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Beef Jello

jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 11:31 AM

I made beef stock for the first time last weekend. (I know, I know, give me a gold medal.) After simmering and straining, I put the stuff out in the garage to cool (gotta love Minnesota winters.) When I went back to it the next day to remove the layer of fat, what was left underneath was gelatinous like jello. Is this normal? I understand that the collagen in the bones could cause jelling, but I was expecting liquid. Does this happen to you?

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  1. Dmnkly RE: jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 11:40 AM

    Both normal and AOK.

    It'll loosen up quite a bit when you heat it, and if it's still too thick, you can always thin it out with some water at that point.

    1. c
      curiousbaker RE: jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 11:44 AM

      Not just normal - a great sign. Congratulations. When you use it to make something, the gelatin will melt, giving your soup, etc. the most amazing mouthfeel.


      2 Replies
      1. re: curiousbaker
        Diane in Bexley RE: curiousbaker Feb 26, 2008 12:02 PM

        Agree with Curious, you did well! Gelatin comes from collagen or the bones in your stock. It also is the property that allows stock to last a few days or more.

        1. re: Diane in Bexley
          paulj RE: Diane in Bexley Feb 26, 2008 12:26 PM

          Now you just need to keep clarifying it till you can read a newspaper through it. Then dry it and challenge Knox to their share of the market. What you made is the first step in producing gelatin and Jello.


      2. chocabot RE: jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 12:12 PM

        Gold medal for sure - The jelliness is what you want.

        1. lambretta76 RE: jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 01:40 PM

          Or cut off some small slices and use as a sandwich topping, just like the Danes do on beef and pork smorrebrod! ;)

          1 Reply
          1. re: lambretta76
            jennywinker RE: lambretta76 Feb 27, 2008 06:48 AM

            Yum! I love that idea.

          2. c
            cimui RE: jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 04:11 PM

            You just made aspic. People actually do this on purpose. ;)


            1. g
              guate RE: jennywinker Feb 26, 2008 07:40 PM

              There is actually a dish that I have never had that is supposed to be wonderful and sought after based on this: Chinese soup dumplings. They are wontons filled with cubes of cold aspic so that when the wontons are cooked it is transformed into hot soup. The dumpling explodes in your mouth when you eat it. I learned about them in New York Chinatown. I am sure it takes lots of practice and I am never going to make them, but they are fun to know about!

              2 Replies
              1. re: guate
                Dmnkly RE: guate Feb 26, 2008 07:43 PM

                Well, in the case of xiao long bao (what you refer to), you're talking pork instead of beef, but yeah, it's the same principle at work. It's definitely not an easy recipe, but doable. Here's a good thread on the making thereof:


                1. re: Dmnkly
                  guate RE: Dmnkly Feb 26, 2008 07:51 PM

                  And here is a link to one of the restaurants that is famous for this:

                  And a quick search on here found LOTS of threads about them if anyone gets curious.

              2. jennywinker RE: jennywinker Feb 27, 2008 06:50 AM

                Well hurrah for me, I guess. Thanks everyone for your feedback. I'm hoping that it's okay that I put it in the freezer. Beef jello shots anyone? Some interesting possibilities with that. Now if I could only get people to love my beef fudge.

                3 Replies
                1. re: jennywinker
                  Dmnkly RE: jennywinker Feb 27, 2008 07:54 AM

                  Hey, why not?

                  I had diced roasted root vegetables suspended in a beef gelee, topped with horseradish cream and served in a shot glass with a demitasse spoon as an amuse at DB Bistro Moderne a few months back. It's a better idea than you think :-)

                  1. re: jennywinker
                    danhole RE: jennywinker Feb 27, 2008 08:11 AM

                    I had a large container of chicken "jello", that I made at Thanksgiving, in my freezer for about 2 months, and it was fine when I took it out to use. I made some orzo that I boiled in the stock, with some basil and WOW was it good.I used it for all kinds of things. I need to make more!

                    1. re: jennywinker
                      Miss Needle RE: jennywinker Feb 27, 2008 09:34 AM

                      At a couple of French restaurants I've been served cubes of aspic as one of the courses in a tasting menu.

                    2. Gio RE: jennywinker Feb 27, 2008 09:39 AM

                      Congratulations! Job well done. You will also get that gelatin/aspic with any meat or poultry stock you make.

                      1. g
                        guate RE: jennywinker Feb 27, 2008 11:48 AM

                        In regards to those soup dumplings, I doubt I will ever make or have them because I am currently vegetarian and my husband has never eaten meat. Still, they sound so fun. I have never worked with agar or any other gelatin substitute. Has anyone else? Do you think I could accomplish something similar using one of them?

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