Concentrated veal stock or jus de veau is a staple in the classic French cuisine. It is used in sauces, seldom if ever as a base for soup. Veal bones are rich in gristle, which results in a stock that forms a jelly when it is cold. However, the resulting jelly is not firm enough to be used without any further aids. On this page you can see how to make a very tasty meat jelly.
Below are two recipes for veal stock: a light one, and a darker version. Some recipes also use hock, but I prefer to use only the bones, with as less meat as possible attached to them. You can make lamb stock in the same manner as dark veal stock, just leave out the tomatoes and add garlic. Don’t forget to click on the links in the recipe for straining and reducing the stock.
For about 1 liter or 4 cups; preparation in advance 15 minuten; preparation 4 to 6 hours + straining and reducing.
3 liter water
1 kilo bones of veal or lamb
200 gr each of leek (2 cups) and carrot (1½ cup)
50 gr (1 cup) stem cellery
1 bay leaf
large sprig of thyme
small blade of mace
some parsley root (optional)
500 gr (3 cups) tasty tomatoes or 1 can tomato purée (140 gr or ½ cup) for veal stock
1 or 2 garlic cloves to make lamb stock
Preparation in advance
Wash the vegetables, chop them coarsely. The tomatoes don’t have to be peeled, the skins will be removed when the stock is strained.
You can prepare your veal stock in two manners, resulting in respectively a light and a darker stock. When making lamb stock, follow the directions for the darker veal stock.
If you desire a light stock, start with blanching the bones: Bring enough water to the boil, add the bones, boil them for a few minutes, then rinse them under the tap with cold water. Put the bones in a clean pan, add vegetables, spices and water.
To make a dark stock you don’t blanch the bones, but roast them first in a hot oven (250 °C/480 °F). Then add them to the water in a pan, bring to the boil, skim off well, and add the vegetables and spices.
Bring to the boil, let simmer for four to six hours. Take care that the stock doesn’t boil. Keep skimming the surface now and then.
Strain the broth, and reduce it with two thirds. The original three liters water plus the liquids from the vegetables will result in one litre concentrated stock. Be alert, especially when the stock is almost there, because the evaporation goes on, and if you don’t pay attention to it you’ll end up with nothing but a black-bottomed empty pan! (I speak from experience here)
Because the veal stock is so concentrated you will need just a little of it in sauces, sometimes as little as one tablespoon. Use a ice cube holder to freeze part of the reduced stock. One ice cube equals about one tablespoon.
Do not forget to label your frozen stock, in the freezer all stocks look alike.
Recipe for veal stock and lamb stock