Monday, May 09, 2022

My Stock Picks Have Been Terrible Lately

 ... and by that, I mean my ingredients for Louisiana Brown Stock. I've been making the same mistake for years and I didn't realize it until this weekend.

The first step is to brown your bones and meat tidbits in the oven. I'm sure you've detected the error already.

My recipe, pulled from Terry Thompson's incomparable Cajun-Creole Cooking, calls for twelve pounds of beef and veal bones, along with five pigs' feet, split. I don't have ready access to veal, so I've been substituting pork all this time, doing it about 50-50 with the beef. What a dope!

Wife kitteh made an offhand remark this weekend as we dined on some pork chops that pork was a somewhat tasteless meat. It made a tender vehicle for other flavors. I agreed and thought no more of it. This comment came back to me as I pulled the roasting pans out of the oven to turn the stock meat. I looked down at the pork chunks in the pans in horror. I'd effectively put filler into my stock!

No more of that for me. Wife kitteh was right and we all know that beef has a stronger native flavor than pork. The price per pound of the two meats is similar, so an all-beef stock wouldn't cost any more than the one I'm making now and the taste should be much better.

The pigs' feet stay, of course. They give the stock a gelatinous quality that I love. Plus they're pigs' feet. How can you go wrong with those?


Ilíon said...

==The price per pound of the two meats is similar,==

Not here in the Ohio and Indiana.

tim eisele said...

I agree, things should only go into what you are cooking if they serve a purpose. And since the purpose of stock is to provide flavor and consistency, putting things in it that don't do anything for either is kind of pointless.

This kind of relates to something that bugs me; a lot of the time you will see different "grades" of foods that vary in price, and the more expensive one will be the one that has less flavor. Like chicken, the flavorless breasts usually cost more than the more flavorful legs and thighs. "Water white" clover honey is basically just fructose/glucose syrup, but it costs more than the dark honeys that actually have flavor and color. Same with maple syrup, which is really weird, because if it doesn't have a strong maple flavor it is practically indistinguishable from sugar dissolved in water. And on and on and on. I can see sometimes wanting things that don't have strong flavor so you can mix them with other things, but I can't see why they should also command a premium price.