Duck Stock

The flavor of soups, sauces, and especially risottos depends heavily on the quality of the stock used. Bouillon cubes are terrible because they are usually more than 99% salt. Store-bought stocks usually also have a very high salt content, which renders them useless for sauces and risotto. And it is so easy to make your own stock, it only takes a bit of patience.

From the comments of my readers and recipes on many other blogs, I’m starting to get the impression that many cooks out there believe there are only about four types of stock: vegetable stock, chicken stock, beef stock, and fish stock. However, stock can be made from virtually anything and each ingredient gives off a characteristic flavor. So you can also prepare lamb stock, shrimp stock, pork stock, rabbit stock, hare stock, pheasant stock, etc. If you make a lamb dish with a sauce or a lamb stew, you will get more lamb flavor if you use lamb stock rather than beef stock.

So even though making duck stock is not different from making chicken stock (except that you use duck rather than chicken), I’m posting about it anyway to emphasize that duck stock exists, easy to make at home, and preferable to chicken stock in most cases for duck dishes. Continue reading “Duck Stock”

Pressure-Cooked Boeuf Bourguignon

Although I purchased my pressure cooker for making stocks, I thought it would be nice to try making a pressure-cooked stew as well. Pressure cookers are known as “fast cookers” (or actually “fast cooking pan”, “snelkookpan”) in Dutch, and in this case it is true because stewing beef in a pressure cooker only takes 20 minutes instead of 3 hours. Stating it like that is cheating a bit, because after those 20 minutes you need to wait for about half an hour for the pressure to go down. But still, it still means that you only have to start cooking 75 minutes or so before you’re having boeuf bourguignon and that is kind of nice. Continue reading “Pressure-Cooked Boeuf Bourguignon”

Brown Beef Stock

Home-made stock is an important success factor to many dishes and sauces. It is vastly superior to bouillon cubes and in most cases also better than anything else you can buy in a store. It’s not hard to make — it just takes a bit of time. After the success of pressure-cooked chicken stock I am a strong supporter of using a pressure cooker to make stock (with the most important reason more flavor, not the shorter cooking time), and so I also prepared this beef stock in my pressure cooker. You could however also prepare it in an ordinary pot and it will still turn out great. Continue reading “Brown Beef Stock”

Is a Pressure Cooker better for making Stock?

You may not believe this, but until recently I did not own a pressure cooker. I didn’t know much about pressure cookers and I never really saw the need for one. I knew a pressure cooker cooks at a higher temperature in a shorter time, but since I’m mostly interested in cooking at a lower temperature at a longer time (such as sous-vide), that doesn’t seem very appealing to me. After some of my gourmet friends told me that it really worked better for making stock, I decided to buy one. Of course the first thing to try it with was homemade stock. Is a pressure cooker really better for making stock? Time for another side-by-side experiment! Continue reading “Is a Pressure Cooker better for making Stock?”