Thanks, everyone, for your great replies! I am sorry it's taken me so long to respond.
I am not looking to make the real classic demi-glace (veal stock with sauce espagnole) but rather a dark veal stock that is reduced to a thickened consistency. I want to use it to add some flavor and richness to sauces, stews, and the like. I'd be using it in dishes made of beef or veal.
I've made my own chicken stock on a number of occasions. A few times I have used whole chickens simmered for hours, but my favorite method is to cut up backs and wings and/or leg quarters, brown them in batches, sweat them for about 20 minutes (at which point it seems most of the juices are pulled from the bones and meat) and then add water and simmer for about an hour. it makes a really great stock to use as the base for soups, but doesn't seem quite dark enough to qualify as a "dark stock", if that makes sense.
I've made beef stock before as well, also to use as the base of beef soups. I found that in order to get a decent beef flavor I needed to use a lot of meat as well as bones. In addition, from what I've read recently, I hear that making a reduced stock from beef bones can turn out "gritty", or have very little meat flavor to it (although it may have a lot of gelatinous quality to it.)
Cowboyardee's option sounds like it might be my best one if veal bones are simply out of my reach. The purchased concentrate could also work, and would certainly be easy to store. Does anyone have experience using those kinds of products?
Thanks again, I look forward to hearing more opinions!
I got a copy of Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook for Christmas. I have had a lot of lovely meals at the restaurant, and also love his writing and how he breaks down recipes into a manner that I find to be "human friendly". However, I have found some of the items Tony feels should be easily acquired by a human willing to do some legwork are pretty much missing in my neck of the woods.
Specifically, I am talking about veal bones to make veal stock, and thereafter demi-glace. I have searched and searched for the things, and have found to get veal bones in my area means buying a case of 25 pounds, at $5/lb or more. I have neither the cash nor the storage space.
I was told by one very kind butcher that I could use beef bones instead... but after reading a few threads on here and on other sites I realized that the end product is just not the same. I'd rather not waste the time, effort, and money to find out in the end that I just made a whole big batch of "icky goop" that makes everything taste like... icky goop.
I do have two options, and would like opinions, please!
1) Purchase chicken backs, wings, and/or leg quarters, and use them to make a very dark chicken stock that I reduce to a demi-glace. (If you vote for this, I would love to hear any input on your method.)
2) Purchase a pre-made veal stock based demi-glace such as those offered by "More Than Gourmet" brand or something similar.
ny and all thoughts are appreciated, thanks very much!
Thanks for the feedback! This helps me feel a lot more comfortable about it all.
c oliver, I do want the three types of lasagna to go out at once. However, I might not need to put the second meat one in at the same time as the others. We always wind up needing a piece or two out of that one, so I need to have it. But I could put that one in when the others are done, and it can finish cooking while we sit down to eat so it is done in time for second helpings. (Using the neighbor's oven is a good idea, but the ones we know we can ask are having company the same day, so I cannot ask if I can squeeze something in!)
corneygirl and cinnamon girl, you make a good point about needing an extra boost in time and temperature due to so many things being in the oven at once. So 375 sounds like it will work well, and I can keep a closer eye on the four cheese one and then crank things up afterwards to finish the spinach.
cinnamon girl, to answer your question: no, the broiler is not separate from the oven, it's integrated into it with the broiler element on the "ceiling" of the oven.
I promise updates as things progress, thanks again everyone!
I posted recently, asking questions about making a four cheese lasagna in advance for a family party. Well, preparations are well under way, and I am attempting to puzzle out another issue.
I need to figure out the timing to place things in the oven so that they are all done at relatively the same time. By adding the extra lasagna I have confused myself here. (I do wish I had thought of this before I bought and grated all that Gruyère and Fontina.....ah well.)
I have 2 meat lasagnas: they are supposed to be baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes covered, then 25 minutes uncovered, and allowed to cool for 10 minutes. (These lasagnas are currently frozen and will be thawed out overnight in the fridge; the recipe suggests then adding an extra 5 minutes to the baking time.)
I have one spinach lasagna; it is supposed to be baked at 425 degrees for 20 minutes covered, then run under the broiler for 4-6 minutes, and allowed to cool for 10 minutes.
I have one four cheese lasagna: it is supposed to bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes covered, then run under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, and allowed to cool for about 15 minutes.
I only have one oven, but I can fit three pans in there at a time, possibly even 4. I also have a warming drawer with three settings (temps range from 140 to about 220.)
