Stock

Stock

By
From
A Year In My Kitchen

The making of a good stock is an important foundation in cookery and one of the first things you learn as a young chef. In my mind, a stock cube is not a viable substitute – its flavour is essentially artificial and unpalatable when the stock is reduced down.

I have seen all sorts of things thrown into stocks as they are made – even red peppers, garlic and vegetable peelings. I am totally against these additions. Because a stock acts as a building block, it needs to have a very pure base flavour. Other flavours only cloud and confuse the taste. Another rule when making a stock is to avoid adding salt. This is in order that the stock can be reduced without it becoming too salty.

I use chicken stock for a wide range of dishes, but you can adapt this recipe if veal, beef or lamb stock is more appropriate to the dish, simply by substituting the bones. Veal bones, in particular, make a lovely stock.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2kg chicken bones
3 yellow onions, peeled
6 carrots, peeled
3 celery sticks
a little olive oil
20 black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
small bunch thyme
bunch curly or flat leaf parsley
4 litres water

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Lay the chicken bones in a large baking tray and roast on the top shelf of the oven for about 15 minutes until golden brown. Meanwhile, roughly chop the onions, carrots and celery and place in a large stockpot or saucepan. Add the tiniest amount of olive oil and sweat over a low heat until the vegetables soften slightly and start to release their flavours.
  2. When the bones are nicely coloured, add them to the vegetables along with black peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme and parsley. Pour in the water and bring just to the boil. Immediately, turn the heat down to low and cook gently for 11/2 hours, skimming the scum from the surface every now and then. It is very important that a stock does not boil, as this causes the impurities to be dragged back down into the stock rather than collect on the surface where they can be removed.
  3. At the end of the cooking time, you should have a pure, clean tasting stock. Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve. Use as required. If preparing ahead, cool and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze until needed.
Tags:
seasonal
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