Veal Stock

Veal breast and knuckle can be ordered from any butcher. To blanch a veal knuckle, boil it for 5 minutes, starting in cold water, to draw out the blood from the center of the bone. The stock can be frozen but should preferably be used within four months.

5 lb. fresh veal breast (or 5 lb. turkey legs plus one blanched veal knuckle)
2 large yellow onions, peeled
4 whole cloves
3 large leeks, cut into 2-inch chunks lengthwise and crosswise
2 small carrots, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks
3 small beef bouillon cubes
15 stems flat-leaf or curly parsley
2 large sprigs thyme or 1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. coarse salt

Heat the oven to 400F. Cut the veal breast into large pieces, passing your knife between the ribs; remove as much fat as possible from each piece. If using turkey legs, cut them in half crosswise. Set the veal breast or turkey legs in a roasting pan and roast, turning occasionally, until the meat is uniformly golden brown, 40 to 60 min. Transfer the meat to a stockpot, and pour out and discard the fat in the roasting pan. Deglaze the pan with 2 cups simmering water, scraping well to dissolve all the brown deposits. Add the deglazing liquid to the stockpot, along with the blanched veal knuckle, if using.

Pierce each onion with two cloves. Put the onions, leeks, carrots, and bouillon cubes in the stockpot. Make a bouquet garni with the parsley stems, thyme, and bay leaves by tying them together with string or wrapping in a cheesecloth, and add to the pot. Add enough water to cover the ingredients by 1 to 2 inches. Slowly bring to a boil, skimming the foam that comes to the surface. Reduce the heat, and simmer, adding boiling water to the pot if the level of liquid dips below the meat. Taste periodically; the stock is done when the it tastes meaty and robust and when the meat looks flaccid and ready to fall apart, about 3 hours. If it is cooked too long, the stock will start to taste slightly of bones.

Strain the stock into a colander placed over a large bowl. Clean the pot, strain the stock into it again, using your finest strainer. Cool the stock quickly by setting the pot in a sink filled with very cold water. As soon as it's cool, pour or ladle into plastic or glass containers. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight. When cool, remove any fat on the surface by letting a sheet of paper towel fall gently over the surface of the stock. The layer of fat will adhere to the paper and can be removed with the paper.

Yields four quarts.

Source of recipe: Madeleine Kamman, Fine Cooking # 37