Brown Stock (using Escoffier Method)

Today I am having a go at the Escoffier brown stock recipe ( estouffade). This brown cooking stock is realised in 2 stages. The beef bones are first cooked to create a bone broth. the broth is then used to moisten and cook the fresh pieces of meat creating the final product known as the brown stock (Estouffade). Because of this layering of flavours that particular stock has got a real mouthful feel and an intense beefy flavour.

However it is important to note that this is not a sauce, which means that no salt or pepper is added. A brown stock is made to be used as a base to build upon and create all kinds of French sauces.

  • 1 kg of pieces of beef and veal Knuckles, chin or any stewing beef pieces
  • 1 small ham knuckle
  • 150g fresh pork rind, blanched
  • 2.5 kilos of beef bones (ask you butcher to chopped them in chucks)
  • 150g of carrots, (roughly diced)
  • 150g of onion, (roughly diced)
  • 5 fresh parsley stokes
  • 3 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 3 whole, fresh bay leaves
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 4 litres water ( plus 1 litre extra for top up during simmering process)

Should give you around 2 litre of brown stock ( 4 cups)

Instructions adjusted for home cooking: (translated from the French version of  Escoffier “Le Guide culinaire second edition”)

  1. Bone out the meats. Break the bones small and lightly brown them in the oven.
  2. add the carrot and onion to the bones and colour slightly..
  3. Prepare the broth by placing the “roasted” bones, vegetables, Bouquet garni and garlic into a stockpot, add the cold water, bring to the boil, skim and simmer very gently for at least 6 hours keeping the liquid at the same level throughout this time by adding boiling water as required.
  4. Cut the meat into very large dice, fry brown in hot fat and place in a pan.
  5. Cover with some of the prepared stock and boil until it is reduced to a glaze; repeat this process two or three  times.  (warning! each glaze can take up to 20 minutes)
  6. Add the remainder of the bone broth, bring to the boil, skim to remove all fat and allow to simmer gently until all the flavour has been extracted from the meat. Pass through a strainer and reserve for use.

Note: When preparing brown stock which includes bones, especially those from beef, it is recommended that the procedure should be in accordance with the above recipe by first preparing a stock from the bones, simmering it gently for 5 to 6 hours and using it as the liquid for moistening the meats.

It is incorrect to place all the ingredients in the stockpot and fry them together in fat before adding the water as there will be a danger of over-colouring the ingredients thus spoiling the flavour of the stock. In practice the principle of diffusion is sufficient in itself to colour the stock; this is the most natural and suitable method of obtaining the required colour.

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