everyday we have to choose one recipe, take lots of pictures of it, then write a recipe for it + a reflection on it.
MISE EN PLACE:
Round Mesh Strainer
Water Pitcher (with measurement lines)
chopped veal bones
sachet (bay leaves, cracked peppercorns, dried thyme, chopped parsley stems)
mirepoix (large dice)
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Step 2: Weigh out the veal bones on an appropriate scale and write down the weight so you’ll know how much water to add later. The general guideline is that 8 pounds of bones will yield one gallon of stock. For one gallon of stock, you’ll also add 6 ounces of tomato puree (step 7). Do not wash the bones. If they are wet, you should try to dry them with paper towels. If the bones are wet, the bones won’t roast well, and the flavor will be adversely affected. Now add a small amount of oil to the veal bones and mix with your hands to coat all surfaces. Add more oil if necessary. Try to break up any pieces that are stuck together. Next, spread the bones into a single layer in a large sauté pan (use multiple pans if necessary or a roasting pan). Make sure the bones are in a single layer, or else some of them may steam and not roast properly, which means less flavor.
Turn the oven down to 450°F – 475°F. Place the sauté pan(s) onto a rack in the oven and close.
Step 3: Prepare the mirepoix and sachet. Make sure the sachet is tied well with butcher’s twine, so you’ll be able to control when to take it out. You can’t remove spices if they escape into the liquid. Also, remember to wash the cheesecloth first with cold water so the starches in the cheesecloth don’t end up in your stock and affect the flavor.
Step 4: Remember to check on your roasting veal bones so they don’t burn. The total roasting time will probably be around 40 minutes. If the bones burn, your stock will also taste burned, and you might have to start over. Once the bones look browned, take the pan out of the oven carefully.
Carefully pour off any excess oil into a pie pan. Remember to dispose of this oil properly, not down the sink!
If you don’t pour off the oil, the bones will be deep fried instead of roasted, which is undesirable. With one hand and a dry 6x-8x folded towel, hold the sauté pan and move it back and forth on the stove. With the other hand and a spatula, break the bones up and move them about. This will ensure that more than one side of the bones gets browned properly.
Now put the bones back in the oven until they are a nice golden brown. It will probably be another 10-15 minutes. Make sure to check that they are not getting burned. When they look ready, take them out. Drain excess oil into the pie pan again if necessary. Don’t wash the pan!
Step 5: Transfer the bones to a large sauce pan or sauce pot. Use multiple pots of necessary.
Measure the appropriate amount of water in a pitcher with measurement lines. Pour the water over the bones. If there is a little extra water that won’t fit in the pot, keep it on the side and add it in as water evaporates. Put the pot on a stove and bring it to a boil, then bring it down to a simmer. You don’t want to leave it at a boil because the water will evaporate too fast and you won’t get enough flavor from the bones. Add the sachet.
Step 6: Now back to the sauté pan. We need to deglaze it. If there’s still a layer of oil in the pan, blot it with paper towels to remove the oil. You don’t want extra oil in there because we’re going to deglaze with water, and hot oil and water will make a mess. Put the pan on the stove on high heat. Pay attention that none of the fond burns. Add a small amount of water to see if it’s hot enough. If a lot of the water turns to steam right away and sizzles in the pan, it’s hot enough. Add a little more water, enough so you can swish it around in a shallow layer. Using your spatula, scrape up the fond. Pour the deglazed liquid and fond bits into the pot with the veal bones. Do the same deglazing process again to get more of the fond, and put it in the pot with the veal bones.
Step 7: Your sauté pan should be relatively clean now. It shouldn’t have a lot of water either though, because now we’re going to add vegetable oil to the pan. Add enough oil to coat the pan in a light layer of oil. Drop in a vegetable from the mirepoix to test the heat. If it sizzles and there are bubbles, it’s ready. Add the rest of the mirepoix.
With your spatula in one hand, and the pan in your other hand, keep moving the vegetables around so they don’t burn and have even caramelization. Adjust the heat as necessary to make sure nothing burns. Once you smell the sugars, you should lower the heat to moderate because they will more easily burn at this point. If some bits of vegetable are near burning (but not burnt yet), you can remove them earlier and put them into the pot with the veal bones. Don’t put anything burnt into the pot though. Don’t over-caramelize either.
Bunch the vegetables together in one area, then add the tomato puree on top. This is done to prevent the tomato from burning. Continue cooking and stirring the tomato and vegetable mixture.
Keep your eye on the heat, because tomato can burn very easily. You’ll smell acid first, then sugar, and then you really want to watch for burning. Remove the pan from the heat if necessary to prevent burning. Cook the tomato until it’s as dry as possible, then add the tomato and vegetable mixture to the pot with the veal bones.
Give it a stir to make sure all those flavors get incorporated into the stock. It’s okay to stir because brown stock doesn’t have clarity.
Step 8: As the stock simmers, depouillage it as the fat gathers on the sides. Hold the ladle as close to the spoon end as you can so you’ll have good control for turning. Starting in the middle of the pot, push the ladle down about ¼ of the way down of the spoon part, so it’s just sitting on the liquid. Push in a counter-clockwise, then clockwise direction to push the fats toward the edge of the pot. Then go around the side of the pot, and skim off the fat into a pie tin.
Step 9: When the stock is about 1” above the bones, it should be ready. Set up a metal bowl, strainer, and washed cheesecloth as in the picture. Make sure the cheesecloth is big enough for the strainer. Pour the liquid into the cheesecloth, and let the liquid strain out into the metal bowl.
Now we have a bowl of brown veal stock. Taste it. If it’s good, cool it and store or use it.
Reflection: Overall, this recipe came out pretty well today. I think that’s because there were some good examples from other students and also some advice. Ben’s bones roasted very quickly, so we got to see what the bones should look like when properly roasted. I’ve never roasted veal bones, so I wasn’t sure what to look for. I went to look at his bones several times to note the color of the bones. Later, when I was cooking the tomato puree and mirepoix, David told me his burned so watch out for that on mine. I made sure to be more careful because of that. Chef said I over-reduced it a little, so next time I make stock, I’ll have to pay attention more to the level of the liquid. It was an interesting process making brown stock, so I enjoyed it.