Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The Prologue: Pork Stock


Upon initial review of PDC: The Album, we realized we may face some sources challenges. (Good thing we like a challenge!)

There's the "Can we find it?" kind of challenge. And the "I'm ready to start cooking! Oh, crap! I don't have any [insert ingredient we thought we might have but actually have to make it in advance instead] on hand" kind of challenge.

We have high hopes for beating the "Finding it" challenge, given that we live in a food-loving city with lots of resources. It may not be easy, but we can do it! There are some game dishes that we're already actively searching for sourcing for now. (Anyone know where we can get venison tongue in the Bay Area? Anyone?)

"Having it" is something different altogether. In reading the recipes, most involve some multicomponent item that needs to be prepped the day before or longer. (Another challenge that can be remedied by planning! Good thing we love lists! Woo hoo for planning!) One of these items is pork stock, and lots of it. It is listed in a good half the recipes (without a recipe for the stock itself), so by golly, we intend to be come experts on pork stock making!

Having never made pork stock before (we are mere chicken stock makers, but still firm believers in the power of homemade stock), we looked around for some guidance with the big G (a search engine that rhymes with zoogle) and found a promising recipe on Serious Eats. (They even mention the very soup we are about to make!) Coincidence? You decide.

So, we dove on in and made some pork stock to get this party started!

Pork Stock adapted from the Zuni Café Cookbook, adapted from Serious Eats.

Ingredients:

  1. pigs feet
  2. pork shoulder
  3. water
  4. garlic
  5. onion
  6. carrots
  7. bay leaves
  8. peppercorns
  9. and of course, some white wine.
Here's what it all looked like before we began to fire it up:
Mis en place


Instructions (or at least how we did it)


Rinse the bones, then brown them with onion and garlic in a roasting pan for an hour or two while you talk with your potential future architect and trick her into believing you actually know something about cooking with delicious smells wafting from the kitchen. (Mu-ha-ha-ha!)



They come out looking like this. Mmmmm...

Roasted Pieds

Move bones to giant stock pot, add more onions and garlic, carrots and spices, cover with cold water. Meanwhile, add some leftover white wine to deglaze the roasting pan. (Leftover wine? Yes. It's true. It was an accident, we promise it will never happen again.) Add the roasting pan bits to the stock pot.

Starting Stock

Simmer (don't boil) the stock, and then go grab a beer and relax. Check in on the stock periodically and stir and skim as necessary. Get a solid 8 hours of sleep while the stock simmers and eventually the meat looks like this:

The solid bits after 12 hours

Then pull the big chunks out with your handy dandy pasta insert. (As you can see, it still has a bit of fat on it - we'll deal with that after it cools)

First strain

Then give it a good go with a chinois or some other fine mesh sieve.

Three of our favorite tools

Allow to cool and refrigerate and salivate at the idea of finally making the first recipe from this book!!!

Note to selves: Homemade stock ROCKS! We should remember to use it more often.

Time, from mis to eat: 14 hours

Cost of the components of the dish: $8 (excluding things we already had in the pantry)

What's next: Onion Soup (#1)

Blast from the past: Read about us and what the eff we're doing with this project from his and her perspective.

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