38 Wonderful responses to “Blymire’s Veal Stock”

  • hollerhither

    Rock on, Carol! A truly great blog.

    I tried the “Elements” veal stock recipe but didn’t get it to jell. I didn’t get the bones cut small enough, and therefore probably used too much water to cover — do you think that is a likely theory? Still, the results are tasty, and I can always reduce it more in small quantities.

    I also made a chicken stock with roasted drumsticks and necks, and threw some feet into the pot for good measure. Now, *that* jelled beautifully, thanks to the feet, I guess.

  • Vincent

    She’s great and so is her patience in the kitchen. I’ll bet her hubby was pissed when he saw all the ice (obviously from the ice maker) in the sink, though, hehe.

  • Andy

    I was quite impressed with her creation. I have never made a stock before (I know, I need to try), but hers looked great.

  • milo

    So what do you ask the butcher for? Just say “Hey, I want to make stock, could you sell me some good bones for that?” I assume the bones are just the leftover odd bits people don’t generally want, and it doesn’t matter which bits those are?

    And how much meat should be on the bones? Does it need to be much, or mainly bones? I would feel weird throwing away much meat (I assume all the meat bits and veggies aren’t fit for eating after making stock?).

    And do people usually use fresh bones for stock, or is it OK to use bones leftover from bone-in meat cooking/eating?

    I’m especially curious about with chicken, would it work to cook a chicken (roast, grill, whatever), cut the meat off the bones and eat it, then use the bones for stock? Or do people boil up chickens or chicken parts with the meat still on for stock?

    Sorry for all the newbie questions. I’ve never made stock and it interests me but also intimidates me.

  • sailing chef

    milo…I’ve always use chicken wings for my chicken stock. Lots of collogen and connective tissue which give the stock its body and that gelatin-like wiggle when chilled. Dive in, you will not regret it!

  • The Culinary Sherpas

    Whoa. My head is spinning.
    Milo and Amber, it’s stock. It’s gonna be okay.
    Milo, I make great stock from roasted-eaten chicken carcasses. In fact, I make Keller’s Bouchon roasted chicken (although I slather my chicken with the dijon AND use it for dipping).

    Chicken Stock For Beginners
    (roughly 4 cups)
    1 Chicken Carcass
    1 sweet small onion (cut in ½, leave skins on)
    3 celery stalks, leaves and all
    3 carrots, skin on
    1 Leek, cleaned well and chopped
    1 Bay leaf

    Throw everything into a large pot. Fill with water, about 1 ½ inches over carcass and veggies. Bring to a simmer for about 4 hours. Shut heat. Skim fat (oily pockets on the surface of stock). Strain all liquid in a fine strainer, discarding all solids. Store in fridge or freezer.

    Sometimes, I forget I am making stock and it cooks for much longer. This only concentrates the flavor. Note the absence of salt and pepper. That’s for a reason.
    My stock is certainly not as refined as Ruhlman or Keller would instruct, but alas, I am just the cook of my dog and pony show.

  • ruhlman

    holler hither-your stock didn’t gel because there was too much water relative to the bones, you didn’t cook it long enough for the bones to give up their collagen (which results in gelatin). and some bones have more collagen than others.

    to answer other general questions (and i am certainly on the side of the sherpas who bung it all in a pot and cook it for hours and strain–it really is that simple).

    A lot of this is common sense. Can you use bones from a roasted carcass? well, sometimes we roast the bones to make stock so it should follow that you can use the carcass of something you’ve roasted. i almost never throw out the carcass of a roasted chicken–that’s a quartof delicious stock right there.

    for veal stock: ask the butcher for 3 pounds or whatever of meaty veal bones for stock–the more joints the better. they sell veal breast at my grocery store and i will get one of those and hack the bones into 3 inch pieces. bones are for body meat is for flavor. if you don’t think you have enough meat on your bones, add some meat, there’s no special muscle that you only use for stock. just don’t use expensive stuff.

    vegetables don’t need to cook more than an hour in stock and they start to fragment and soak up your stock so you have less of it when you strain.

    I tend to just put the pot in a 180 degree oven and forget about, then add the vegetables and hour before i want to strain it.

