How to Prepare Restaurant Quality Beef Stock
Pretend you are at a prestigious culinary school observing a cooking class. The students shift expectantly, nervously adjusting their cravats as they await the instructor.
In he comes, and everyone scrambles to line-up. Wrinkled apron? Disgraceful. Scruffy? Go shave. NOW. Dirt under the nails? Inexcusable. Go wash immediately.
With line up over, it’s time to learn one of the fundamental skills in culinary school; the technique and end-product upon which almost every other aspect of French cuisine rests: stock. The French are masters at wringing every ounce of flavor out of an animal, right down to the bone. And today, the instructor will teach the eager students how it is done.
Stock has gained quite a lot of mystique over the years. Many people are under the impression that stocks are difficult to make. This is not the case.
They are time consuming, but only for the stove. Many stocks are born in the wee hours of the night: the last cook out the door makes sure that the liquid is at a perfect, very slow simmer, and then the stock is left to itself until the next day.
What Is A Stock
A stock is based on bones. A broth (bouillon, in French) is based on meat. While a broth can be very flavorful, a stock delivers a rich mouth feel courtesy of the gelatin that is slowly extracted from the bones.
Along with depth of flavor, it is the extraction of gelatin that is the goal of stock making. Rule number one: don’t rush it. For beef stock, take the time to brown the bones and roast the vegetables. Bring the temperature up slowly; never let it boil; skim diligently, and you will be rewarded with a wonderful stock.
Culinary students will probably be making veal stock, since the milder flavor of veal marries with a wider variety of foods, but it is much easier for a home cook to find beef bones, so we will focus on beef stock.
The ingredient list and procedure are identical, regardless. (A combination of beef and veal stock is called brown stock and is used in the preparation of classic demi-glace.)
Where to Find Restaurant Quality Beef Stock Online
So after reading this simple recipe you decide you don’t want to make it yourself but you realize how important it is for cooking your favorite recipes, here are some affordable commercial products now available for you culinary pleasures: