Update 11: New Year's Goal: Become an "official" Gourmess by August 2010

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate. --Julia Child

This weekend's Demonstration was Fond de Veau Brun (Brown Veal Stock) or Braisière (Beef Stock). I chose beef stock as last week I filled my freezer with 11 pounds of beef marrow bones. I thawed them in the fridge for a day or two and then this morning, after cleaning them, I covered them with a bit of vegetable oil and put them in roasting pans. I had to use two pans -- it was a lot of bones. I roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for about 40 mins and then added my mirepoix of onions, carrots and celery for another 15-20 mins. During that time, I made my bouquet garni and ran over to the grocery store to get tomatoes, because I didn't read the recipe correctly and missed them.

Once the bones and veggies were done roasting (don't let the bones get too brown, or the stock will have a bitter taste, advises Chef Dominick Cerrone), I put them in the stock pots (had to use two, as my stove isn't quite big enough to use an industrial size pot) and then once I got rid of the fat/grease from the pans, I deglazed the sucs (meaty bits left on the bottom of the pan) and added them to the pots, too. Then, I added water until the solids were covered by at least 2 inches, and brought to a slight simmer. After that, I added the chopped tomatoes, some tomato paste and garlic.

That was at 10:00 a.m. It's 3:30 p.m. now. The book says to simmer gently for 8-12 hours. It is a beautiful, sunny, warm day -- rare in early March, and I'm stuck in the kitchen, skimming fat and grease from the pots. Ugh.

Smells really really good though.

More to come....