Another Stock Question

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by bigeasy, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. bigeasy

    bigeasy

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    Recently purchased The Professional Chef, and they recommend not adding the mirepoix and bouquet garni until towards the end of the simmering process.  In the past I have made it a la St. Julia and added them in to simmer the entire time.  I thought that would maximize flavor extraction, but  in The Prof. Chef they indicated that the longer simmer would result in less vibrant flavors.  Does anyone have a strong opinion one way or another?
     
  2. thatchairlady

    thatchairlady

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    A few months ago, in the middle of our non-winter, went on a stock spree.  Made huge vat of chicken stock (used thighs... good flavor, not my favorite for eating)... chicken, carrots, onions,celery, bay leaf.  Also made a vat-o beef stock with some bones and a hunka something... potroasty something... same veggie assortment.  In a perfect world, would like to have been able to freeze it... flat, in quart zip-lock bags... but no room in freezer for all that.  I hauled out my pressure cooker/canner and ended up with enough to keep pantry supplied for quite a while.
     
  3. teamfat

    teamfat

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    I don't have a strong opinion, just a regular one.   I tend to add the veggies after about an hour or two of steeping and skimming the bones.  I don't think it takes more than a couple of hours to get all you can out of the veggies.

    mjb.
     
  4. chefross

    chefross

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    Ah yes............"The Professional Chef" says a lot of things.

    In their interpretation chicken stock should be neutral tasting so that when sauces are made the chicken flavor does not overshadow the other flavors. I don't personally agree with this theory. I want my stock to have flavor and taste like chicken. I add more carrots then the recipe calls for because I like the coloring it gives to the stock. I roast my mirepoix for the express purpose of getting more flavor. To add this at the end defeats the purpose. IMHO
     
  5. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Maybe the book means to add the vegetables that you intend to eat at the end.  That's what I do.  I cut large chunks of mirepoix and let them simmer the entire time.  Then after 3hrs I strain the stock and throw out the veggies and bones.  I chop fresh celery, onion, carrot, and whatever other veggies I want and cook them in the stock until done.
     
  6. bigeasy

    bigeasy

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    Thanks for the responses. @ Koukouvagia: this was just the recipe for stock. They recommended adding mirepoix 2 hrs from the end of simmering and the bouquet garni or sachet d'epice 45 minutes or so from end. @chefross: if flavor extraction ended @2 hours I suppose it would defeat the purpose of letting the sunday gravy simmer all day! I take it that you disagree with "The Professional Chef" on many things :D the only reason i questioned it was because auntie Childs said otherwise! I always seemed to get good results following her advice.
     
  7. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Well then the book is not wrong.  2hrs is plenty of time to extract flavor from mirepoix and and 45 is plenty to extra flavor from bouquet garni.  What kind of stock are you making?  I thought you meant that it said to add them in the last few minutes of cooking in which case is not long enough to do much in terms of flavoring the stock.
     
  8. everydaygourmet

    everydaygourmet

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    IMHO and experience I add 2x, at the begining and @ the halfway point.

    Cheers!

    EDG
     
  9. bazza

    bazza

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    It really depends on what you intend to eventually use the stock for. As a general rule I would agree that adding the veggies two hours before the end will benefit the flavour, but then I never cook a chicken stock for more than three to four hours anyway.

    If it is a beef or veal stock I believe that stewing vegetables for anything up to two days is not going to give the best result, although the structure will be there, the flavour will not be fresh, I would add them towards the end.

    If I am going to use the stock to make a sauce I would most likely use a second mirepoix and would not really worry too much about lifting the flavour until I am at the second stage of sauce making so the veggies can go in early in the first stock. As for the herbs I always add them late on in each process.
     
  10. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    There are a lot of good ways to make stock.  Mine isn't the only way or the best way, but it does what I want it to do and allows a lot of control and flexibility in terms of taking the stock farther -- reduction, for instance.

    I like to get the chicken started and the proto-broth completely de-scummed before adding anything else to the pot.  Scum and other stray bits of protein will stick to just about anything and spoil the clarity of the stock.  So, I wait until the chicken stops producing scum -- a half hour or so -- before adding mirepoix or bouquet garni.  

    BDL
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  11. deltadude

    deltadude

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    I always learn something when BDL posts, he should have his own cooking show.
     
  12. chefedb

    chefedb

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    When I make astock I throw away First Boil. Then proceed from there adding all veges, herbs etc.
     
  13. koukouvagia

    koukouvagia

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    Oh wow you just took me down memory lane.  That's how my Mother makes stock, she boils the chicken for a bit and throws out all broth and scum, that's how I first learned to do it.  Now I painstakingly sit and remove all scum as it appears and then throw in all the veggies, like BDL.
     
  14. bigeasy

    bigeasy

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    I made a beef stock that was ultimately going to end up a demi-glace.  I know that demi is usually made with veal bones but those are harder to come by.  My beef stock usually ends up reduced to some sauce or another anyway!  BTW, thanks to everyone for the replies! 
     
  15. someday

    someday

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    Adding vegetables near the end of cooking gives you a better product. 

    I will pose this question: When making a vegetable "stock," how long do you cook it for? No more than 1-2 hours, right? Why? Because if you cook it longer, the vegetables turn to total much, the flavor becomes muddy and muted, and it loses almost all of its vibrancy. If you don't believe me, then try it at home. Make a veg stock and simmer it for 1 hour, and make one and simmer it for 4 or 5. You'll see what I mean.

    The same logic applies to adding vegetables to any stock. If you go ahead and simmer mirepoix for 8 hours while making beef stock, what is the point? Most of the vegetal aroma and flavor will be lost by the time the stock is done. 

    Now. plenty of chefs make stock with mirepoix added from the start, and the product turns out good. There is nothing "wrong" with doing it like that, per se, but you wouldn't get the best possible product doing it like that. 

    It is another level of technique you can add to the cooking to continue to elevate the stock. I would rather have a properly made stock with the mirepoix added in the beginning than an improperly made one with the veg. added at the end.

    IMO, stock should be neutral. Stock is meant to be a backbone to support other flavors, not to be a flavor in and of itself. If you are looking for something with, say, a chicken-ey flavor, then you want chicken BROTH, not stock. Want to make chicken noodle soup? Use chicken broth. Or, fortify some chicken stock with chicken meat and fresh veg.

    I don't want my red wine sauce to taste like chicken, do I? 

    Stock is made from bones, broth is made from meat. A lot of people, especially at home, make a stock/broth hybrid (that is, a cut up chicken containing meat and bones) and call it stock. It is absolutely fine, but doesn't, at least IMO, make a true stock. Again, doesn't mean it isn't GOOD, just not truly a stock. 

    The blanching, skimming, re-wetting, etc. can all be discussed in another thread, and at length, lol. 
     
  16. chefross

    chefross

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    I seem to recall quite an extensive discussion about stock vs. broth in our forum history.