Veal Stock and Demi Glace

Is stock or demi really very hard to make?

No.

The toughest part of making any stock or sauce is TIME. But it is worth it. The uses are vast and the satisfaction is inspiring. Regarding ingredients, there are definitely better quality bones and vegetables to use, but for the most part, it is a great way to benefit from leftovers.

Recently I cooked a dinner in which we served veal chops off the bone. So I froze the bones (in which would have made a great BBQ Veal Rib) in effort to make stock and eventually demi-glace.

Here is what I used:

Approximately 5 lbs of rib bones (shanks are great to use)

4 Carrots, rinsed and chopped

1 large Yellow Onion. chopped

2 Leeks, rinsed and chopped

2 Celery stalks, rinsed and chopped

Bouquet Garni: bay leaves, peppercorns,thyme and tarragon

1-1/2 cups pureed, Sun-dried Tomatoes

3/4 cup of Flour

2 tablespoons Grape-seed oil

Method:

Turn your oven on – 400˚ Bake or 375˚ Convection

 

 

Using the turkey roasting pan over a medium heat on the stove top, heat it for a few minutes. Then add the grape seed oil followed by the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes. Glaze the bones with the tomato puree, place them over the vegetables and dust with flour. Place the roasting pan into the oven.

After about 10 minutes, use a spatula and turn the bones. Cook until they brown (not burnt) all over. Use a pitcher to fill the pan with enough cold water to cover the bones. Turn the oven down to 275˚and cook for at least 6 hours (you could also use the stove top at this stage). This will reduce the liquid to about 1/3-1/2 its original volume and extract flavor from the bones.

Carefully remove pan from oven. Using a fine strainer or cheese cloth in a colander, strain the liquid into a container. Skim off any fat with a ladle or use the grease separating measuring cup.  At this stage you have a nice veal stock.

For demi glaze, measure the quantity of stock that you have. Then measure 1/4 of the stock volume in red wine. Place the wine into a pot, with a peeled shallot and two bay leaves, over a high heat and reduce about half its volume. Add your stock and turn the heat to simmer. You want to reduce this stock/wine mixture to the point where it begins to thicken but not become syrup. Skim off any additional fat and strain into small containers allowing to cool to room temperature before you refrigerate or freeze.

Great to add to a pasta, chops, steak and a poultry braise or saute.

 

Masala with Green Lentils

Vegetarians beware!

This is a classic indian dish in name only. I sautéed red onion, pears with bacon and masala sauce and served it over lentils with brown rice*. YUM!

The spice in the sauce neutralized with the sweet pear.

Quantity for 4-6

Ingredients:

1  cup Green Lentils, soaked and remove the floaters then drain

1 Tsp salt

1 cup Brown Rice

1 quart vegetable stock

4 Tablespoons grape seed or canola oil (2 for rice 2 for saute)

1  red onion, peeled and cut – small dice

12 ounces bacon, cut into 1″ pieces

3 pears, peel, core and cut in small cubes

juice from 1 Lemon

2 Tsp Garam Masala

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 Tsp salt

1/3 cup Coconut Milk

3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste (or puree reconstituted Sun Dried Tomatoes)

2 Tablespoon Cilantro, clean, dry and chop

Method:

Place soaked lentils in a pot and cover with enough cold water to cover them. Add the tsp of salt, place pot over a high heat and bring to a boil for 10 minutes then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft.

In another pot, add veg stock and 6 cups of water, cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Remove lid then add 2 tablespoons olive oil and rice and allow to boil for 25 minutes. Drain in a colander and return rice to pot, cover with the lid and simmer for 10 minutes or until if becomes fluffy when tested with a fork.

In a large saute over a medium to high heat, add 2 Tablespoon of grape seed oil, heat for 30 seconds then add bacon and onion. Cook for 8 minutes or until the onion begins to caramelize. Add pears and cook for 5 minutes occasionally stirring. Stir in Garam Masala, cayenne,and salt. After a minute add 1/4 cup water, tomato paste and coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes them add lemon juice. Serve over rice and lentil and top with cilantro.

Enjoy!

*The cheat is to use a packaged Brown Rice & Lentils, which is great for the 30 Minutes Meal

Dream Kitchen turns to Nightmare

When you look through magazines or walk into a kitchen designer’s showroom you may get inspired by wonderful displays and amazing appliances.

So the seed gets planted and you begin to imagine your kitchen transformed from ‘Drab to Fab’ (to borrow an overused phrase).

But here are a few things to consider regarding a new kitchen:

Utilities– do you have enough power for what you want?

Cabinets– millions of designs, colors, quality, are you going to have enough storage space?

Kitchen Demolition– this can lead to more expenses and delays than you realize

Lighting – choose style or function?

Ventilation– Do you still smell the fish you cooked 3 days ago lingering in your house?

Flooring– Hopefully it is strong enough to hold the weight of that new Refrigerator

Sinks and faucets– This should be an easy choice (but it isn’t)

Appliances– if you haven’t been to a retail store or gone online to look at these, it is like choosing what to wear to a party that you don’t know is casual or formal

That only touches on a few considerations. What about selecting a contractor?

Confusion

 

Yes, it’s a nightmare.

Keep in mind those wonderful showrooms and magazine photos have been put together with a lot of talent, time and money.

If you have it or can hire it – fantastic. If not follow the KISS rule.

Remembering to keep it simple stupid to avoid the anxiety attack.

This is achievable

In the future I will add some client experiences and ask a few experts to share their advice.

If you have some please share.