Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Gordon Ramsay's Lamb Stock: The Bare Bones

Homemade stock is liquid gold. Easy, frugal and full of flavour, there's nothing tastier than soup made with hearty homemade stock. Roasting leftover beef or lamb bones from a weekend roast, gives stock a richer flavour and darker colour. Simmered for a couple of hours with a handful of vegetables, fresh herbs, wine and a litre or two of water lends a rich base and depth of flavour to stews, soups, braises and sauces as well as enriching grain dishes such as polenta and risotto. Making stock is one of the core skills of any good cook, and this Lamb Stock recipe by Gordon Ramsay is simple, delicious and provides a solid foundation for lots of other great recipes.

Gordon Ramsay: Cooking for Friends features this recipe for rich full bodied lamb stock

Good news for a frugal gourmet, bone broths are remarkably inexpensive to make. Using the bones from a leftover roast and a handful of vegetables, a gallon of stock can be made for less than a dollar. This Lamb Stock recipe starts with cooking onion, celery, carrot, garlic and olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until the vegetables begin to brown. Tomato paste is added and cooked for a few minutes, then some white wine is poured over the vegetable mixture, which deglazes the pot and adds a boost of flavour. 

Chopped onion, carrots and celery are cooked over medium-high heat 
with olive oil until the vegetables have browned, about 6-8 minutes

Once they've browned, some tomato paste is added and cooked for 3 minutes

A little white wine is then added which deglazes the pan as well as adding great flavour

Lamb bones, which have been brushed with olive oil and roasted in the oven for about an hour, are added to the pot with enough cold water to cover them completely. As the broth simmers, a foamy scum rises to the surface which is skimmed off, and not surprisingly, discarded. A few sprigs of fresh parsley, thyme, some peppercorns and a bay leaf are then added, and the stock is left to simmer uncovered for 4-6 hours.

The roasted lamb bones are then added to the pot with enough water to cover

As the broth simmers, foam rises to the surface, is skimmed off and discarded

The stock is seasoned with some fresh parsley, thyme, peppercorns and a bay leaf
and left to simmer uncovered for 4-6 hours

The lamb stock after 6 hours on a slow simmer

Chilled overnight and defatted, the stock is complete

Gordon Ramsay Lamb Stock
Makes 8-10 cups

1 lb lamb bones
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tsp tomato paste
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
A few sprigs of thyme and flat leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the bones out on a large roasting pan and drizzle with a little olive oil to coat. Roast for about 45-60 minutes, turning the bones over halfway, until evenly browned.

Heat the oil in a large stockpot and add the vegetables and garlic, stirring occasionally over medium-high heat until golden brown. Add the tomato paste and fry for another 3 minutes. Add the wine and let boil until the liquid is reduced by half. Add the bones to the stock pot and pour in enough water to cover, about 4-6 cups. Bring to a simmer and skim off the froth and scum that rises to the surface.

Add the peppercorn and herbs. Simmer the stock for 4-6 hours or until you're happy with the flavour, then take the pan off the heat. Let stand for a few minutes before passing the stock through a fine sieve. Cool the stock to room temperature, then cover and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. The fat from the stock will rise and congeal at the surface and can then be removed with a spoon and discarded. Fresh stock should be used within 5 days or keep frozen for up to 3 months.

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