Stock/Sauce - Cooking Time ... mixed opinions?

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Joined Jul 9, 2014
Hi Guys,

Ok so basically I have been going through some books lately and I quite confused on this topic. Basically its about stocks and sauces, some chefs recommend that you cook them for a short period of time to not "lose" and of the freshness then I find recipes where sauce/stocks are cooked for hours. 

What is your opinion?
 
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Joined May 14, 2014
I thought standard for stocks was 6 hours for poultry, 8 for beef, and overnight if that's the only way you have time
 
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Joined Sep 5, 2012
I do fish stock for an hour, at most. Vegetable stock for a couple hours. Chicken and turkey stock for a couple
Hours. Veal and ham stock for 4 hours and beef stock overnight. I never boil, only simmer.
 
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Joined Oct 10, 2005
A lot depends on the size of the bones.  Smaller bones= more surface area= less cooking time.

A common technique is to employ longer cooking times for stocks with large bones, then "refresh" this stock with fresh meat scraps or fresh bones for a better flavor.

Bear in mind the long simmering times (Boil is a dirty, nasty, unspeakable word) are mainly to extract gelatin from larger bones.  You can also get natural gelatin from turkey/chicken wingtips or split and blanched pigs trotters or calves feet.  These items are usually dirt cheap and provide more flavour than just bones.

Another technique is t do a "remouillage" , that is, once you strain off the stock, you fill up the pot with fresh cold water and do it all over again.  This provides a stock with a weak flavor, buit remouillage is more commonly used to start off a new stock with freshly roasted bones--this is a lot better than just plain water.

A good book to read on this subject is J. Peterson's "Sauces"  Highly endorsed, by many of us on this site.

Hope this helps 
 
4,723
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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Another vote for "Sauces" and his "Splendid Soups" is another great reference. Maybe I should do his chicken - tomatillo for tomorrow night with the leftover roast chicken.

Recently I was curious and used beef rib bones to make a long simmered stock. The beef was in about 190 F water for about 26 hours. Aromatics were added, steeped for about 4 more hours. It was definitely the most gelatinous, richest beef stock I've ever done.

mjb.
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
I'll agree that it depends. My signal for doneness is when all the collagen has melted. In other words, all the non bone parts around the joints has disappeared. Stock is pretty easy and forgiving and the chances are slim that you would really screw it up. Get some bones, cover in water, start simmering. Follow whoever's timing you like and see what you think about the stock. Do it again using some one else's timing. 

     The obvious benefit is that you have lots of stock on hand for soups, sauces, etc. I love making stock at home. The house smells great and a great meal is in the near future. 
 
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Everything depends and is unique. I do fumet, as lagom said, no more than an hour, starting with ice and never boiling it- making more of a fish tea. Chix stock takes 6-12 hours, and it takes three days to get proper veal stock.
 
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Joined Nov 15, 2012
Where does a home cook go to get bones (for a reasonable price) or other animal scaps?

I only have ready access to bones I get from meat I buy. I save them in the freezer till I have enough for a gallon of water.

I need to get the most out of these so I break them up with a hammer and simmer them in a large crock pot for 13 hours for chicken, 24 hours or more for lamb or beef.

In the case of chicken the bones completely break down, all cartilage dissolves.  I squeeze everything out and reduce by 1/3 to a half, simply because it picks up a "boney" flavor but this disappears with the reduction.  Nice chicken flavor and tons of collegian.

Rick
 
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Joined Apr 5, 2007
Rick,

For home use I love a pressure cooker.  I usually use the canning rack and cook the stock in mason jars.  This helps when you have small amounts of scrap/bone materials to work with.  You can make batches of stock on a small scale, several different types at a time.  Its a good solution when purchasing bones isn't an option.  
 
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Joined May 14, 2014
Try calling the meat department at your grocery store and asking if they can save you some, they must be getting some.
 
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@Rick Alan  You need to get online and research some great butchers in the Boston area.....which there are a ton. These places are THE BEST places to get great bones and cartilage, not to mention great meat and perfect cuts, for a good price. The butchers will negotiate price with you. If you have even more time and opportunity, go to a farmers market and talk with some of the meat purveyors there as they ARE the farmers or are associated with the farmers and can give you amazing deals on bones and meat. I get all my chicken wing tips and feet for bone broth for less than $3.00/5# bag. I get the beef, lamb, pork and bison bones for roughly the same.....a smidgen more. It is because I have taken the time to get to know the farmers and visit their farm. I cultivate my relationships with them by bartering some of my canned goods, fresh veg from the garden and baked goods throughout the year as some of them just do not have the time to make good food for themselves. They love the bone broth, stocks and soup I make with their goods so it all works out. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif
 
136
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Joined Jul 9, 2014
Ok, guys so after reading all your posts its clear that most of your stocks are 1hr+, so why do certain chefs (ex youtube, books) etc say that cooking sauce and stocks for a long time will ruin its freshness and lose its flavor? I must be confusing something.
 
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I can't answer for other chefs or books or youtube but I found the answer for me in the kitchen. Cook and do side by comparisons.

Find the answer for you. Knowledge gained by personal experience is deeper than knowledge gained because so-and-so says so.
 
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Well I think lamb stock from neck bones only gets better the longer you simmer.

But let's say I just roasted a couple chickens and wanted to make a really great stock for a small batch of soup.  I'd take the necks, spines with the kidneys and sockets, and simmer them for about 45 min.  These portions provide a great deal of flavor from a roasted turkey and should be made into stock if you want lots of great gravy.

Rick
 
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Thanks for the suggestions on where to get bones.  As the supermarket meat departments for I had considered asking for there discards, but was advised against it by someone who apparently had reason not to trust the sanitary practices those discards get subject to.

Rick
 
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Joined May 14, 2014
I was thinking you could call ahead about the bones; that way it's a 'product' not a 'discard'. But fair warning is fair warning?
 
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Joined Oct 31, 2012
Go ahead and ask the supermarkets for their discards. But do it in person so you can talk to the butcher, not just some body on the phone. The butchers I have  known are very proud of their profession as well as being under strict regulations. You may have to buy bones or pay a nominal price for the discards but I have no doubt they will all be treated in a sanitary manner. 

Some chefs do find that stocks can be over cooked. I think there is a point at which the stock is at it's best and after that gets increasingly muddled. But as has been noted, this depends on many factors. So get some bones, then get some practice. You will have a lot of fun figuring it out and plenty of good stock. 

Whatever stock you end up with, you can reduce it tremendously to a glaze, freeze it in ice cube trays, then keep the cubes in a plastic bag. A great way to always have plenty of stock on hand. 
 
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Joined Aug 21, 2004
For me, a  lot of the question about cooking time for stock comes down to final application. If I am doing a poulet saute a la forestiere, I go with a long time slow simmer stock. It tastes deeper to me. If I am doing a Chinese lemon chicken using a velveting process then I prefer a shorter simmer time stock as the chicken flavor is more up front.

Experiment, that is where a lot of the fun is to be had. :~)
 

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