    I write about stock in this post, in addition to the veal stock link in the post.

  • Graeme

    On the veal stock:
    Your best bet for bones is knuckles and joints. The bendy bits of the calf are covered with collagen rich tissues. Also, they are usually cut with a good amount of marrow bones left attached which adds greatly to the flavour of your stock.

    Chicken stock:
    At home, I use the carcass from my roasted chicken. But I have made “emergency Sunday” stocks at the restaurant. Since we can’t get carcasses delivered on Sundays, we’ll get a couple whole chickens, and poach them whole. The stock (technically a broth) is quite richly flavoured, and while the chicken is not quite up to “serve alone” standards, is does make for an excellent chicken salad. Sometimes, we’d run out of stock on purpose just to have the sandwiches for dinner.

  • beaniegrrl

    I have to say you’ve made me a French Laundry At Home (FLAH) junkie. So thanks for that.

    Woohoo! And I got Elements for my birthday on Friday. Yay for me!

  • ntsc

    Never buy a cut up chicken and try to avoid buying chicken parts, unless you really need a lot of breasts. And maybe even then.

    Buy whole chickens and cut them up. Put the wing tips, the necks, and the backs in a baggie and freeze. Freeze the turkey carcass, freeze the game hen carcass. If you have a frozen chicken, let it thaw, butcher it, put the parts in a little water bring to boil, freeze.

    Every now and then take all of your frozen carcii, put in large stock pot, cover with cold water (don’t cook with hot water from your plumbing, it may have more lead) and put on stove on very low heat.

    You may be lucky enough to live near a market which sells chicken backs. Or our supermarket had a loss leader of hind quarters with backs for $0.49/lb.

    My big stock pots won’f fit in the oven so I’ve never tried that.

    The save the bone techniques work with beef, just we don’t get that many boned beef roasts. A local store sells some sort of beef back rib at under a dollar a pound.

    If you are into pressure canning, stock cans quickly and easily. Use wide mouthed pints and jars which don’t seal can be frozen.

    We undersalt the stock, but we do salt it, and we do this when we add the vegetables. By an hour later the salt is where we want it. This takes practice.

    When we do stock in the winter, we may use a snow drift in lieu of ice, but normally I buy 40-50 lbs of it for cooling. Your refrigerator will not cool the stock over night, but getting it cold overnight does cause the fat to solidify and it will come out in large pieces.

  • milo

    Thanks for the info.

    With the pot in the oven method, is that with or without lid?

    What’s the ballpark price range for veal bones? What about beef bones?

    I realize that beef bones give you a completely different stock, useful for different things – is it still worth doing if you have beef bones?

  • hollerhither

    Thank you, ruhlman. I had the veal stock in the oven for hours and hours (per your recipe), so it must have been the quantity of water. Live and learn.

    We are lucky enough to have a local market where the butcher is happy to sell leftover veal bones, including knuckles; I cleaned him out. Just have to ask him to hack them up a bit more for me next time.

    Good tip on adding the vegetables later in the process…will do.

  • e. nassar

    Veal stock is amazing stuff and I do make it every so often. I do not make it more for ethical reasons and am not sure I will be making it again, sad as that is. Veal, traditional veal, is ‘raised’ in a miserable, confined and inhumane way. I never order veal anymore because of that and like I said earlier I hardly ever make veal stock. It’s not that it is cute, or has doe eyes, it’s the way it is treated before it gets slaughtered that is objectionable. After all rabbits are cute and I love me some bunny. Sure, you can in theory get grass fed veal, but for a very high price and you certainly have to special order it…probably online…is it worth it? I have no idea.

    My 2 cents

  • Elizabeth

    I posted a reply to E. Nassar’s comment on Carole’s blog, but I don’t know if it’s showing yet.

    Basically, grass fed veal is not veal at all. Julia Child calls the naturally raised or free-range veal “baby beef.” They cannot be fed on grass or else the flesh will be darker than the creamy pink that milk or formula fed veal develops.

    If you support the notion of humanely treated cows, how can you justify the consumption of veal?

