Tuesday 17 January 2012

Talking Stock

There is an archaeological connection in this holiday edition late-night post. Read on...

After yesterday's day of remembrance, I'm carrying on with one of my favorite things to do on days when I have nothing else to do but contemplate the (often abominable) ways of the world. I'm making stock. Soup stock. Broth. From the briney bird I cooked yesterday and a dozen or so drumsticks I picked up cheap and [burp] consumed last weekend. 
     Anybody else like making their own chicken stock? It's a lot like archaeology. Honest! Archaeologists use old stuff (like chicken bones and old, rubbery carrots and sprouting onions) to concoct intellectually satisfying theories (sorta like gastronomically satisfying mirepoixes [ya haveta pronounce it meer-uh-pwozzies to rhyme with 'theories'])! [Can you believe how much of a reach that was, and I still couldn't forbear putting it up on SA? We'll pause for a moment while I regain your composure.]

If you do make your own soup stock, you HAVE TO try roasting the bones first, with coarse-chopped onions and carrots, in a moderate oven, for about an hour and a half to two hours, until the three ingredients are nice and brown. Don't let them burn! It'll ruin the experiment right then and there.
     Once you have the stock base out of the oven, proceed as you normally would. This time it'll turn out a rich brown colour and smell wonderfuller than if you started with plain cooked bones.
     Remember, SA says that your stock will be far less cloudy if you never let it boil, but rather let it come to simmer slowly. Don't be in a hurry. Expect to have the pot on the stove for at least 8 hours. Top it up if the water level drops more than about 1 cm. 

I'm certain that Martin would've more than approved.

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