Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A veal moment

The stock is a good one. I was too fucked last night, too stoned, too tired, to work out how best to divide it among the plastic tubs. So I filtered it down slowly, at midnight straining it at least 4 times and gently extracting all the juices from the soggy matter left over. Anyway, you need a day or two to get to know your stock. This stuff is fucking gold man, I swear to you.

The butcher was going to cut down the beef that afternoon and so had no bones when I arrived. So I asked him if he still had veal bones and got a fiver’s worth, and then a bag of fresh pork bones that I spotted under his bench plus a couple of trotters. Anyway, it all went in the roasting tray and pot with the browned veg too, minus the trotters, and out came a golden light brown stock with a depth AND BREADTH that I hitherto not experienced. It was so fucking tasty you wouldn’t believe it. I got the volume/reduction ratio bang on.

But the best part was this morning. It was the first thing I did when I went downstairs to look in the fridge at the result. It was solid, jelly, with a thin rim of yellowy fat on top. I set it back, and looked forward to coming home tonight and slicing it up, melting it back down and pouring it into containers. And that’s exactly what I did, with, in fact, the whole family helping as it turned out. There was a strange fascination with it. The Eldest stuck labels onto the tubs for me while the wife marvelled at the weird structure and form of the stuff. And so I urged her to taste some, and the bairn too, who was clearly puzzled when the thing she had just watched her parents oohing and aaaahing about was not, in fact, something sweet and nice, but a deeply savoury and rudimentary veal stock.

Sadly I didn’t think while at the Shop yesterday to pick up a couple of slices of fillet of something to try out the liquor. So tomorrow at the farmers’ it will have to be. I think we’re going for the pepper steak. Cream sauce. Old-school done well.

Tonight we therefore had to make do with some filler, a tasty bowl of spaghetti tossed in an egg, cream and cheese solution and oily greek olives, finely diced shallot and garlic. Served with a cold and somewhat chewy runner bean salad. Fair enough like. And I need to buy some time back from the ether.

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