- Written by Rob Galloway
Using a well made stock as the flavor base for cooking is essential and will lift the food you prepare to the next level. Trust me store bought "stock" is no substitute for the hand crafted liquid culinary gold which you can create in your own kitchen , whether it be at home or in a restaurant.
In its essence a well made stock is a clear liquid lavoured by the ingredients used to create it, which if chilled will often thicken due to the gelatin extracted from bones. The ingredients used to make a great stock are almost always bones, Mirepoix, herbs, and spices with vegetable stock being the notable exception.
We show you how to make seven classic stocks which are foundation building blocks for dishes with fantastic flavour.
Technically Chicken stock is just a white stock or a brown stock made with chicken bones inplace of veal or other bones. Having said this chicken stock is probably the most commonly called for out of all stocks and cooking times are much less than other stocks so I have mentioned it seperately. My favourite chicken stock recipe takes on the flavours of the chicken along and the Mirepoix but does not have any other overpowering flavours, making it ideal for use as a base for sauces, braises, soups, and glazes.
White stock is made from un-roasted bones to ensure that it remains clear with little or no colour whilst still containing the full flavour and body imparted from the bones and vegetables used to make it. My favourite white stock recipe produces a full bodied, clear liquid which is ideal for use as the base for sauces such as Veloute and its derivatives such as white wine sauce.
Brown stocks are made in a very similar way to white stocks with the main difference being that the bones and the Mirepoix are browned before they are added to the stockpot. My favourite brown stock recipe is made from veal bones which impart a milder flavour and a thicker consistency than beef bones. This milder flavor makes the stock more versatile and allows it to be used in a wider range of dishes.
A well made fish stock is in my view the perfect foundation for a good fish soup and is quick and simple to make , probably the hardest part is finding the right fish bones to make your stock with . A basic fish stock is made in a very similar manner to any other white stock but with a much shorter cooking time than even Chicken stock. My favourite fish stock recipe produces a mild flavoured, gelatinous clear liquid which is fantastic as the foundation for your seafood dishes.
Fish Fumet and fish stock are often talked about as though they are the same thing, probably because fumet is very commonly used
Japanese Fish stock or Dashi