Thursday, January 21, 2010

Julia Child and I Make Stock and Cream of Sorrel Soup

Days Left: 253
Recipes to Go: 575
Julia Child (Volume I ~ Mastering the Art of French Cooking)

Cream of Sorrel Soup - p. 42
White Poultry Stock - p. 109
Brown Stock - p. 110

I am fighting Julia's soup section. Sorrel became the new dilemma. Googling sorrel, I found out the herb is used quite often in Europe and has a mildly tart flavor to it. Jamaica is known to use sorrel also. Sorrel leaves do not look unique in any way; the color of grass maybe. Kind of like a dandelion leaf without the ridges. How is that for a description? A cooking friend on Facebook said she can get sorrel juice in the South and Southerners actually use the sorrel juice for mixed drinks; usually mixed with Vodka or Rum. I am making no plans to travel South and try one.
So here we are with our sorrel, found at the local Fred Meyers in small herb packages. Thank goodness the packages were only .99 each.

Julia said to cut the leaves up in thin slices; chiffonade the leaves.
Cook 1/3 cup of minced onions with 3 T. butter slowly in a covered saucepan for 5 to 10 minutes, until tender and translucent but not browned.

Stir in 3 to 4 packed cups of fresh and thinly cut sorrel leaves with 1/2 t. salt, cover, and cook slowly for about 5 minutes or until the leaves are tender and wilted.
Sprinkle in 3 T. flour and stir over moderate heat for 3 minutes.
Off heat, beat in 5 1/2 cups boiling white stock (poultry). Simmer for 5 minutes.
Blend 2 egg yolks and 1/2 cup heavy cream in a 3-quart mixing bowl. Beat a cupful of hot soup into them by driplets. Gradually beat in the rest of the soup in a thin stream.
Return soup to saucepan and stir over moderate heat for a minute or two to poach the egg yolks, but do not bring the soup to the simmer. Off heat, stir in the enrichment butter a tablespoon at a time.
The mild tart flavor caught me off guard on the first bite; I have no idea why since I read sorrel was slightly tart. After the initial bite, I really enjoyed the soup. Surprise, surprise.

For the Beef and white poultry stock, I will let you get the recipe from Julia's Volume I of her Mastering the Art of French Cooking cookbook. I feel terrible sitting her typing out Julia's recipes but I want to show how interesting Julia's techniques are and just how much I have already learned following her detailed instructions. The woman is simply Amazing!
The Brown Stock:
We bought half a cow several months back and soup bones were included with all the meat cuts so I was ready for this recipe. Julia asks for 3 pounds of beef shank meat (around the feet) and 3 to 4 pounds of cracked beef and veal bones. I used all beef because we have the worst time finding veal. Really, I have been searching for several months in the Seattle/Tacoma area. I had better find some soon because there are plenty of veal recipes coming up.
We have all this meat and bones with carrots and onions tossed in, set in the oven at 450 degrees for about 30 minutes. You flip the meat half way through.
The roasted beef smells delicious now.
Put all pan contents in a huge kettle (mine is about 10-quart) along with herbs, celery sticks and salt. Cover everything with cold water by about 2 inches and simmer for 4 to 5 hours. I ended up with 5 quarts of brown stock.
White Poultry Stock:
White poultry stock uses a whole or parts of a stewing hen along with vegetables and herbs. The same herbs as for the brown stock, consisting of 1/4 t. thyme, 1 bay leaf, 6 parsley sprigs, 2 unpeeled garlic cloves and 2 whole cloves all wrapped in a piece of cheeseclothe; tied at the top. You cover all contents in stock pot by about 2 inches of water and simmer for about 4 hours. The chicken can be removed several hours into the simmering (when the meat is tender) to use the chicken meat for a dinner dish.
I skim the gooky stuff off the surface while the stock is simmering. When the stock is done, a large bowl of ice is waiting with another large bowl sitting on top of the ice. This is what the strained white brown pours in to for quick cooling. The cooled stock is then put into the refrigerator. The grease will gel at the surface and you can just peel or scoop the gunk off before measuring and putting into freezer bags. That simple!
I made around 4 quarts of chicken stock.

I fought making stock for several weeks. Now the stock is made, what the heck was the problem? Stock practically cooks itself =)

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