So frustrated that I can't nail my mother sauces.... Especially that my beef stock constantly gets a



Basically I buy organic veal marrow bones from a local farm, roast them to a beautiful golden brown (I brule some onions in the roasting pan with the bones and all the meat trim i've saved) then add that to a pot of cold water, which I also add about 5 kg of beef tendons, then a good amount of carrot and celery which I've tossed with tomato paste and roast untill really dark, basically burnt, to be honest....       I boil this for 2 days, overnight and whatnot....  but is it normal for it to have a weird taste almost like parmesan cheese? I've noticed if I strain it several times and reduce it and season it like a glace de viande, add red wine, the taste is ok, no more parmesan cheese, but honestly no matter what I do I can't make it taste amazing, I just end up dumping in some frozen red wine sauce...           I'm pretty damn embarassed that I can't perfect this mother sauce, I know you guys can give me the steps and tips I need to produce the perfect beef stock that I can reduce down, hopefully to a glace de viande or something similiar....   any suggestions? Please /img/vbsmilies/smilies//biggrin.gif
Joined Mar 3, 2010
part of it is probably u burning the aromatics, dont burn carmalize.  when roasting the bones right before they are done brush with tom paste. dont forget the bay leaf, black pepercorns and parsley stems i think thyme too. also dont boil but simmer. it might take some time to pefect but as long as u put some love into it it will come out tasty.
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Joined Sep 18, 2008
Well, I don't "boil" any stock, I "steep it" by simmering, i.e. keeping the temperature right around 180°F (82°C) and I skim it thoroughly as I sslloowwllyy bring it up to temperature and let it simmer for at least 8-12 hours for beef or veal stock and I don't add the aromatics right at the beginning, say maybe 4 hours after starting.
Joined Feb 13, 2008
Pete teaches by example, but I'll just come out and say it:  If you're boiling, you're doing it wrong. 

As SKatz said, your aromatic roasting technique sounds like too much heat, too long.  And yes, you might very well be burning your aromatics.

Whatever you're trying to get out of the tendon, you won't get much taste.

It shouldn't take that long to get a good brown stock.  You are way overcooking everything. 

"Almost like parmesan cheese" is hard to nail down, I'm not really sure what you're tasting -- but it sounds pretty bad.  Would "burnt" work as a description?

Who taught you to make stock this way?



Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
You put all your meat trimmings in there plus all that beef tendon?  I think you are trying to do way too much.  Keep it basic.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
The parmesan aroma could be the result of up to what point you burn or simply rancid that it is on verge of or has gone bad. Don't use tomato paste try tomato ends and Do Not Boil
Joined Sep 2, 2010
At work, our veal gets tons of odds and ends thrown into it, like onion peels ends of leeks... I agree with skatz, brushing with tomato paste I've found works really well. Also stock is the base for some mother sauce, not a mother sauce itself
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
"Boil" is a naughty word, please simmer anything other than pasta water.

"Parmesan" flavour might mean there's too much fat in the stock.  When I roast my bones, I like to take out the roasting pan every hour or so, dump out the entire contents on the flat-top, let the fat drip off, toss everything back in the pan, and back in the oven.  Any meat juices have already caramelized either on the pan or the bones.

As others have said, roast your tomato paste, raw tomato paste has a pretty nasty/acidic flavour.

2 days seems like an awfully long time.  Generally the longer the time equates to the size of the bones.  Small bones= more surface area=more caramelization=more flavour and colour.

Only when your bones are pale gold, then toss in your mirepoix. Leeks don't roast very well, onions do. Only after the liquid has come to an intitial first boil, scum and fat removed and brought to a simmer, then toss in herbs like bay, thyme, and peppercorns.

One of my favorite books on stocks and sauces is Peterson's "Sauces".  Lots of information in there....

I s'pose you'll be cheering for the Oilers?
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