Emmanuel Stroobant, a Grand Chef of luxury hotels and restaurants association Relais & Châteaux and chef-owner of Michelin-starred Saint Pierre in Singapore expounds: “A good stock is the soul and building foundation of any sauce. It also plays an important role for base flavour, braising liquid and seasoning. It is the essence of classic French cooking and all great chefs are first great sauciers!”
Though stocks can be made from any number of vegetables and meats, nothing quite encapsulates the soul of French cuisine as well
The trick to good stock, he says, is low and slow. “It is simple, but a good stock requires time and attention to reduce, develop and gradually increase in flavour. At home, I simply allow the stock to slowly reduce overnight for a more intense flavour, and it also makes my house smell really nice in the morning.”
Once you’ve made a big batch of this stock, chef Emmanuel recommends freezing it in small individual packages (try ice cube trays) because they keep well in the freezer for a long time and you only need a small amount each time for sauces or seasoning.
100ml vegetable oil
6kg veal bones
6 tbsp tomato paste
7 large carrots, peeled and cubed (about 3cm)
5 large onions, peeled and cubed (about 3cm)
2 bulbs garlic, peeled and crushed
7 stalks celery, peeled and cut into 3cm lengths
3 leeks, peeled and cut into 3cm lengths
6 litres cold water
2 tsp black peppercorn, whole
25g fresh thyme
4 bay leaves
50g fresh parsley
700ml red wine
1. Preheat oven to 225°C. Toss veal bones with vegetable oil. Roast on a roasting tray for 45-60 minutes or until the bones turn brown on all sides.
2. Add the tomato paste, carrots, onions, garlic, celery and leek, and turn the bones half way through. Roast for another 15 minutes. Discard the excess oil from the roasting tray.
3. Remove the bones and vegetables from the roasting tray and place them in a stock pot.
4. Place the tray over medium-high heat and deglaze the roasting tray with red wine. Scrape off the bits from the bottom of the tray and move it around to help the wine reduce.
5. Once the wine has reduced to a syrup consistency, pour into the stock pot.
6. Add cold water to cover the bones and vegetables by at least 5cm. Simmer for approximately 8 to 10 hours in a slow cooker, skimming and adding more cold water to ensure the bones remain submerged in water.
7. 30 minutes before the stock is finished, add black peppercorn, thyme, bay leaves and parsley.
8. Strain and use, or store in smaller batches in the freezer.