  • edsel

    Eli, grass-fed veal is a bit harder to find, but it’s worth it (for ethical reasons) IMO. Elizabeth is right that the grass-fed stuff is different from factory-raised veal. The meat is darker pink, for one thing, and the flavor isn’t exactly the same. Still, the grass-fed stuff works very nicely for stock.

    I buy humanely-raised, grass-fed veal from farmers who sell at the North Union Farmers Market in Cleveland Heights, near where Ruhlman lives. Maybe we could persuade him to make some stock from the humanely-raised stuff and see what he thinks of it.

  • Chris

    Bobolink Dairy at just ended a sale on suckled veal. I haven’t made veal stock yet but produced about a gallon of beef stock out of 5 lbs of bones and 2 lbs of ox tails. I will have to use the ice bath method in the fall when I make stock again.

  • Russ

    Michael: I was wondering…I thought you wrote in one of your previous books that simmering aromats for more than an hour produced nasty flavors due to acids that are leeched out. Please clarify…I love that double entendre!

  • chadzilla

    It’s good to see a reference to remouillage in the home kitchen. We always ran a re-wetting of the bones back in the day, and I always heard my chef refer to the remouillage (although I could not find a literary reference to it… and there was no internet). We used shortened names like demi and remi to refer to the 2 versions of veal stock. The remi was used for soups and cooking rices or other dishes while the demi went mostly into sauces. It’s an economical thing to do.

  • Vincent

    Cooling stocks is tricky at home. I have always used food chiller tubes professionally – but they are a little big for 2 quarts of stock. When I make stock at home I prep a cooling bag the day before. I fill a large (1 gallon) zip top freezer bag halfway with water and freeze it solid. I then open and reseal with all the air out, put it in another zip bag, take out the air and seal, and repeat this twice more (4 bags total). When the stock is done I toss the ice bag in the pot and it cools it much faster than from the outside in, allowing sink space, less money on ice and most importantly the least amount of time in the “danger” zone of temperature when cooling foods before storage.

    It is most important to get as much air as possible out of the bags, otherwise you have a floater and the cold will insulate inside the bags.

  • Dan

    Since we’re asking stock questions, are there any special concerns doing pork stock? I’ve got 1 bone from a roasted pork shoulder sitting in my freezer, and will probably have an assortment of bones from another pork shoulder and pork dishes I’ve been waiting to try. I’m guessing it’s more or less the same as doing any other stock?

  • Doodad


    Wort chillers available from homebrew shops do the trick. Hooks to your sink and I run the supply through and ice bath before the copper tube that is sitting in the stockpot.

    Cools five gallons of boiling liquid in less than a half hour.

  • NYCook

    Ruhlman, I was curious to know your thoughts about Marco Piere Whites view on Veal stock. In reading his book, devil in the kitchen, I was very suprised to find out he doesn’t use veal stock at all in ANY of his cooking any more. He says it masks the flavor of the food. He is a big proponent of natural juices. He would roast 30 chickens a day with weights on them just for the juice and throw them away or use them for family when he was done. Three star michelin chef who cooks extremly classic french food who uses no veal stock. What are your thoughts. By the way if anyone hasn’t read the book it is a must read.

  • ruhlman

    nycook, it doesn’t mask the flavor of food. roasting 30 chickens a day for the juice sounds like a lunatic idea. but i don’t disagree that chefs of his caliber or say jean-georges can get by just fine without veal stock. they’re really good good cooks. what’s so great about veal stock is that it stands to seriously elevate the caliber of the home cook’s dishes.

    Here’s amazon link to Devil in the Kitchen, out in paper next month.

  • Bob delGrosso

    NY Cook

    “roast 30 chickens a day with weights on them just for the juice and throw them away”

    One of the great things about veal stock is that it is parsimonious and uses up stuff that might otherwise be thrown away. Using the juice from a roast to make a sauce is parsimonious too but roasting chickens, taking off the juices and tossing the carcasses is so wrong on so many levels it makes my teeth hurt. That’s the kind of stuff that got the French aristocracy decapitated in the 18th century.

    I’d love to see what an old school chef like Escoffier or Fernand Point, or Bocuse would do with a cook who did that.

    Wow, I hope you misread that book. I doubt it, but I can hope.

