Sunday, November 7, 2010

Veal Stock

When I searched my own blog to copy and paste a veal stock recipe into my latest posting, I discovered that, wow, I really use a lot of veal stock!  Sometimes, it's as simple as using just a bit of water to deglaze a pan in which I just fried veal chops, and sometimes it's a bit more complex.  Today, as I was uttering to myself about whether I should rally and make a veal stock, Chris said, "um, what does that entail, boiling bones for a couple of hours?"  Well, when you put it that way...  In truth, it's just a little more complicated than that, but the effort versus reward ratio makes it well worth your time, especially since you can make a large batch and freeze in portions to use later.  When I looked up other recipes on veal stock, I found most requiring 10 plus hours of simmering, plus a long process of roasting the bones and the vegetables.  This may be the proper way to do it?  Or perhaps the recipe actually creates a demi-glace and not a stock.  Either way, it is a little too big of a time commitment me.  So, just a short posting here on my not too complicated veal stock.
2 lbs veal neck bones
1 lb veal stew meat (if you can buy quite meaty veal bones, get some more of those and skip the stew meat)
4 small carrots, peels and chopped
4 small ribs celery, I like to use the ones with leaves on top
1 small onion, chopped
several sprigs of fresh thyme
2 small sprigs rosemary
1 bay leaf
2 quarts water


Generously salt and pepper the veal bones and meat.  In a large stock pot over medium high heat, brown veal in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  You will need to do this in batches.  Transfer to a dish as you finish.  Add the vegetables to the pan and saute them until they soften a bit.  Add in thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and then the water.  Bring water to a boil, then add back the veal.  Cover the pot and turn heat down to low.  Let simmer for about 3 hours.  Tip the lid to uncover slightly, turn heat up to medium, and boil for another 30 minutes.  Let cool a bit.  Skim off any fat that's floating on the surface and strain through a fine mesh sieve in batches.  Press the solids against the sieve to get all the excellent flavor out of them.  I don't cook down the stock too much.  I like the option to reduce as needed for each use.  Separate into smaller portions and refrigerate for up to a week, or freeze for several months.  I like to use small jelly jars.  Or, use ice cube trays to get more exact quantities needed for your recipe.

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