Re: Broth and/or Stock Cooking Times
A good way to really see the how much flavor and how long it takes to extract that flavor from the ingredients when making a broth or stock, is to taste the ingredients along the way.
For instance, after half an hour, taste a carrot or a small piece of meat from the bones (once the meat and/or bones are cooked of course) and then try the same thing after an hour of cooking. Then again after an hour and a half. You will be surprised just how much flavor those ingredients give up in a relatively short period of time. Once those ingredients taste bland, there is no real benefit to cooking the stock or broth any longer. They have served their purpose of flavoring the water. And if cooked too long, they can start to break down or disintegrate into the liquid.
Does that make sense Dave? I just remember doing this when I first started making stocks and it really helped me have a better understanding of timing etc. In fact, I just did this yesterday while making a vegetable stock. I am still always surprised just how bland the vegetables taste after the stock has finished cooking. Hope that helps. Cheers!