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The Hospitality Guru (cooking) Back to Basics: Preparing Stock

Updated on October 12, 2015


Practice making a white stock. The recipe is in the back of the module in the recipe section.

To produce a good quality stock, there are a series of set procedures you must follow. The procedure for making a white stock is outlined below. Take careful note of the specific reason for some of the steps in the procedure.

1. Place bones in stockpot – cut, wash or blanch first if necessary.

The marrow from shin bones should be removed and reserved for other uses. If the marrow is left in the bones it can cause the stock to go cloudy.

2. Add the appropriate ratio of cold water: Always start a stock in cold water as this speeds up the extraction of flavour and gives the stock greater strength. Starting in hot water seals the bones and delays the flavour extraction process.

3. Bring the stock to the boil

4. Turn temperature down so that the stock simmers at 98C degrees.

Slow gentle simmering extracts the flavours from the ingredients and produces a clear, well-flavoured stock.

5. Skim the stock - Stocks are skimmed regularly to remove fat and impurities which, if left, cause the stock to go cloudy. Skimming also helps the stock retain a clean flavour.

6. Add mirepoix and other appropriate flavouring ingredients.

7. Simmer stock for the recommended time and skim regularly.

8. When the extraction process is complete, strain the stock carefully by ladling or pouring it through a filter paper or fine conical strainer. If a stock is not strong enough after straining, it may be reduced until the required strength is achieved.

9. Cover the finished stock with a cartouche, label and date.

10. Cool and refrigerate stock if not required immediately.


Prepare a brown beef stock using the recipe in the back of the module.

White stock becomes brown stock if the bones and mirepoix used are first browned together in the oven before they are simmered.

To brown the bones and the mirepoix, use the following procedure:

1. Place the bones in a roasting dish in single layers and brown to a light colour in a hot oven (200C degrees). Single layers are important as bones piled on top of each other will tend to steam rather than brown in the oven. Care must be taken not to burn the bones.

2. Add the mirepoix to the bones and brown to a dark brown colour.

3. When the bones and vegetables are sufficiently browned, remove from the roasting dish and place in the stockpot.

4. Drain off any fat and deglaze the roasting dish by adding water to it and bringing it to the boil to loosen the brown sediments. Add to the stockpot.

5. Continue as for white stock (omitting stage 6)

The large amount of stock which needs to be transferred from the stockpot to other containers may cause some spillage in the work area and accidents may result from slippery floors. If spills occur, be sure to clean them up immediately. Never leave an open tap on a stockpot unattended.


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