Pete Goffe-Wood

July 19, 2017

Stocks and Sauces

Post by Pete

Stocks are flavoured liquids and for the purposes of our recipes, our stocks are flavoured with meat bones and vegetables.

  • Roasting of bones for our meat sauce is important for the colour but be careful, while a dark colour is required too dark or burned will taint your stock and you will have to throw it away.
  • Beef, veal, pork or chicken bones/carcases make for fairly meat neutral stocks that can be used for any meat dish. Lamb and venison bones and stock have a particularly distinct taste and should only be used for their respective dishes.
  • The addition of a whole pigs trotter or two to any stock gives extra gelatine and therefore body.
  • If you don’t have any fresh bones then keep bones & leftovers from previous roasts. Roast chicken carcas makes particularly good stock.
  • Be generous with the bones and the vegetables – it’s better to make smaller amounts of highly intense flavoured stock than to have litres and litres of mildly flavoured dishwater.
  • Remember a stock pot is not a dustbin; if your vegetables are too old to eat then they are also too old for the stockpot.
  • Never let a stock boil, it will become cloudy and have a chalky taste. Stocks should simmer away for hours and remain crystal clear.
  • Never add salt to a stock, it is going to reduce while cooking and then reduce even further when you use it in sauces and all that will result in is a very salty end product.
  • Once the stock has completed its first stage of cooking it should be strained as all of the meat, bones and vegetables have given up all of their flavour and nutrients. It is now safe to boil the remaining stock, as now the process is to reduce the volume and intensify the flavour.
  • Thickening of sauces can be done in a number of ways. Firstly by reduction, namely letting the water evaporate and allowing the flavours intensify. But depending on the body of the stock and the nature of the aromatics added to the sauce it might get tastier but not thicken. In such cases, a beurre manie is used. Beurre manie is a classical term for equal amounts of soft butter (not melted) and flour mixed together into a paste. Small amounts (a tablespoon at a time) can then be whisked into the cooking sauce. The butter will dissolve giving the sauce a beautiful sheen and the flour will thicken the sauce.