Veal stock is an amazing elixir because it enhances the flavors around it without imposing its own flavor. It adds depth and body to food, but only to liquids, soups, stocks and sauces. My call for innovative uses of veal stock changed that with Josh Kantor's veal salt (see the other winners here).
Josh Kantor is a 21-year-old senior economics major at Occidental College in Los Angeles and part-time garde manger at Hatfield’s Restaurant. I'll let him elucidate.
by Josh Kantor
The inspiration behind the veal salt was the many foods I love crisp that I couldn't enhance with veal stock: fried chicken, popcorn, or the original motivation: french fries. I am a sucker for the double fried super crispy fries and wanted to add a new seasoning to them. Salt was the only vehicle I could think to transform a liquid into a seasoning tool for dry items. From here it was just experimenting with a variety of different flavors. First I tried malt vinegar which worked extraordinarily well. I decided to throw veal stock into a batch. It came out better than I could have imagined and now I find that I use it on a variety of foods that I hadn't even considered beforehand. The fact that it also saves valuable freezer space, considering my freezer is full of different stocks already, is an added advantage.
I just threw in a new batch, which I measured in cups and also by weight. I finally discovered the disparity that Michael often talks about in measuring by volume. I based my recipe on a suggested 2 cups of veal stock and matched it with 3 cups salt. I use Morton's kosher salt which, according to the internet, weighs about eight ounces per cup. My three cups came out to 28 ounces or 800 grams or 9.3 ounces per cup. It's always best to weigh, especially when working with salt, but here weights aren't critical. You need about a ½ inch of salt (2 centimeters), covered by a good veal stock.
- 3 cups/800 grams Kosher Salt
- 2 cups/500 grams Veal Stock
- Pour salt in an even layer in a 13-inch x 9-inch/33-centimeter x 23-centimeter glass baking dish or hotel pan. Cover with veal stock and stir so that the stock covers the salt in all places. There should be enough liquid to cover the salt by a good ⅛ to ¼ inch/3 to 6 millimeters.
- Place the dish in an oven at 180 degrees F. / 82 degrees C. Leave in the oven, stirring occasionally, overnight or until the liquid has evaporated (generally around 18 hours for my oven). When it becomes crumbly and slightly sticky (a brown sugar like consistency) mix it to redistribute evenly.
- For the best results, leave the dish uncovered on the counter to dry out the salt further
- Keep out in a salt shaker or in ramekins, or store in a deli cup. It should keep indefinitely on the shelf if all the moisture is gone.
If you liked this post on veal salt, check out these other links:
- My post on making sweet potato chips
- Salt: A World History a book by Mark Kurlansky
- Does how much salt you eat really matter? via the Boston Globe.
- Looking for some interesting salts? Check out The Meadow, or Meadow owner Mark Bitterman's excellent book, Salted.
© 2011 Michael Ruhlman. Photo © 2011 Donna Turner-Ruhlman. All rights reserved