots to the roasting pan, top with oil and turn frequently until caramelised.

Throw the lot into a big pot and fill to the top with cold water. In his book 'Les Halles Cookbook', Bourdain commands "DO NOT EVER BOIL YOUR STOCK!" but I did, briefly, and the world didn't stop. Let it simmer for 6-8 hours. Strain until there's nothing more to strain. That's the basic stock. Some can be stored, or you can go for broke and use it all for your demi. It's a long, long process and you don't want to go through the whole palaver again any time soon. At least I didn't, anyway.

For the demi, add red wine to a pot that's about one quarter the volume of stock you're going to use. Simmer, and reduce to around half the wine. Add your stock and simmer and reduce it for 3-4 hours until all you have is a few inches at the bottom of the pot of fairly thick, strong, dark demi-glace. Strain again, if you're really keen, then pour into ice cube trays and bung in the freezer. To be used for red meat sauces and gravies.


helina said...

I also never knew you were supposed to roast the bones before making stock. Oops. Now I need to make some to see what I've been missing all these years!

Jen said...

Hi Helina,

It's amazing! We're still going strong with this batch, it really does make cooking up sauces so much easier. A bit of a palaver, but worth it in the end, IMO.