Sunday, November 1, 2009

Veal Stock or skimming away

22 hours friends... twenty-two hours of simmering and skimming. This was the first time I have made a meat stock without first roasting the bones so I am interested to see the results. The process is divided into 4 steps. First you blanch the bones and discard that liquid. I am not posting a picture of that step because it would completely gross Liz out. (Always looking out for you, sis!) Then you clean the pot and return the bones to the pot and add aromatics. Simmer 6 hours. Besides the words "veal" , "bones" and various prepositions, the word SKIM appears most frequently. As in "Skim continuously!" and "Skim. Skim. Skim." Skimskimskimskimskim. You get the picture. Well, it's such a large (and shiny!) pot I needed a skimming stool to stand on.

Photos of Day 1. Here are the aromatics... the carrots are at the bottom of the bowl because, being carrots, they are camera-shy.

Here's the beautiful mix at the beginning:

And at the end of the day after Skim! Skim! Skim! we have stock and we remove all solids from the liquid to store and save for day 2...

Separated... but only temporarily... the marriage will come back together, trust me. After removing the solids the liquid is strained twice.

The bones and aromatics are added to fresh water, (Day 1 liquid still in fridge) and a new day of skimming begins! This will simmer for 4 hours (skimskimskim) and then the final divorce of the solids and liquids takes place... how sad. But we must move on because we have 8 more hours of reduction to go and I have trick or treaters coming as well as my gathering in Dynamis on FFXI. ( Check the profile I said I am a gamer :P) We combine the Day 1 liquid with the strained (twice) Day 2 liquid. And so the reduction begins: (At which point the most supportive husband in the world says " It doesn't look like any veal stock I've ever seen") Har har.. Truth be told, I was having my own doubts as well! Eight hours and about 22 trick or treaters later we are ready to strain yet once more, cool and store the liquid gold for later use.
So the veal stock is done. I learned a lot about skimming! In the past when I made chicken stock, which I do on a regular basis, I just throw the chicken in with the water and aromatics and let it simmer until the chicken has given its all. (Yes, I know this is chicken BROTH, not stock because I use meat but I'm just a home cook.) Then I strain twice and store. Maybe skim a couple of times but it seems a much lower maintenance stock production to me. I love my chicken stock. Is the extra attention to detail worth it? I don't know I'll have to see when we use the veal stock in a recipe. I want to thank my beloved husband who did most of the serious heavy lifting (no kidding that pot was heavy!) And I'd also like to thank my 2 helpful assistants:

Some canapes are up next.

See you soon.


  1. You guys who send me emails can post comments you know....

  2. Thank YOU for NOT posting the pictures although they would have been GREAT Halloween Shots !! Cant wait to hear what you make with the Veal Stock !!

    Love you and love reading these, You are a vey talented writer !!

    Your Sis - Liz !!

  3. Just an FYI to your followers , I had to pick a profile to post as and chose Anonymous , only because none of the others worked !!
    but true to you- I Signed it !
    Your sis- Liz so not as anonymous as one would think !!

    I will start posting more frequently !