20 April 2009

Making Stock / Dancing with a bag of Peter Luger Cow Bones

I took my bag of Peter Luger steak bones out to dance at the Alphabet City Lounge after dinner. It was worth it, and it was surprising how little shame I felt in the act. Good meat will do that to me.

The ultimate payoff, though, was in the stock. With little more than the 2 T-bones of gnawed-on bones and half a large onion, I boiled up a delicious stock in just 2 hours.

There's a lot of pride in good homemade stock. I always feel a safe (and a little smug) knowing I have some in the fridge. It's the fact that it turns what would have been trash into culinary treasure.

The key, I've found, is to keep a sturdy container in the fridge or freezer for each prospective stock after a meal of meat on bones (chicken, beef, lamb, whatever). Then, as you chop up vegetables for other dishes as the week goes on, save the bits you would have thrown away (especially things like onion peels), and add them to the stock pile. Once the container's full, shove everything into a pot, cover with water, and simmer for as long as you can manage - 2 hours is just fine. Cool, strain into another container, and put it in the fridge (or freezer) until you need it. Magic!

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