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Sunday, November 21, 2010


Speaking from a culinary standpoint, there are only a few kinds of stock, generally broken down into brown, white, fish/fumet, and court boullion.

For most purposes, you see brown stock, and white stock. (Fish stock is very similar to white stock, just a shorter cooking time, and court boullion is a poaching liquid, not a stock proper.)

White stock is anything made from unroasted bones that comes out with a light color—chicken stock is what most people think of, but in truth it can be from veal bones, pork, lamb, whatever your kitchen furnishes.

Brown stock is made from roasted bones, and tomato product is added to the stock during cooking as well. Typically, brown stock is a beef or veal stock, but again, as with white stocks, you find everything from brown chicken stock to brown pork stock.

My project in the kitchen today is brown beef stock, preparing for my family's thanksgiving dinner (For which I am cooking a not-so-steampunk dish, "Naughty Red Braised Short Ribs of Beef.")

Mirepoix and Parsley
A general rule for stock is this:

To yield 1 gallon/3.8 liters

5 lb (2.5 kg) bones
1 lb (500 g) mirepoix (1/2 lb onion, 1/4 lb carrot for brown, leek for white, 1/4 lb celery)
1.5 (5.75 l) gal water
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp (1.25 ml) peppercorns
8 parsley stems
8 oz (250 g) tomato product (brown stock only)

Chicken stock will produce a foam
that needs to be skimmed off.
For White stock, you simply start with the bones in your stockpot, and add cold water. Bring it to a boil, and skim off all the scum that rises to the top, then add the mirepoix and herbs. Simmer for 4-6 hours for chicken, then strain through cheesecloth and chill.

For Brown stock, you begin by roasting the bones at 425°F/218°C/Gas Mark 7 for 1 hour, then turn the heat down to 325°F/162°C/Gas Mark 3 for 2 more hours.

Once they are roasted, remove them from the roasting pan and reserve a small amount of the fat from the pan. Place the bones in your stockpot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Skim what scum rises.

Roasted bones in water
Meanwhile, place your mirepoix in the roasting pan with the reserved fat, toss them together, and roast in the oven until browned. Add the mirepoix, herbs, and tomato product to the stockpot, and reduce to a simmer. Take some of the liquid from the pot, deglaze the roasting pan, and return all that to the pot as well.

Simmer for 8-10 hours, minimum, and then strain through cheesecloth and chill.


  1. If only I had better luck in the kitchen! I'm not allowed to touch anything in them, haha. But I know who I'll be shoving this at...

  2. Hey now. Kitchen skills can be developed and learned.


Your opinions and comments always are welcomed, but do be civil... this isn't a kitchen, after all.