Escoffier said “Les fonds sont pour la cuisine, ce que les fondations sont pour la maison.” (Stocks are to cooking what foundations are to a house). This, however, probably applies more to professional kitchens than to traditional household cookery where foundations for sauces are seldom made independently from the dish they are to accompany.
If however a basis for sauce is required, the bouillon (broth) from the pot-au-feu is traditionally used. When this is not available, the following method, borrowed from the finest professional kitchens, will take your stews, braises and sauces to another level.
Ingredients for 2 litres of stock or 500 ml of concentrated stock (demi-glace)
1 kg veal bones
1 kg poultry bones / carcasses
1 large onion, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 branch of celery, chopped
1 leek, chopped (optional)
2 tomatoes, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 bouquet garni (thyme, bay leaf, parsley)
Coat the bones and meat lightly with oil and brown in a very hot oven (230 degrees, 450 farenheit) for about 30 minutes, turning them once or twice during that time. Add the onion, carrot and celery, and stir everything around to get the vegetables coated in fat. Carry on roasting for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables start to brown too. Pour or strain off the fat from the roasting tray and put everything along with the remaining ingredients into the stockpot and pour over cold water to just cover the solids. Simmer 8 to 12 hours, keeping it topped up with water, regularly skimming off any fat and scum that rises to the surface. Strain the stock.
At this point the stock is fairly light and may be used as it is for braises, stews or certain soups. If it is intended for brown sauces, it should be reduced to 1/4 of its volume until about 500 ml remain. As before, any scum or fat rising to the surface as it reduces should be skimmed off. The resulting concentrated stock is often referred to as demi-glace, though a true, classic demi-glace is is achieved through a more elaborate process. The demi-glace may also be diluted with water should a lighter stock be required.
Brown stock may be frozen for many months or refrigerated for a week or so.This entry was posted in Stock FRANCE