There are two kinds of veal stock; brown and white. The only differentiating factor is whether or not the bones are roasted. The decision to roast the bones is dependent on the final application of the veal stock. If you are making a traditional Veal Veloute, a white veal stock is needed. If you will be using your veal stock as a rich braising liquid, such as braised beef short ribs, I would recommend roasting your bones first. For more information on white veal stock, please see the recipe notes below.
Before we get started, let me explain that this is a simple standardized recipe here for guidance. Please do not over complicate the simplicity of stock. No matter what else occurs, as long as you make sure to keep your veal bones covered with at least a couple inches of water and simmer for at least 6 hours you will have stock. Now let's get started.
- Rub veal bones with canola oil and roast in a 450°F/230°C oven for 1.5 hours, or until a rich golden brown, making sure to rotate the bones half way through.
- Remove bones from oven, rub with tomato paste, and place back in oven for another 20 minutes or until the tomato paste starts to caramelize and darken.
- Place bones in an appropriately sized, heavy bottomed stockpot and add mirepoix on top (onions, carrots, celery). The ratio given above is just a guideline, your personal preference should make the final decision.
- Fill the stockpot with enough cold water to cover the bones by at least 2"-3". (See recipe notes)
- Add peppercorns, parsley, thyme and bay leaf.
- Heat stock over medium-high heat and bring to a simmer. If working with larger batches of stock, you can heat over high heat.
- Once the stock begins to simmer, reduce heat to low/med-low to maintain a slow simmer. Do not allow the stock to boil or it will become cloudy and emulsify the remaining fat from the bones.
- Simmer for 8-12 hours, skimming with a ladle as necessary. A little trick is to pull the stockpot half way off the heat. The fat and scum will collect to one side, making it easier to skim.
- After the stock is finished, strain through a China Cap and then through a chinois or a fine mesh strainer. If making a second running (remiage), place bones back into stock pot. If you don't plan on making a remiage, discard bones, mirepoix, and sachet leaving you with only the pure veal stock. (See recipe notes for more details).
- If you don’t plan to use the stock immediately, pour into a clean container and place in an ice bath to cool rapidly. Store in fridge for up to 5 days.
- You can freeze any leftover veal stock for up to three months.
Using cold water to start your stock will form larger protein aggregates, which will later stick to the edge of the pot or float to the top which you will later skim. If a stock is started with hot water, the proteins will coagulate faster, making smaller protein particles, causing your stock to be cloudy. If the appearance of your stock isn't an issue, you can use hot water to start, although I wouldn't recommend it.
Making White Veal Stock
If you wish to make a white veal stock, skip the roasting phase and rinse the bones in cold water. Next, place your bones in a stock pot, cover with cold water, bring to a simmer and pour out the water, keeping the veal bones in the stock pot. After the initial blanching phase, follow the recipe given above, starting at step #3.
The blanching of the veal bones causes the surface proteins and blood to coagulate, which is then poured off. If this step is skipped, your stock will become clouded with excess particulate matter.
With that said, I don't recommend making white veal stock. Veal bones are expensive and hard to come by, and a white veal stock has an inherently subtle flavor. Save your veal bones for a nice roasted stock, and if you need a more subtle white stock, make either a chicken or vegetable stock (see recipes below).
Remiage (AKA Second Running or Second Wash)
A remiage is a weaker stock made after your first primary stock is made. After the primary stock is strained, place the veal bones back into the stock pot, add some fresh mirepoix and aromatics, cover with water (this time it can be warm), and simmer for another 4-6 hours. This weaker stock can be used to reinforce your primary stock by combining and reducing, to start your next stock, or as a cooking liquid where a full flavored veal stock might be overpowering (like braising chicken or a pork shoulder).
Reduction and Reinforcing Flavors
In professional kitchens, a veal stock is rarely used as is. It is almost always reduced to concentrate flavors and to provide a thicker mouth feel. In the Stella Kitchen, each time we reduce a stock, we usually reinforce with fresh or roasted mirepoix and aromatics. This is especially done when reducing a veal stock for a full reduction sauce, which relies on the natural gelatin present in the bones to thicken the sauce instead of traditional starch based thickeners.
When a veal stock is reduced by half it is usually referred to as a "demi" or a "demi-glace." When a stock is reduced down to 25%-30% of its original volume, it is then referred to as a "glace de viande."