  • Natalie Sztern

    I know this is a bit off topic but does it matter in the taste if the veal has been milk fed vs grain fed…or is that just a marketing tool too…cause in montreal there is a great emphasis on milk fed veal as if it is the creme of veals (no joke meant)

  • ruhlman

    natalie, i’d be very surprised if even the most discerning palate could tell the difference in the stock. if you mean the meat, then i imagine there is a difference.

  • Bob delGrosso

    I agree with Ruhlman, and will go one step further and suggest that anyone who claims to be able to tell the difference in flavor between stock made from bones from milk fed veal and stock made from grass or grain fed is full of bouillon. There are however, major differences between the meat of milk fed and grain-fed and pastured veal. And milk fed confined veal is even more different than the others -and much creepier.

  • NYCook

    Hey I know it’s crazy and he even admits it as being excessive but thats why he is who he is. Who am I to argue, I’m a poor line cook and he’s the youngest dude ever with three stars, who has an empire to run. I do agree with you delGroso as a cook just hearing about that kind of waste makes me crazy but, in his defense after further review of that passage he says the chickens were to dry to serve to customers, but still 30….?

  • Vincent

    Doodad – thanks man…I was in Dallas today and picked one up after I read your post. Great idea.

    NY Cook – I think you misread. I’ll check my copy but that sounds ridiculous.

  • Bob delGrosso

    NY Cook
    As long as you can get the backing, it’s not that difficult to create food that the public and critics will love if you use extremely expensive ingredients and spend 10X more man-hours working the food and dining room than anyone else. But to cook well, and garner praise by using ordinary ingredients and without having to put 3 cooks on every plate is a truly great accomplishment, I believe.

    All cooks, even line cooks, have to decide which path they are going to walk. Do we want to model ourselves after the example of Marco Pierre White or would we like to emulate say, Alice Waters or Fernand Point?

  • Mal Carne

    Natalie, it’s been my experience (granted it’s been nearly 10 years since I stopped cooking veal) that the milk fed is a superior product in color, texture, and flavor. The “baby beef” is certainly more tender and has a more delicate flavor than it’s adult counterpart, but it is significantly more “beefy” in it’s reddish coloring and flavor than milk fed veal.

  • Linda

    I’m an Alice Waters kind of person…. I like sustainable… and I think there is a place for veal stock in cooking, depending on what a person is making. I love to make veal stock, and I really love to reduce it and reduce it and when it’s really thick and salty I freeze it in ice cube trays to toss into future delectable delights.

    Every chicken we eat becomes stock….and duck and turkey and I even turn ham and pork and lamb bones into stock for dishes that are made with that kind of meat like a split pea and ham soup or a black bean feijoada or a lamb and white bean soup and the possibilities are endless.

  • Nessa

    Wow, my first time stumbling across this blog, what fabulous info. As a general food porn/foodie/whatever you want to call it I make my own stock too, and what a difference in makes in everything. Like some of you I also toss mine into ice cube trays for easy reach – and have tried my hand and demi glace too from said stock.

    I wanted to throw out a comment about stock recipes though. For some time and with reasonable sucess I have kept a ‘stock bag’ in my freezer. Generically, one for chicken and one for beef. The chicken one seems to fill up more quickly as bone in chicken seems more common fare. But..a simple plastic bag in my freezer is where the ends of chopped onions, shallots, celery leaves, all manor of chicken and duck bones end up. On ‘stock day’ I will study the contents of said bag, decide if I need more onion or more carrot or what not and then separate the bones from the vegetables for a pan roasting before they bubble away in my stock pot.

    The frozen vegetables coupled with fresh herbs from the garden produce a fine result, I assure you. Also, I like this method, as a home cook its reassuring to know that I am saving all those ‘lovely bones’

  • Pulled pork

    Regarding the Elements recipe for veal stock. When the pot is in the oven, is it covered or uncovered?

    I always did the stock stove top uncovered. What is your reasoning behind oven cooking method for the home cook?

    Love your books and blog. Thank you for sharing.

  • Pulled pork

    I found the recipe on your blog with cover info. Please disregard previous posting question.