Learning To Make Stocks, Broths and Sauces: Following The Way Of The Nerd.
Dec. 4, 2012 8:11 am
Updated: Dec. 8, 2012 6:26 pm
Hi! My name is Dave, and I am a nerd wannabe. There. Admitting the problem is the beginning of the solution! I feel so much better, but, no doubt, you are confused. What does an admission of nerdiness have to do with stocks, broths and sauces? I have the
unfortunate drive to research a topic before I actually act on it. In some ways this is a good trait, but it has the unfortunate effect of putting off action. You can study a topic until you are aged and feeble; no longer capable or desirous of doing anything
regarding the object of study. Or you can blog about it.
Just so we are clear, I have made broths before. Yes, it's a bit of a departure from what I describe above, but it was a mindless process, done without a recipe or even a thought as to what the outcome should be. Really, what is the big deal? You cover meat,
bones, aromatics and seasonings with water and let it cook, right? Not thinking about the process does work, but it is the best way to do it? Funny thing is that I didn't actually know I was making a broth. I could just as easily been making a stock.
There's a difference between a stock and a broth? This is where the "Way of the Nerd" shines so brightly! Here is what I found: “'Stock is predominantly [made with] bones and some trim,” says Greg Fatigati, associate dean for curriculum and instruction for
culinary arts at the Culinary Institute of America.' Broth, on the other hand, is usually made with pieces of actual meat, so it’s richer." This from the website Chow.com.
The article goes on to say that the two are, for all intents and purposes, exactly interchangeable. That is the sad, tragic depth of my nerdiness. I have to know that there is a difference that doesn't matter. It really is no surprise that I grew up lonely!
To recap, and to expand: Stock is made of mostly bones and a bit of meat. Broth is made from bones and a greater percentage of meat trim. Both contain aromatic vegetables and seasonings. Functionally they are the same, and both are used as an ingredient for
other dishes, though broth can be a finished product. Stocks and broths can be used in making sauces and gravies. Broths can be used in the making of consomme, which can be a finished product, or used as an ingredient in other dishes. Consomme is the star
ingredient of aspic.
And just when you think you are finished, those old, tired, leeched out bones can come back for one more round. The bones that were used to make stock or broth can also be used to make Glace de Viande, according to Jaques Peppin in his book, "Essential Peppin."
Now that the research is out of the way, I can get down to making stock or broth. I'm not sure which it is since no percentages of bone to trim were ever indicated. Tomorrow, Wednesday the 5th of December is the start date for what I hope will be some amazing
food. The plan is the make 12 cups of rich beef stock. I'll use half for making French Onion Soup, and half to make Beef Consomme. Then I will reuse the bones to make Glace de Viande. I am not sure that I have enough trim to make a rich enough Stroth (Stock/Broth)
for French Onion Soup. I think I will go out later to get some short ribs. Short ribs would make anything taste good. Kinda like bacon!