Thursday, February 21, 2013

Rosie Is Making Beef Stock Then Turning It Into Beef Consommé.

 Rosie has been in a stock-making mood lately.
The weather is responsible for that.
It's been cold, windy, gray, cloudy, rainy
and generally par for February weather.
It's weather that calls out for soup
 to soothe our souls and appetites.
 Hence, I'm in stock => consommé mode. 
 The other day I made chicken stock and consommé.
Today, it's beef stock and consommé.

I can't believe they're charging me
 $1.49/pound for beef marrow bones.
I can get a whole pork loin for $1.99.

11 pounds worth.

I like a little lamb nuance in my stock.

My aromatics - turnip from my garden (!),
leek, celery, onion, and carrots from Food Lion (!!).

What type of bones does one choose for beef stock?

Because the Hawthornes don't eat a whole lot of red meat,
we don't stockpile an assortment of beef bones,
like we do chicken or turkey.
What you want are raw beef bones, some meaty,
for example, the shank, neck, knuckle, leg bones,
and any scraps you may have collected in your freezer,
ribs and steak bones, for example.
An oxtail added in will give you a little extra flavor
and a slightly gelatinous texture.

At Food Lion and Harris Teeter,
they don't butcher the whole cow
but get parts from their purveyor.
The only bones I have access to are beef marrow bones,
also called beef soup bones in the frozen section.
Have your butcher cut them up into maybe 1-2 inch pieces.
Beef marrow bones give a deliciously rich flavor
and decidedly gelatinous texture.
It's concentrated beef flavor.

Coarse chop the vegetables.
Veggies, to you, EAM, if you're reading.

Add to a roasting pan.

Roast in a 450-degree oven about an hour,
turning the bones and basting with the accumulated fat,
until they're a pretty walnut brown.

Scoop bones and vegetables into your stock pan.
I'm using a 12-quart pan.

Put the roasting pan over medium heat and ...

... deglaze those goody bits with a little water.

Pour the extra flavor into the stock pot.
Scrape everything into the pot.

Fill with water.

Throw in some garlic.

Add in a can of plum tomatoes.

Got to have some herbal action going on.
I see thyme, parsley, bay leaves.

Add in the bouquet garni.

A couple teaspoons of Kosher salt.

Let it come to the bare simmer.
Set on lowest of lows.
Skim the scum off as needed.
Scrape the brown on the sides back into the pot.
That's all flavor.

I image four hours is enough to get the flavor out of marrow bones,
so I let it go all night.
At the barest of simmers.

Next morning,
I ladled the stock through colanders and sieves
into another pot.

Cover with plastic wrap touching
and refrigerate overnight.

The fat will congeal on top.

And I have a lot of fat from the marrow bones.

Usually, the fat sticks to the plastic
 and you can just peel it off.
This much fat is too heavy for the plastic trick.
Remove all the fat and scrape off that fat on the sides.

Now, we're going to take the beef stock
to the next level -
 beef consommé.
Excuse me while I cut and paste from my chicken consommé post:

 A consommé is a sparkling clear broth.  All the floating particles that cloud the stock have been drawn off.  The clarified liquid is not only lovely to look at, but it has also acquired a refinement in taste.  The clarification process involves egg whites.  The ratio is 5 cups stock to 1/2 cup egg whites. I started out with around 5 quarts stock.  You do the math.  That's a lot of egg whites.  That means I have lots of yolks left over.  That means I'll be making lots of stuff calling for egg yolks in the coming days.  Some sweets treats are in your future.  

Back to the consommé:
Going with the above ratio, whisk 1 cup cold stock with the egg whites while bringing the rest of the stock to the simmer.  Remove from heat and whisk 1 cup of the hot stock by slowly drizzling into the egg white mixture.  Then slowly whisk the egg white mixture into the stock pot of hot stock.

Set over moderate heat and whisk slowly to keep the egg white in constant but gently circulation.  Bring just to the simmer.  Stop whisking.  The egg whites have clung to the particles that cloud the stock and will rise to the surface.  They now need to coagulate enough so that when you strain the stock, the egg whites hold together, letting the clear liquid drip through.  Set the pan at the side of the heat so the stock barely bubbles.  Let it barely bubble for 5 minutes.  Rotate a quarter turn and let it barely bubbly for another 5 minutes. Repeat in each quadrant.  Remove from heat.

On to the straining.  Be sure the bottom of your sieve will be well above the level of liquid.  I like to try to remove the coagulated egg whites on top, then I gently ladle the liquid into a fine sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth.  Let the liquid drip through undisturbed.  Never try to push on the cheesecloth, else you'll push the cloudy bits through.  I pour the stock into quart containers, label, and freeze.

Whisk in cold beef stock to your whites.
Bring the remaining beef stock to a simmer.

When the remaining stock comes to a simmer,
whisk in a cup of hot stock.

Slowly add the egg white mixture back to the pot.
Keep in constant but gentle circulation until it comes back to a simmer.

Set the pot on the side of the burner,
and working in quadrants,
let barely bubble for five minutes.

Then rotate to the next quadrant and bare simmer for five minutes.

Ladle the golden brown goodness through
several layers of cheesecloth.

I had a productive day.

I produced 5 1/2 quarts of chicken consommé

and 5 quarts of beef consommé.


You just can't get this in a can.
There's no love in a can.


EAM said...

Yes, rosie, i'm reading. tell me, what do you do with "read meat"?

and a gazillion egg yolks , too.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

"Read meat" was just a little curve I through in their to see if your
paying attention.

And you'll just have to wait along with everyone else for the egg yolk transformations.