On what special occassion and dish do I use my $5 per quart beef stock?
I have made myself another batch of home made beef stock. I got 2 quarts from about 9 pounds of soup bones. It is sitting in the refrigerator. A nice brick of beef flavored gelatin.
It occurs to me that after spending $10 and a lot of time to make it, I just can't use it on an everyday dish. What do I use it on? It wouldn't be worth making gravy with it. The obvious is a nice pan sauce with prime tenderloin. Every once in a while, I do have that but not very often. There is just something wrong about spending $25 per pound on tenderloin.
I suspect I am not alone with this conundrum. Nobody has the time to make as much beef stock as they would use on a daily basis. So what criteria do you use to determine whether you use the good stuff or the boxed stuff?
old school consommé
something with aspic!
http://www.wien.info/en/shopping-wining-dining/viennese-cuisine/recipes/tafelspitz-aspic The Tafelspitz – probably Austria’s most popular beef dish – found its way into Viennese cuisine in the 19th century. Originally it was created in the Hotel Sacher for the emperor’s officers, but even Franz Joseph II himself enjoyed the tender beef dish very much. Finally, the Tafelspitz turned from a courtly dish into a delicacy for the middle-class. Discover the royal taste of this recipe, a version of the famous Viennese Tafelspitz!
Aspic of Quebec Milk-Fed Veal with summer vegetables
Keller-style french onion soup
Many soups would let you show off the broth more directly than using said broth to make a pan sauce.
You could also add some wine (or not) and further reduce to a demiglace, freeze that in an ice cube tray, and use those cubes to jack up the flavor and texture of many sauces you make. Might get 8 cubes out of it (very rough guess).
BTW, making beef stock isn't such a time investment if you use a pressure cooker. Won't help in terms of financial investment though.
Also you can freeze it.
While still liquid, I pour it into ice cube trays, and then dump the stock cubes into a ziplock. Repeat until it's all frozen. Then you can use as much or as little as you need.
French onion soup.
Add a cube to a pitcher of bloody mary's.
Make a beef stew. Chili, (as noted above). Add to gravies, sauces, etc. You'll find a lot of reasons to use it once you have it, (...and remember that you have it...)!
I understand this dilemma. After putting all that time and effort into home made stock, you want to use it in something that will really showcase the flavor, like a reduction sauce or in Boeuf Bourguignon or something like that. The Real Stuff would also be great in a French Onion Soup. I'd use the boxed stuff for anything that just needed a slightly-flavored salty liquid where other flavors would dominate, like maybe chili.
But you can use the reduction sauce for any steak or beef dish, not just Tenderloin. And Tenderloin shouldn't be costing you $25/lb in any event -- Choice Untrimmed is about $12 per at Costco, fully trimmed is about $18, and even the Prime Tenderloin they have is under $20. Choice Rib-Eye is about $7.50 per and Prime is about $10 or so.
And in reality, you should just be saving all your meat and vegetable scraps, cooked and uncooked, in Ziploc bags in your freezer and making stock whenever you have a few bags, on the weekends while you are watching football or something. Zero dollars, zero time because it isn't preventing you from doing anything else and it's made from stuff most people would probably just throw out.
I do this with all meat and vegetable scraps, and usually yield about six quarts each of Chicken and Beef Stock per month, which I then "can" in my Pressure Canner. I have about six flavors in my pantry right now.
Yeah, it takes a little time and effort commitment, but not that much. So you can then use it with reckless abandon in everything.
So you eat beef that leaves a bone by product capable of making stock? Like Oxtails, beef leg, neck bones, beef ribs, maybe some veal shank. I don't think there is much else that will produce much stock. And you have enough freezer space to store 10 -12 pounds of scrap bones.
I can see eating enough chicken but I can't see anybody eating the kind of beef you would have to eat in quantities you would have to have to produce 6 quarts of beef stock every month.
And you have the time to can 12 quarts of assorted stock every month. Do you work full time?
re: Hank Hanover
Doesn't necessarily have to be bones, Meat scraps, especially from any cuts the have a lot of connective tissue (braising cuts), work as well.
Though generally I'd agree that most people have an easier time coming by chicken scraps and bones than beef scraps and bones. Least I do.
re: Hank Hanover
The short answer to all questions is yes. I just took 14 bags out of the freezer (I have six freezers). Lots of chicken bones, bags of onion, carrot and celery scraps, lots of beef rib bones. Even a large ham bone/shank. Tomorrow I'll be doing chicken, beef and ham stock. I also have a couple of bags with the beef trimmings from the whole subprimals I constantly have aging in yet another fridge. The outside gets tough, dry and leathery and otherwise inedible but has a great beefy flavor and makes for great stock. And when it comes out of the stock, well, there's a reason my dogs love me.
As Cook's has pointed out, while you can make a good chicken stock just from bones, a good beef stock requires more than just bones; it requires meat and lots of it.
Whenever I make a Turkey -- about every two or three months (not counting Thanksgiving time, when I usually make about ten within three or four days) the whole bird is deboned and the detritus is in the stock pot, including all the unused drippings, fat and skin, before dessert even hits the table.
And as I said, you can do all this while you're watching TV on the weekend and at night.
This kind of stock extremism isn't for everyone, obviously, but I've been doing it for close to 30 years now and it's just part of the regular life pattern. When the freezer's full, I know what I'm doing that weekend while watching TV or out with the family. I do work from home so I can do all this simultaneously. But even when I didn't, I usually did a batch or two per month on the weekends. And as cowboy pointed out, with a pressure cooker you can have a batch in about an hour or so. If you have a crock pot, you could set it up at night or in the AM before you go to work and leave it all day, or even for a couple of days.
It's all about getting into the rhythm of it, I guess. I don't see this as a huge investment of time or effort for me... but yet I cannot understand how people can keep up with the care and feeding and maintenance of a sourdough starter.