Soooooooo.....how do I get them all done at relatively the same time, and therefore served hot? Steam doesn't have to be rising from everything in big puffy clouds, but I certainly want them to be hot enough to be tasty. And although I think I could manage to cook things longer on lower temps, I don't want to scorch anything by baking it at higher temps than instructed.
My thought at the moment: Put the 2 meat lasagnas in at 350 and extend the covered baking time to about 20 or 25 minutes; add the cheese to the oven when I take the foil off the first 2, and continue...when those are done, put the 2 meat in the warming drawer and hold the cheese in my microwave (which I am now wishing was also a convection oven!), turn up the oven to 425 and bake the spinach lasagna, then broil it and the cheese together.
Or, I could do as above, but run the cheese lasagna under the broiler and then hold it aside while I bake the spinach one. The spinach lasagna would not get as much of a cool down, but I think we can manage if one is a little oozy.
Sorry for all the details, I'm just a little lost trying to figure this out! Will my plan work, or is there a better way to configure all these pans? Any advice or ideas before Saturday would be terrific, thanks very much :-)
I just realized I lost track of time, and didn't see the additional posts here. Thanks again to all who have responded!
I wish I did have the time and resources to do a trial run, but alas I cannot manage that. So, my in-laws will be my test subjects. ;-) Since I have standard favorites already set to go, we will all be fine if the new type is not to everyone's liking. (christinamason, I agree with you, I will add a dish but to a menu, but never take away one that everyone is looking forward too!)
The 2 meat lasagnas are assembled, wrapped, and frozen. I will be making the spinach one the day before and holding it in the fridge. as well as the 4 cheese one. The more I read over the instructions and the info I can find on similar dishes, the more confident I feel about doing things that way.
greygarious, I have made CI's spinach lasagna ahead like this before, and it has always been a tad soft...reading your comment about not pre-soaking the noodles when pre-assembling the dish now has me thinking that might be the reason why. Thanks for pointing that out to me. (And I like Barilla, too!)
Updates as I proceed, thanks again to all of you for the help.
From my in-laws: potato stuffing. Just take your usual stuffing recipe with onions, celery, and Bell's seasoning (that's all they use, anyway), and instead of bread cubes, use cubed parboiled potatoes. Right next to the mashed potatoes on the plate at Thanksgiving and Christmas...carb overload, omy!
(And yes, I do think this thread is that interesting!)
I'm not sure if this would work, but if you really want them to be ramekin size, then could you line the ramekins with something like waxed paper or buttered parchment, or even buttered or oiled plastic wrap? Fill and freeze, then pop them out and wrap them up for the freezer. When you want one (or two, or however many) you could put them back in the ramekins and MV them to thaw, and top them.
This all, of course, depends on being able to remove the liner after freezing or before reheating. Buttering them might work...or dipping them for a few moments into hot water before thawing. Or maybe, if you could, freeze it in a larger pan, then cut it into squares to store in the freezer?
If you cut the puff pastry to fit, freeze it and store it, you would have a topper for each pie, similar to what jfood mentioned.
jarona, my mother made something similar, and called it "hamburger helper". It wasn't the boxed kind at all, but an onion and green pepper chopped and fired, then mixed with cooked ground beef and an 8 ounce can of Hunt's tomato sauce and a pound of cooked elbows. The pasta was never overcooked, but the peppers were cooked to mush. My DH's family makes the same thing and calls it "American chop suey". NYC vs New England, I suppose!
I empathize completely, my father was diagnosed with Alzheimer's when I was entering my teens. It saddens me to know I will never learn the recipe for his famous giant "stuffed" hamburger, or learn many other things from him. But I agree, it is so nice to think back and remember!
New to the forums, hello all!
My mother used to make corned beef hash that I thought was absolutely delicious. I forget when I noticed that every single ingredient, no matter what else was in the house, came from a can or a jar. I think it was when I was sent to the basement pantry one day for a can of potatoes, and remembered on my way back up the stairs that we had just bought a five pound bag of potatoes that day. All four of my grandparents were from Ireland, so although corned beef is more an American dish, the potatoes should have been a no-brainer, or a chopped onion (we bought those that day too)...but no, canned beef and potatoes, onion powder, salt and pepper. I must admit, when I had hash made with "real" corned beef and veggies, it tasted very strange. (delicious, but strange.)
