Friday, November 16, 2012

Time to make the stock

Thanksgiving approaches, and one of the most important ingredients I must have is stock -- good, rich, homemade turkey stock.

It's the week before the big dinner.  I bought a couple turkey wings and a turkey neck at Giunta's in Reading Terminal Market.  

I filmed an 8-qt stockpot with some peanut oil, added the turkey parts, a couple carrtos, a rib of celery, and a halved, unpeeled onion.  Roasted the meat and veggies at 350°F for about an hour, until the meat was browned.  This is my shortcut -- I just roast the meat in the same pot in which I'm going to make the stock.  All the browned bits and meat juices are captured, and only one thing to clean up. 

You absolutely can make the stock with unbrowned (raw) meat.  The result will be delicious, too, though much lighter in color than this version.  I'm fond of more darkly colored and flavored stocks, even poultry stocks, which are more typically done with raw, rather than roasted, meat.  The vegetables roasted along with the meat add a lot of flavor and color to the stock.  Beef stock is almost always made with roasted beef and beef bones.

Covered the roasted bits with about 10 cups of water, added a couple bay leaves, a generous bunch of parsley, stems and leaves, a teaspoon of dried thyme, and a few garlic cloves, unpeeled and cut in half.  Brought the pot to a boil, lowered the heat to a bare simmer, then let it simmer for about 2 hours, partly covered.  Turned off the heat, and let it sit several hours to cool.  Strained it into a container, and refrigerated it. 

I do NOT season the stock at this point, preferring to season the dish that I'm going to use it in -- the stuffing, the gravy, or as liquid to baste the turkey.  

This is the best, richest, homemade stock ever. 

 Roasted turkey wings and neck, with onion, carrot, celery,
covered with water, and ready to simmer.

Added a couple bay leaves, garlic cloves, parsley, and a teaspoon of dried thyme.
Simmered two hours, then let sit until cooled. 
Strained, and refrigerated.

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