Monday, August 25, 2008

Veal Stock - Day One

If you're a foodie-type who is on the lookout at the grocery store, sometimes you notice when they have new stuff or stuff they only have occasionally.

I've been keeping an eye on the butcher stand area of the local produce mart. It started with pig parts.... fresh ham hocks, pigs feet, and even pig ears on a regular basis. I'm not surprised... the market is big with the local ethnic communities, it was probably only a matter of time before they started stocking the good stuff (more than your usual ground beef and boneless, skinless chicken breasts).

This Sunday, while I was looking over the goods with no intention of buying any meat. Then I saw them. Three packages, 1.5 pounds each, of veal neck bones.


I've been wanting to try homemade veal stock for awhile. I had already resolved that after Christmas, when I have my new Le Creuset (long story... I was planning on rewarding myself with one when my my "surprised" me in about April telling me I was getting one for Christmas) I'd do veal stock as my first "go" with it. I hadn't ever seen veal bones but I figured a quick talk with the butchers could likely get me some. But with them right there... well... was gonna have to try it sooner than I figured.

The hubby is likely working late all week (didn't get home until 8:45 tonight) so dinner is easy sandwiches and such, so I figured it'd also be a great time to try it. I made myself a grilled ham, cheese and tomato sandwich, and then started the first step in the recipe outta the French Laundry Cookbook... blanching the bones. Plop bones in cold water, put pot on low flame, slowly bring to a simmer for about 1 1/2 hours, then drain and wash any gunk off the bones. Easy enough. The picture above is the bones, ready to go in to the fridge to wait for tomorrow.

It gets harder during the next couple nights... I'll do the "first" stock tomorrow night (hopefully), the "second" stock on Wednesday, and either get to the final step Thursday or Friday. Or even Saturday. I'm all about stretching out the cooking process. It's not that there is much to do, but there is a LOT of unattended cooking time. Really makes me wish I could fool people and be like that lady from the old Rice Crispies commerical where the mom splashes herself with flour to make it look like she's really been working hard making those Rice Crispy Treats. Couldn't do it anyway... I forgot to buy flour this week. I was just so excited/distracted about the veal neck bones.


Rosie Hawthorne said...

Lucky you finding the veal bones. I've asked around at Food Lion and Harris Teeter and no they don't sell them and I'd have to buy whatever veal they have with bone in to get any bones. I asked Coastal Provisions Market and they only get veal bones for themselves, not for resale, but I was more than welcome to buy my veal stock from them. And no, they wouldn't order any more for me.

That Word Guy said...

Yeah, pork neck bones for marinara sauce are only a little easier to come by.

About the drawn out recipe...I have one like that for french onion soup. Starts with oven browning beef shanks with a bit of tomato paste. Cooking onions alone takes two good hours. But, oh, so good!

MrsVJW said...

D'oh Rosie. Any European-ish markets around?? The majority of the workers at the market I got my find at are Hispanic, but the real butcher finds seem to have come since half of the Eastern European population in the greater metro area started to shop at the place.

That Word Guy... I know you've mentioned that one before. I am starting to become a believer that with some recipes, the time is worth it. But I'm still not an all-beef French Onion Soup person. ;)