Easy Turkey Stock

I love making stock. Why? It’s the smell (as Agent Smith would say). I love the way it fills the whole house. I ended up simmering it about 15 hours total. I also let it simmer with the aromatic vegetables for the last 3 of the hours.

Easy Turkey Stock

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 large turkey drumsticks
  • 2 large turkey wings
  • 2 spanish onion, sliced
  • 4 carrots, cut in pieces
  • 4 ribs celery cut in pieces
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns, cracked beneath a pan or with mortar and pestle
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • fresh parsley and thyme (optional)

METHOD:

  1. Roast the turkey (you should have 5 or 6 pounds/2 or 3 kilos) in hot oven till it looks delicious (see donna pix above). Put them in a big pot and cover them completely with water, 3 to 4 quarts/liters. Turn your oven to 180 or 200 degrees F/80 or 90 degrees C. When the water comes to a boil, put the pot in the oven for 8 hours or over night.

  2. Add the remaining ingredients (if you don’t have enough room, remove the turkey, it will have cooked out by now). Bring to a simmer, then reduce temperature to low, and cook for another hour. Strain into a clean pot. Cool, then refrigerate.

  3. Discard fat that’s congealed on top. Reduce to 1-1/2 to 2 quarts/liters before making gravy.

Basic Brown Veal Stock

Have you ever wondered why your meat dishes and stews taste like crap? You know the ones I mean? The ones were the recipes call for beef stock or beef broth? It’s not because you’re a bad cook. (Well, you might be, but in that case everything you make tastes like crap.) It’s because you’re using that crappy store bought stuff. The stock is the base of dish, so if your base is crap, then the dish will be crap too.

The solution is very simple. Make your own veal stock.

Basic Brown Veal Stock from The Elements of Cooking by Michael Ruhlman.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 lbs meaty veal bones and joints (knuckles, breast, shank), cut into 3- to 4-inch pieces
  • 4 large carrot, peeled
  • 4 ribs celery
  • 2 large onion, peeled
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns, cracked
  • 5 stems thyme
  • 5 stems parsley
  • 2 bay leaf

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F and lightly oil two large sheet or roasting pans. Place the pans in the oven. When the oven and the pans are hot, remove them, and place the meat and bones on them. Make sure they’re spread out so they brown as evenly as possible. Roast them for 30 minutes, then turn them and continue roasting for another 15 minutes or until they’re appealingly golden brown and smell delicious.

  2. Place the bones in a stock pot. Pour off the fat from the pans, add a couple of cups of water to the pans, place them over high heat, and scrape the brown bits stuck to the pan. Taste this liquid. Sometimes the juices from the bones can burn and make this deglazing liquid bitter – if it’s bitter, don’t use it. If it tastes good (its flavor will be much milder than its deep color will indicate), add this liquid to the stock pot, then continue to add enough cold water to cover the bones by a couple of inches, about 10 quarts. Bring the water to a simmer, skimming the surface of any fat and impurities that rise. Place the stock pot in the oven and heat it to between 180 degrees and 200 degrees F. Let the stock cook for at least 8 hours and up to 12 hours.

  3. Meanwhile, clean and roughly chop your vegetables. When the bones have cooked for 8 to 10 hours, remove the stock pot from the oven. Add the remaining ingredients. (For an even deeper, richer stock, roast the vegetables and tomato paste till they are slightly caramelized, and then add them to the stock.) Bring the pot back up to a simmer, skimming as necessary, then return the pot to the oven for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  4. Strain the stock through a colander or strainer as soon as it’s out of the oven. Strain the stock a second time through a kitchen cloth. Refrigerate the stock. Remove and discard the congealed fat on the top of the stock. Use within a week or freeze as necessary.