Re: No Fat Cap
Don't worry you likely just skimmed away most of the fat while you were making the stock. This also happens to me sometimes.
Julienne, chiffonade, emince...? Fancy names. Simple concepts. Find clarity here.
I recommend portioning out 2 cups at a time. I used to do bigger batches but I find that 2 cups works really well (sometime I do a few 4 cup containers as well), but generally I use at least 1 or 2 cups worth of stock at a time, any leftovers I just use the next day. Also the smaller packages are easier to add to things. I used to freeze my stock in bigger batches and this was always a bit of a challenge for me. I still portion the same way as show in the Drill-down but I just use a small measuring cup and smaller bags http://rouxbe.com/drilldowns/31
It may take a bit more time to portion out the stock, but you will be glad you did it later. Hope this helps!
I have heard that cracking and roasting bones before making stock will add even more flavor. It would add more marrow and a roasted flavor, I would think. Do you recommend this practice? How would you go about doing this? What type of dishes might benefit from this procedure?
Roasting the bones is a great way to add flavor. Check out the lesson on "Dark Stock" to see how it's done. http://rouxbe.com/school/sections/12/objectives
With the long slow cooking it is not totally necessary to break the bones (this is generally used more for making short stocks). If making a veal stock the bones already contain a fair amount of marrow and you will get plenty of flavor from them. Even roasted chicken bones are fantastic and add plenty gelatin and flavor.
As for what type of dishes this would be good for...the list is endless! Stock is used almost everywhere in cooking. If, however, you are asking "what type of stock" would this be good for, perhaps short stock as it requires less cooking time.
Hope this helps...Good Luck!
Good question and interesting thought. I think though that in the case of making stocks the stove top is the better choice...for a few reasons.
1. You are better able to see and monitor the stock on the stove top, to ensure it is only ever simmering.
2. It is also easier to skim impurities and add ingredients
3. It's also much safer - when making stocks there is a large amount of liquid and this would make it difficult and dangerous if you were moving it in and out of the oven.
Hope this helps! Ciao
I made a batch of chicken stock last night using 5 stewing hens (cut up) for my "bones." I did a good job of skimming, and so this morning, when I went to check on the pot, there was not fat cap, and the stock was not gelatinized as usual. Would that be because I used stewing hens instead of wings, backs, thighs, necks or whatever?
I've been making so much stock this winter! Amazing how fast you can go through it. Anyway, time for a new batch and there were no bones, backs or necks at the grocery. I bought a pound and half of feet. Is it ok to use this for stock? Does it seem like too much?
First, if I know that I am not going to use my stock until after it has been refrigerated, do I need to skim? Can I just wait and remove the fat cap? Or does that not get all of the fat and impurities?
Second, when it comes to bouquet garni, am I gaining anything that I couldn't otherwise get when I use my stock later? What I mean is, would it be better to not season my stock if I don't know what i'm going to use it for, that way when I cook my recipe I can season at that point depending on what style of cooking I am using. For instance, if I use a classic french bouquet, then I want to use it for an asian dish, I've limited myself. Or is there something at the point of making the stock that I can't reproduce later in a recipe?
Skimming primarily removes scum, so quite necessary to get those off flavours out of your pot as soon as possible. You can deal with the fat as you please, while skimming or later. I prefer to skim the fat as it prevents the scum from forming freely.
You can flavour your stock with herbs and spices later, but they will need some time - at least 20 minutes - to infuse. So you can do a very neutral-based stock and define it later...or define it sooner. Up to you. If you're using your stock in many different cuisines, best to keep it neutral. Many ways, even with stocks, to skin this cat.
Just to add my two cents here, I would say ALWAYS peel carrots, no matter what you are doing with them. To some people, dishes that use carrots that have not been peeled are disagreeably bitter.
Not everyone can taste this, and to you they might taste fine. I, however, can immediately tell if, for instance, the carrots used in the making of the beef stew I am served were not peeled; the whole stew tastes bitter to me. And it's never a good bitter, it's more like a "Was this beef a little off before they used it in this stew?" kind of bitter.
Probably needless to say, I always peel carrots, no matter the application. I sincerely wish other people would as well. :)
Regarding chicken feet, some people claim that this is the secret to golden chicken broth, like the kind that comes out of a Campbell's can. I've never gotten around to trying it, but in any event, it's all chicken. However, the best source I read recommended blanching and skinning them first, which makes sense to me.
Oh, and ten bucks to make a pot of stock? That sounds like pretty posh stock to me; I always use the cast-offs from other things I've made: chicken backs, the bones my family have already gnawed, and so on. The veggies cost pennies. If a pot of stock cost me ten bucks, I might be tempted to just buy the stuff that comes in boxes, if it weren't for the wonderful way a simmering pot of stock makes the house smell, that is. And, yes, you won't get a clear stock if you mix cooked and raw bones, to which I would reply "So what?" I'm feeding my family, not catering. :)
Oh, and regarding the already gnawed bones, chop them in half so the marrow can get out. And if using these seems unsanitary to you, remember, they simmer for hours.
...about this topic. I cook quite a bit with turkey. I love the flavor that it imparts to a lot of dishes where a red meat might be used. It is so flavorful. I should have some turkey bones to use from things I am making soon. Can I use these bones either with some chicken bones or on their own to make stock? Or will the flavor of the turkey bones be too strong? I should be getting some bones from the local store this week, so if time permits I will be able to do at least some of the practices involving stock. Can't wait!
Absolutely you can use turkey bones. In fact, I often prefer the flavor from turkey bones, particularly if you are making dark stock from them (e.g. you roast the bones - see the dark stock lesson).
As mentioned in the lesson, you can even use the left over bones from a roasted turkey and gain some great flavor.
With stocks, just stick to the key fundamentals, such as starting with cold water, bring to a simmer (don't boil), skim periodically, add your bouquet garni and let simmer.
Here's a link to a video on Mirepoix:
You can vary a mirepoix to include many different flavor profiles.
In the video, I noticed that you sealed the stock in both a standard ziploc bag and a vacuum sealed FoodSaver bag for storage. I doesn't appear that you pre-froze the stock for the food saver bag, so I was wondering if you could offer some advice for how you pull that off (without the vacuum sucking the stock into the machine, etc.) Thanks!
I often use my FoodSaver with things that contain liquids, such as stocks. I cut the bag big enough so that there is enough excess. Then I simply place the bag on the counter and then sort of fold the plastic over so that it creates a seam or bend...then I just seal it. Sometimes some leaks out but I just clean out the tray.
I have to say, I have the newest version of the FoodSaver and it works really well, I am very happy with it.
Hope this helps!
There are many definitions for a Bouquet Garni: it is my understanding that a classical bouquet garni consists of only three ingredients: Parsley stems, bay leaves and thyme. This option does not appear on your stock quiz.
Also if vegetables are added too soon during the preparation over extraction will occur and produce undesirable results. Optimum flavour = optimum cooking times for each of the various ingredients used in the preparation.
Also, as for your statement "Also if vegetables are added too soon during the preparation over extraction will occur and produce undesirable results. Optimum flavour = optimum cooking times for each of the various ingredients used in the preparation."
We here at Rouxbe take a bit more of a flexible approach to learning. By this I mean there is generally not just one way of doing things. For example, stocks are meant to be easy, not complicated. We have been making stocks for years now and they always turn out flavorful with no "undesirable" results. Our goal is to get people to cook more...and if we can just get people to stop buying stock then we are on the right track. Once you repeatedly make stocks and understand the process, this is when you can fine tune them to your liking and palate.
Hope this does not sound condescending as this is not my intention at all...just wanted to clarify. Cheers!