The Great Hall
Need help with Beef Stock The Great Hall: Need help with Beef Stock
By Andrew Goldfinch on Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 05:52 am: Edit

I'm an Executive Chef at a Hotel in Melbourne Australia & I've had some problems with my beef stock. We make it in the standard way and nearly all the time it works fine, a half dozen times in the last few weeks though the stock has come out smelling like an ashtray, the stock tastes terrible, burnt and bitter and looks very milky. The bones & vegetables aren't burnt when they go in and we cook it with plenty of liquid so it never goes dry. We cook it overnight for around 12-14 hours. I'm stumped as to what is happening & wondered if anyone else had encountered this sort of thing? I've tried different pots, I've made sure the bones etc are in very good condition & yet it still goes strange. Please help. Andrew

By Dpconsu (Dpconsu) on Thursday, February 10, 2000 - 08:57 am: Edit

Andrew, I would look at you staff time sheets over the period from the first time up to a including the last that your stock fouled, if you have checked all the obvious probable causes and found nothing, such as did someone turn it off at night and then some found it off in the morning and turned it back on? Then you may well find that there are only one or two members of staff who have been there for every time that this happens. Who have you demoted? given a bad performance report on? it would be very easy to throw a lactate or an acid into a stock pot to ruin it. Vigilence is all you can do, get security to mount a hidden camera that shows the prep line. Good luck Mate!

By fritz's gritz's on Monday, February 28, 2000 - 04:53 pm: Edit

Its entirely possible that the stock might be left on a bit too long with the ingredients in. Maximum flavor extraction for a standard brown beef stock (or a brown veal for that matter) takes about 8 hours, after which it may be a good idea to strain the sucker, put it back on and let reduction take care of the final flavor finishing. Over boiling bones can result in the marrow and such breaking up, into the stock and making for a pretty cloudy mess. I have done it personally, just being a bit too busy and never got around to straining a veal stock, it was usable flavor wise, but was sort of opaque or milky as you described...could be thats whats ailing your stock?

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