Sunday, December 14, 2008

Taking Stock

You may remember that the other day I was feeling the need to make stock, thus leading me on this latest stock journey. By the end of Thursday I had a beautiful beef stock. But I wasn't finished yet. Follow along as I continue on my path to stock enlightenment.

By Thursday evening I had a beautiful stock.

I followed Rosie Hawthorne's advice about removing the marrow from the bones and returning the marrow to the stock pot.

The bones, veggies, herbs and spices are set aside for the next day's stock. One of the things that had held me back from trying this method of making both a first stock and a second stock is the limited refrigerator space available to me. I solved this problem by storing the first stock in the stock pot and the solid ingredients for the second stock in the steam basket for the stock pot. This then fit nicely in my refrigerator after some crafty reorganization of the other items.

Friday morning I placed the bones and veggies in another large pot and added enough water to cover. This gently simmered for eight hours while I tended to other matters.

Meanwhile, I pulled the first stock out of the refrigerator and carefully pulled the congealed fat off the top. The first stock is a gelatinous mass that wiggles and tantalizes the senses. I found that the bone marrow had floated to the surface of the stock. This stock was placed back into the refrigerator to await the marriage of the stocks.

By the end of the day, I had my second stock. I did note that the smaller bones had completely disintegrated into the golden liquid. I used open tongs set across the bowl to hold the sieve up out of the stock.

May I present the weaker second stock? I allowed this to cool before pouring in the stock pot with the first stock. Perhaps the gourmands out there would not approve of the stocks 'sleeping' together before their marriage, but I only had room in my fridge for one stock pot. Some allowances must be made in light of the limited cold storage space.

Unfortunately for me, the final steps would have to wait as my Saturday was already booked. First up was a trip to Indy for the Scottish Rite Ladies' Luncheon. As I am the chairperson for this year's luncheons, my presence was required. Then we returned home, where we rested a couple of hours before heading out once again. This time we were off to my husband's bank Holiday Party. Once again my attendance was mandatory, so all thoughts of simmering stocks would have to wait for the morrow.

Finally. I can get back to my stock. I brought the stock to a simmer.

After the stock simmered a bit, I beat an egg white and added that to the stock so the impurities could be removed from the stock. This clarified stock is called consomme.

Next, the consomme must be strained. I cut two squares of cheesecloth and placed them in a large sieve.

Part way through the slow process, the light bulb came on over my head and I got a smaller sieve to catch the larger particles before they clogged up the cheesecloth.

This is quite lovely.

The cooled consomme is ladled into plastic containers. Once properly labeled, they will be placed in the freezer.
Ah, now this is therapy. It's all good.

1 comment:

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Oh my. That beef consomme looks so good. I need to make some as soon as I end this ridiculous baking.