A lamb menu (more about that in yesterday’s post) would not be complete without sauces based on stock made from the bones and scraps of meat from the same lamb. And so I asked the butcher for some of the bones and used them to make a stock. Making a meat stock is very easy and doesn’t take a lot of active time. The process is the same for most types of stock, the main difference is that in lamb stock you use bones from lamb, in beef stock from beef, etc. The quality of the stock is very important to stock-based preparations such as sauces or risotto. Homemade stock made from scratch is so much better than cubes. Another advantage is that you can make it without salt, so you can simmer it down to the desired strength and only then add salt. A stock that already has salt will often become too salty if you cook it down to make it stronger.
Here’s how I made lamb stock.
1 kilogram (2.2 lbs) lamb bones and scraps of meat
1 carrot, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
some fresh rosemary and thyme
1 bay leaf
some black pepper corns
Start by soaking the bones in water to remove any excess blood. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
Transfer all of the contents of the oven dish, including all the juices, to a stock pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. (Sometimes chicken stock is used instead of water to get a deeper flavor.)
Remove the scum that will rise to the surface using a slotted spoon.
To make a sauce from the stock, you can mount it with butter or thicken it with corn starch or a roux.
The stock can be kept in the refrigerator for a few days, or frozen for months.