Sunday, February 14, 2010

so, bones

After the meat, and a couple of big bones for the delectation of the dog, what about the other bones? Neck bones didn't make it out this time, two rounds through that portion pretty much wrecked any use out of those bits, but we still had bones from quarters:

Part of those bones were the knuckle ends from the shanks, lots of meat and sinew and such on those. Bones mean stock, building block for so many things. Bones and veg:

I'd leave the skin on the onions for color and flavor, but these were dirty and in bad shape. Beside, plenty of flavor from the leek leaves.

Some bones roasted, some raw, for a mix of flavor.

Two twenty quart stock pots to start. The silver pot on the right has stock from a pan that was deglazed with red wind and that includes some roasted tomato paste, the black pot on the left is a simpler concoction of bones and veg. Both have bruised peppercorns and bay leaves.

Now, Michael Ruhlman says (in "Elements of Cooking") never to boil stock, that you'll lose to much flavor. Jacques Pepin and Julia Child and various others say "bring it to a boil". I'm of the latter school. A nice boil and skim off all the foam and floaty bits.

Cook for about six hours at what Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall describes as a "nervous shimmer", just short of a boil, then the clear stock is reduced by about a quarter, the dark stock strained, then reduced by a good third. The result?


So, about twenty quarts of stock in all. The light stock is very neutral, very similar to veal stock though without quite as much body. The dark stock is a bit more intense and is destined for a few batches of bordelaise with orxy and frites and other sauce, as the wine comes through despite all the cooking and reduction.

Next, yet more bits.


Mike Spies said...

Mike, did you clarify by straining through cheesecloth only? Or maybe you used an egg white raft? Looks good either way.

mdmnm said...

Thanks, Mike!

I usually clarify by running the stock through a coffee filter, or, as in this case, through a paper towel set in a sieve.

Lisa S. said...

I'm always suprised by how mild game stock is compared to beef. I made quite a bit of elk stock this year and can use it as a sub for chicken stock when necessary.

I enjoy your blog.

Trout Caviar said...

What a happy feeling to have a freezer full of good stock! The possibilities are endless. I had never heard of oryx. Thanks for another informative and appetizing report.


Chad Love said...

Congrats on the oryx!

Man, collecting multiple bands during duck season, getting drawn out on special hunts, and then actually filling the tag.

I must be living wrong or something...

mdmnm said...

Lisa S.,
Thanks! You're right about most game stock being mild. A couple of years ago I roasted elk bones quite dark, then reduced the stock down to a demi glace, which was very nice but a huge amount of work.

Brett- you're welcome and thanks for the comment! It is awfully nice to look at a full freezer, isn't it?


I'm sure not complaining, but then I don't talk much about the tags not drawn and the many unfilled. Don't get me wrong, though, it was a really nice end to the year.