Veal stock is by no means a staple product of the domestic kitchen but to be able to cook like a chef this is seen as an essential ingredient even if not that many chefs in this day and age make their own anymore.

When making veal stock knuckle and marrow bones are the best ones to use, when making larger quantities then use veal trotters rather than pigs trotters. If veal bones aare not available then use beef bones, these are not as fine or clean in flavour as veal nor do they contain as much gelatine either but they are an acceptable substitute.

When the bones are removed from the roasting pan always deglaze the pan to get out all the caramelised juices as possible thereby maximising flavour.

To make about 1.2lt/2pts

2.5kg/5½lb chopped veal marrowbones

25g/1oz tomato puree

app. 4.5lt/8pts water

2 pigs trotters split lengthways 

2 medium carrots, chopped

2 onions, chopped

2 small leeks, chopped

4 sticks celery, chopped

55g/2oz mushrooms, chopped

3 medium tomatoes, chopped

1 head garlic, chopped

1 sprig fresh thyme

1 sprig fresh rosemary

1 bay leaf

1 tbsp black peppercorns


Pre-heat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas 8.

Brown the bones in a roasting tray in the oven, turning from time to time. When lightly browned dot the tomato puree over them and continue browning for a further 10 minutes. Drain the bones of any fat and transfer them to a large saucepan, deglaze the roasting pan to capture all the caramelised juices and pour into the stock pan. Then add the water and the pigs trotter and bring to the boil. Once the stock comes to the boil, lower the heat and skim, a lot of fat and scum will have risen to the surface and this all needs to be removed. Allow to simmer, skimming as is necessary for about 5 hours or so then add the vegetables, simmer for a further hour then add the herbs. Continue to simmer up to a total of 8 hours. After this time, strain off the stock through a muslin or fine strainer. Reduce this down till only about 1.2lt/2pts remains.

To enrichen the stock add red wine and port. For this amount I would add around 1/3 btl to a ½  of a btl of red wine and about 150ml ruby port, the heavier the wine the better, it does not have to be expensive, often the cheaper the wine the better. Add to the stock once strained then reduce.

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