Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Veal Stock - Day 3.

Rosie Hawthorne cordially invites to the marriage of Veal Stock #1 and Veal Stock #2
On the left is Ruhlman's Veal Stock #1, full of gelatinous goodnosity. On the right, Ruhlman's Veal Stock #2, the remouillage, or second extraction of flavors.
Here, I'm pouring Veal Stock #2 into Veal Stock #1.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Rosie's version of The French Laundry's Veal Stock #1 and the second extraction, Veal Stock #2.
In this case, Veal stock #2, going into the pot, is more gelatinous than Veal stock #1.
Here we have the marriages. Ruhlman's Veal Stock #3 on the left. FL Veal Stock #3 on the right. Getting ready to simmer.
Slowly bring to a simmer. This takes about 2 hours.
Skim, skim, skim. This scum almost has a cellophane appearance.
And skim some more.
This has been going about 8 hours. Look how much it has reduced.
Ruhlman's stock fits into this small container.
Then I had the brilliant idea of pouring the stock into ice cube trays.
Here's the FL stock.
I filled up two ice cube trays with veal stock.
And here's the rest of the stock. Ready for the freezer. You know, I've made chicken and beef stocks, and chicken and beef consommes. I thought my chicken consomme was like the Cadillac of Consommes. Then I had my beef consomme. Ahh, a Porsche. Then I made veal stock. It was velvety, mahogany, smooth, silky, sexy. Like a Jaguar XKE, with the top down, screaming down the open highway at 90 MPH. (Mr. Hawthorne used to have a Jag when we were a-courtin'.) Carol, of CarolCooksKeller blog fame, and I do mean fame, waxed poetically on veal stock months ago. And I quote from her: But before we do that, let me blather on a little more about veal stock. When Michael Ruhlman published The Elements of Cooking, he spent a lot of time in interviews talking about veal stock (he actually wrote an essay about veal stock for the book, and called it "the home cook's most valuable ingredient"). It's something I paid attention to, because prior to cracking open The French Laundry Cookbook, I don't think I really thought about a) whether or not veal stock existed, and b) that it really is a thing of beauty. There are those who believe veal stock is unnecessary. Those people are idiots. In fact, there was a great debate on eGullet not long ago, in which some folks claimed that veal stock was difficult to do, or hard to find ingredients for, or just too much work and that beef stock was sufficient. They are sadly misguided. And also probably have bad breath. I'm just sayin'. Now, I'm not one to delve down into the nitty-gritty of arguments like that because I obviously don't have the culinary training or expertise that some folks have, but damnit -- I have a palate that can tell the difference between dishes made with veal stock versus beef stock, and it DOES make a difference, because veal stock has a certain, distinct neutrality to it. And, if I may get all science-y on you for a minute, because the bones are from a young animal they contain more collagen, which when it breaks down into gellatin gives the veal stock an unparalleled body you just can't get from older bones. But let me explain it in more Carol-like terms:
Beef stock tastes like Chef-Boy-R-Dee ravioli. Veal stock is more velvety than actual velvet. Beef stock is a sweaty, hairy truck driver on the final leg of a cross-country haul, in which he stopped only to sleep, not shower. Veal stock is like standing naked under a gentle waterfall in the sunlight. Beef stock makes your house smell like farts. Veal stock makes your house smell like home.
Beef stock is not veal stock. And don't even get me started on the canned stocks -- they should be outlawed. But that's a rant for another day, and another blog. Back to the task at hand: Let's talk about how to make veal stock from The French Laundry Cookbook. Ah, Carol. You just shoot from the hip. And you speak the truth. And we mere mortals can only hope to come close to your culinary coattails. I applaud you.

5 comments:

xmaskatie said...

So which one tastes better?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

xmaskatie, I couldn't taste any appreciable differences between the two. Mr. Hawthorne couldn't either.

Does that make me unworthy?

Marilyn said...

So, which one would you recommend people make?

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Hmmm, Marilyn, that's a good question.

I'm partial to roasting bones in the oven, since that's the way I've always done it and I have a problem, Nay, an aversion to FL's way of THROWING OUT the first simmered broth.

I'd go with Ruhlman's. His Veal #1 was the gelatinous stock. FL's veal #1 wasn't.

Chris Berry said...

I used to own a cooking school, and I just posted an article about making veal stock on my own blog when I came across yours by accident. I'm glad to see that there are a few intrepid home cooks willing to put forth the effort.

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