Veal_stock_for_blog

I’ve been shooting my mouth off a lot about the wonders of veal stock, in the new book, in Gourmet magazine all the way back in 1999 (here’s the braised short ribs that featured the veal stock), and over this past weekend on The Splendid Table.  You can listen at their site, and here’s the recipe I gave them but I’m going to make it even more simple here.

My main points about the veal stock (photo by donna) are these: almost no one has written about the special qualities of veal stock since Richard Olney in the 70s and this is unfortunate. If there were one ingredient that the home cook could have that would transform absolutely his or her cooking, one that would put it close to the level of the professional chef, it’s veal stock.  This stock takes the flavors that are already present and, without inflicting its own flavors in braise or a stew or a sauce or a soup, elevates them.  It’s the selfless stock.  And last, it’s no more difficult to make than chicken stock.

Another thing about stock generally: don’t think that stock making must be a huge undertaking.  I got an email the other day from a home cook saying she didn’t have the right pots to make stock.  Please, listen to me: YOU DO NOT HAVE TO MAKE ENORMOUS QUANTITIES AND MONOPOLIZE YOUR KITCHEN FOR AN ENTIRE WEEKEND IN ORDER TO HAVE STOCK.

White Veal Stock

  • 2 pounds veal bones, 3″ slices; have your butcher do this
  • 3 pounds water
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 2 carrots, medium dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Put bones in a 2-quart pot, cover with water, bring it to a full boil. Strain the bones and rinse them well under cold water.
  2. Return the bones to the 2-quart pot and cover again with fresh water and bring to a simmer. Then place put it in the oven that is set to 190 degrees F/88 degrees C, for as long as you wish, a few hours at least or for beef and veal 10 hours is good.
  3. Add the onion, carrots and bay leaf for the last hour of cooking.  Strain (the finer the strainer, the better the stock—I strain through a cloth).
  4. This will give you about a quart of stock.

Other aromatics that are great to use here are leeks, peppercorns (crack them first), parsley and thyme.

Roasted Veal Stock

  • 2 pounds veal bones, 3″ slices; have your butcher do this
  • 3 pounds water
  • 1 onion, medium dice
  • 2 carrots, medium dice
  • 1 bay leaf
  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees F/232 degrees C. Lightly oil a roasting pan or sheet tray that is large enough to contain the bones without over crowding them.
  2. Roast the veal bones in the oven, turning occasionally, until they are appealingly brown and smell delicious, about 45 minutes. They will lose about a third of their weight, and the stock will be especially flavorful.
  3. Turn the oven down to 190 degrees F/88 degrees C. Put the roasted bones and any other fond in a 2-quart pot, cover with water, bring it to a full boil. Then place the pot into the oven for a few hours at least or for beef and veal 10 hours is good.
  4. Add the onion, carrots and bay leaf for the last hour of cooking.  Strain (the finer the strainer, the better the stock—I strain through a cloth).
  5. This will give you about a quart of stock.

You can also add a couple tablespoons of tomato paste and some garlic.  Other aromatics that are great to use here are leeks, peppercorns (crack them first), parsley and thyme.

If you can not find veal bones for the veal stock, see if you can find a veal breast, which has a great mix of bone, cartilage and meat (I know some people have trouble finding bones—if you’re not worried about cost, osso bucco works).  Ask your butcher to cut it into 3 inch pieces for stock (I use a cleaver which does the same work). 

Use this stock to braise anything from short ribs to lamb shank to duck legs, add it to sautéed mushrooms and shallots for a delicious mushroom sauce, add it to the pan you’ve roasted a chicken with some chopped onion and carrot and some Dijon mustard in for an amazing chicken sauce.  Truly the stuff is a miracle, one of the fundamental elements of cooking that few home cooks seem to know about or make use of.

And I would be remiss for not including this Element here:

Remouillage: A second stock made from bones that have been used once for a primary stock in order to make complete use of the bones.  It’s a weaker stock, of course, and is often added to the primary stock and reduced.

It’s a very effective way of increasing the yield of stock from your valuable veal bones, worth the extra effort.  Why it works, I don’t know–perhaps the cooling and reheating of the bones?—but it really does work.

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One Wonderful response to “Veal Stock and Remouillage”

  • Mitch Mitchell

    Do you have any photographs of the process of making fresh Stocks?

    Many Thanks