A friend of mine when I was about four told my mother about peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches. We tried them...and ate them for months like that. I can't bring myself to try them again now. One day I will tell my mom about putting peanut butter on bread and topping it with whipped cream...yummmmm!
My husband's family talks about something called "mince", which I finally found out was small chopped onion, carrot and celery fried with ground beef. A year or two ago I found a recipe in a book by Frances Mayer for using old soup vegetables: chop the celery, carrots, and onion very fine, add a bit of garlic and parsely, saute in olive oil and serve it over spaghetti. My DH and I loved it, but when we told his family about it we got squeals. "EWWWWW! Mince is bad enough, but that is mince with no meat! ICK!!!!" I had to laugh at their reaction, it was just too funny.
Thanks! I recognize your name, I recall your thread from the Thanksgiving dinner post and your family's "lamb incident". I empathize totally, and I am glad you and your husband can giggle about it now. :-)
You have a good point about the flavors melding if they get to sit for a while. Thanks for bringing that up. I am very much a "follow the recipe like law the first time you make it" cook, and I can't find any info about making this ahead of time. But your points and HopeSweets post are helping me to feel a bit more confident. I promise to come back and share how it all goes. :-)
Thanks very much for your reply! Your recipe sounds delicious, I would love to have it if you can post it to share. I love the idea of adding swiss cheese.
It helps to hear you have made a similar dish the night before, and I am making a note to myself to make sure I butter the foil before I cover it. (I hadn't thought of that, and it would have made quite a mess!) I understand what you mean about the difference in the noodle texture.
I have a few recipes that call for regular noodles, and when I try to exchange the no-boil ones, they come out exactly as you describe. This recipe calls for the no-boil ones, and I've used recipes from the same cookbooks that do also; they have come out with tender pasta layers so I am sure it will be fine in this case. If not, well...I will know better next time, and take the longer route to make it again. Thanks so much!
Sorry that I am jumping in so late, but it's my first evening on the boards :-)
I will cast a vote for the sauce from the Anchor Bar. My husband and I were in Niagara Falls a year ago, and made a special stop in Buffalo on our way home. The wings were tender, and the sauce was delicious.
I don't know if it is offered all over the country or just locally, but in the Boston area there is a take out restaurant called Wing-It that sells their buffalo wing sauce for sale. It's fantastic stuff!
As far as preparation goes, my husband and I usually brine the wing sections for about 30 minutes, then either grill them, or bake them on a rack over a cookie sheet at 425 F for about 10 minutes, then broil on high for 5 minutes on each side. Then we douse them in whatever sauce we are using.
(My apologies to those of you from Buffalo who fry your wings...although the flavor of fried wings is incredible, the lingering odor in my home is not quite so appealing. Ah, if I but had the ventilation system they have at the Anchor bar!)
My name is Emmie, and I am from the Boston area. I stumbled across the forums here tonight doing a search for something, and they are such fun I had to jump in! I especially enjoyed the post I read about Thanksgiving meals, and loved reading all of the responses about favorite dishes and serving a new menu for the first time...as well as coping with rude guests. (I don't enjoy rude guests, mind you, but I have had my share of them and appreciated what others have gone through to cope with them.)
I am starting my journey here with a request for advice or hints about making a new recipe for a family party. Since we travel to see my family for Christmas every year, my husband and I have his immediate family for dinner the weekend before. I make lasagna, others bring salad and bread, and we spend the evening opening presents and enjoying the company. This year, dinner is on December 19th.
The family favorite is made with a meat based sauce. I always like to have a meatless option as well, and want to try a recipe from Cook's Illustrated for four cheese lasagna. It's from the may 2007 issue of that magazine. Here is a link to the recipe: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/recip...
I would love to make this ahead of time, either by a week or so and freeze it and then thaw and bake it, or at least one day ahead and keep it in the fridge. Due to all of the cheeses and the no-boil noodles, I am not sure how long it will keep in the refrigerator in it's unbaked state; I am also not confident it will hold up in the freezer. (I could probably bake it, freeze it and reheat it, but I am afraid it will dry out.) I know if I have to assemble a lasagna the day of the dinner, I risk being up to my elbows in shredded cheese and pasta sheets when my in-laws arrive...trust me, been there, done that, and I don't need another photo of that scene showing up on a t-shirt, heehee!
If you have any experience with this recipe, or one that is similar, and can give me some feedback or advice I would be very grateful! Thanks in advance, and I look forward to chatting more with folks on the forums.