17 September, 2008

Live from Sausage Week: Making Stock

Three whole chickens

What? You didn't know it was Sausage Week? Well, 'round here it is, and I will try my hardest to keep you updated on all the excitement. Right now, maybe not so exciting, I just finished prepping some chicken.

Three whole chickens boned

The Chicken is for sausage the bones are for stock.

Sweating the vegetables

First I sweat (no color! says Chef)the vegetables in a little butter. the vegetables (or mirepoix) 50% Onion, diced, 25% carrot diced and 25% celery diced. The total weight of the vegetables should be about 25% of the weight of the bones (i.e. 4lbs bones, 1lb vegetables). That's just to give you an idea of proportions, I don't do any weighing I just chop up whatever I have laying around. Once the vegetables are softened, throw in the bones, and add enough cold water to just cover the bones.

Thyme and Bay

Next we need some herbs. Fresh Thyme, Fresh bay, and parsley stems. These could be tied up into what the pros call a Bouquet Garni, but since I am going to strain the stock there is no need to hassle with the twine.

Chopped parsley

With the stems in the pot, I got all this chopped parsley for my sausage. Don't you hate it when you are trying to garnish something with fresh chopped parsley and it all sticks to your fingers? Here's what you do:

Rinsing and wringing chopped parsley in muslin

Use cheesecloth or a tea towel or unbleached muslin bought at JoAnn's, and wrap up the wet chopped parsley. Rinse it under cold water then twist and squeeze.

Chopped and dried parsley

Hey Presto, dry chopped parsley. You can even freeze this stuff.

Now my stock is boiling. I throw in a few of cloves of garlic, crushed but not peeled, and maybe a tablespoon of whole black peppercorns. Simmer for at least three hours, try for four. After that I will strain it, chill it, then skim of the fat. But that's later, I gotta go make the sausage now.


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