On broth
July 12, 2010, 9:54 pm
Filed under: James Beard Project, Technique

broth, stock, yeah whatever. Either way I don’t like the packaged stuff, not even the Organic Artisan stuff in a box. And why should I? It’s easy enough to make from scratch, and thanks to ample freezer room, easy enough to store. So, right now the chicken is in the oven, roasting for James Beard’s whiskey flamed chicken and the recipe required his Quick Brown Sauce which, thanks to foresight etc, I had stock in the freezer.

Here’s how I make stock:
bones with a little meat attached. Chicken, beef, ham, pork, lamb…whatever..you want bones. Let’s figure about the amount of a whole chicken, or a hambone left over from Christmas, or a leg of lamb…y’know…bones.
Take the bones and put them in a roasting pan. Or a casserole dish…something like that
Put in the pan with the bones a couple of carrots, chunked up. Add an onion. You don’t even have to peel it, but cut it into 4 or 5 chunks.
Put a couple of cloves of garlic in there, and a few whole pepper corns. Let’s call it 5 or 6.
Roast all that at 425 degrees until the bones are good and brown. The vegs will be brown too. Maybe 45 minutes. Just watch it. Chicken bones are ready sooner than beef bones.
Put all of it, bones, vegs, everything in a big crock pot or a soup pot and cover with a gallon of water. If you’re of a mind to, add a couple of sprigs of thyme and oregano. Put the lid on it, turn down to low, and forget about it for 12 hours AT LEAST. I love the crock pot because the lid seals on mine and I won’t smell it as it cooks overnight. Seriously, if you intend to do this on a regular basis, consider investing in a crock pot with a lid that seals. If you live in an apartment complex your neighbors might complain…not that it stinks, but that it smells so flamin’ good it will wake everyone up at 2 am.
Anyway, let this all simmer low and slow for a good long time. Then strain it, let it cool and bag up in freezer bags. I bag it in quarts, because that’s a nice round number, and it takes a quart of stock to make rice.
Salt it to your taste sometime in there. I can’t have much salt (thank you, hypertension…) which is how I got to making my own stock in the first place. Even the advertised “low salt” stocks are too salty.
Now that it’s made (label well, because they all look the same in the freezer, rich and brown), you can use it for anything you’d use the canned/boxed stuff for. Use it in place of water when you cook a grain, and for making gravy and tonight I’m using it to make Quick Brown Sauce* for the chicken.

*”quick” is relative. It took a couple of hours to make but I reckon that’s ok, it was that or fold laundry.

There are fancy pants instructions out there for making a “raft” (a slab of ground meat and egg white) that you use for clarifying stock so it’s pretty and stuff, but that strikes this cook as an affectation. I suppose it’s something I’ll eventually have to do, to make consomme, but not today. My reduced brown gravy on the stove is decidedly cloudy and so it will remain.


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[…] a roux! July 27, 2010, 4:33 pm Filed under: Lunch,Pasta,Southern,Technique A while back I pontificated on broth. Today, because I want to, is the day for pontificating on roux (pronounced ‘roo’). […]

Pingback by Gimme a roux! «

[…] you’re so dramatic” I’ve learned flavor-enhancing techniques. Now, I make my own stock, a rich, herbal chicken, beef or pork stock and I’ll use that for cooking grains (rice, […]

Pingback by Salt!! « Because it really is personal…

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