Stocks & Broths
Stocks are a flavorful liquid made from a combination of bones, vegetables, seasonings, and liquids. They are cooked for a longer time until they are reduced in volume by about half, which gives them a richer flavor. Stocks are then used as a base to prepare other items, such as sauces.
White stock is made by simmering chicken, veal, or beef bones in water with vegetables and seasonings. It remains relatively colorless, hence the name.
Brown stock is made by roasting chicken, veal, beef or game bones and vegetables which caramelizes them, adding a nice brown color, before simmering them in water. This stock has a rich, dark color.
Fish stock, or fumet, is made by slowly cooking fish bones or crustacean shells and vegetables without caramelizing them and then simmering in seasoned water for a short time.
Court bouillon is made by simmering vegetables in water with vinegar or wine added. It is then used to poach fish or vegetables.
Mirepoix is the mixture of onions, carrots and celery used to make stocks. Typically the ratio of vegetables is 50% onions, 25% carrots and 25% celery.
Broths, on the other hand, are made with the meat on the bones versus only the bones. Broths can be served as finished dishes, such as soup, or used for making sauces when stock is not available, although the flavor will not be as rich.
Canned chicken, beef and vegetable broth are available in retail markets. Use them when making quick soups and sauces. To intensify the flavor, simmer vegetables, such as onions, carrots and celery, in the broth for an hour.
Concentrate base, formerly only available in foodservice, is now in retail markets. It is in a paste format and has more concentrated flavor.
Granulated or dried broth is available in cubed form. Typically they have a lot of salt, so do not add any additional salt until the end of the cooking process.