( Originally Published 1904 )
The making of stock, frequently looked upon by the young housekeeper as too intricate and troublesome to undertake, becomes as simple as many other matters of cooking when divested of the seeming mystery surrounding it, a mystery arising only from the lack of a few explicit directions combined with the same amount of care and forethought necessary for the success in other departments of culinary art.
Stock is simply the concentrated juices of meat, or fowl, extracted by the process of long and gentle simmering. It is used as a nutritive basis for soup, and while there are certain rules to be followed, ingenuity and good judgment, combined with the ingredients at hand, will make it easy to produce a variety as acceptable in the matter of soups as in the rest of the menu.
Into the stock kettle many a little left-over of meat or fowl, or. the bone of a steak or chop, should find its way. To the carcass of a fowl may be added' a couple of pounds of veal with a good-sized knuckle of the same, for a white stock; brown stock may be made from a combination of meats and fowl.
In the making of soups from stock, cooked vegetables, a little meat or vegetable hash, or even a bit of cereal left from the morning meal will add substance to the thick soup; and all of these will contribute to the delicious flavor, in. which no single one predominates, that makes the good soup so vastly different from its opposite—the one indifferently seasoned or too weak.
Stock may be made the same day it is used, but rather than attempt this it is better to make one of the emergency soups, for which directions are given elsewhere. A number of these may be made without stock.
For cooking stock, a steam-tight kettle is all-important, as it is necessary that there should be no waste by evaporation. If a soup digester is considered too expensive, a granite-ware or porcelain-lined kettle with a tight-fitting cover will answer every purpose. Do not use an iron kettle if it can be avoided; besides being heavy to handle it rusts easily, and is more diffrcult to clean.
Vegetables should not be added to stock if it is to be kept for long, as their juices cause it to ferment sooner. In summer, it will be necessary to bring to a boil and skim the stock every day or two to prevent its souring.
To prepare meats for stock, trim off all dried edges or useless bits, those that show any possibility of taint, or that- have come in contact with rusty meat hooks. Rinse off the outside very quickly in-cold water and wipe with a clean cloth. Do not wash the meat after" cutting it "up; the inside is clean, and each washing will result in some loss of the juices. Cut the meat in small pieces: crack or saw the bones to allow quicker and more thorough extraction of the juices of the meat and the gelatine of the bones. The marrow should be removed from the inside of the bones and placed in the kettle first; then pack in the meat and bones and cover with cold water in the proportion of one quart of water to one pound of meat.
When cooked meats are to be used, carefully trim from the steak or roast any parts of fat or bone that have been burned in broiling or roasting, as these will give a bitter flavor to the stock.
After adding the water to the meat and bones, let it stand for half an hour or more to allow the juices to be drawn out before heating; then put the kettle over a slow fire and bring the contents to a gentle simmer., Never let a soup boil rapidly, as the rapid boiling hardens the outside of the meat and prevents the escape of the juices, while gentle simmering extracts the nutritive qualities.
Do not skim the stock as the scum begins to rise. This scum is simply the blood and juices which at this stage of the cooking coagulate and rise to the surface; a little later it will disintegrate and be absorbed in the liquor; to skim and throw it away is to lose a portion of the very thing we are trying to procure—the nutritive elements of the meat.
After simmering is well begun, add the seasoning in the proportion of 1 teaspoonful salt to a quart of water, a half saltspoonful of ground white pepper, a celery root, or a tiny bit of celery seed, or the tops of celery—the leaves of celery, by the way, need never be thrown out, for if not needed at once they may be dried like any other savory herb, and put away for future use. Boiled in the stock, before straining, they serve the same purpose as the seed. Add a sprig of parsley, and if cloves or allspice are used, the whole ones are better, as they strain out, and the flavor is better than in the ground spices, however pure they are supposed to be.
In the city markets " soup bunches " may be had for a penny or two, consisting of a sprig of parsley, a small carrot,- a young onion, and whatever savory herbs are in the market, but the housekeeper is fortunate if she can have her own parsley bed in her back yard, or a box of it growing on her back porch, as it is one of the most useful of seasonings and garnishings. A mixture of dried sweet herbs put up in bottles, to be found at first-class grocers', is a convenience, as it saves the trouble of measuring out each one separately. A teaspoonful of this to 1 quart of stock is the right proportion.
When the meat has cooked until reduced to shreds, or drops from the bones, leaving them clean, strain the stock into the stock-jar of earthen or stone ware. A rather fine strainer that fits the jar, or a colander into which a piece of cheesecloth is laid, should be used. Dip the stock from the kettle into the strainer, allowing it to run through without pressing or squeezing: By letting it stand a short time all the liquor will run through, leaving the scraps quite dry. These are of no further use.
Stand the jar where the stock will cool quickly, and when cool put in the refrigerator; the fat will rise to the top and form a cake hard enough to remove without trouble by running a knife around the edge of the jar. If a good proportion of bone has been used, the stock; when cold, will be a stiff jelly. The cake of fat on the top will help the stock to keep, by excluding the air, and need not be removed at once, as a portion of it may be cut and the necessary amount of stock taken out; -the remaining stock should be heated to allow the cake to form on the top again. When the fat is -taken off it should be clarified with raw potato and added to the beef drippings for frying and sauteing.
The stock thus made will be sufficiently clear for most soups, but it must be clarified if a very clear one is to be made.
To clarify stock-remove every particle of fat, beat the white of 1 egg for every quart of stock, add this and the crushed shell of the egg to the stock while the latter is cold, mixing it in very thoroughly. Put it over the fire and stir constantly while heating" so that the egg will not settle: When it has reached the boiling point, leave it to simmer for ten minutes; a thick scum will then have formed. Take the stock from the fire-and add half a cup of cold water, let it stand a few minutes-and strain through a colander in which 'a fine napkin or other thin cloth wrung out of cold water has been laid.
Do not pour the stock directly on the napkin or the scum will clog it, but let it first run through a fine wire strainer which will catch the scum and the shells. Dither before or after clarifying, this stock is ready for an almost endless variety of soups or consommes by the addition of cooked vegetables, macaroni, spaghetti or vermicelli, rice or barley; or it may be used in gravies and side dishes.
If dark soup is desired, it may be made by the addition of a little caramel or dark roux, or by browning some sliced vegetables or diced fresh meat in butter, and adding it to the stock.
To make a white stock, use veal and chicken in about equal parts; follow the directions for beef in preparing the veal, cut up and joint the chicken as for stewing, and proceed as for the other stock, omitting in the seasoning, cloves, of any spices that will darken the stock, and using celery seed or celery salt and white pep-per.. A fowl that is too old for serving in other ways may be used for chicken soup; the long, slow simmering will sometimes be the only method of cooking a fowl that proves to be very tough.
1 quart stock; 1 cup tomatoes; 1 cup chopped potatoes; 1/2. cup chopped onion; 1/2 cup chopped celery; 1/2 cup chopped carrot; 1 quart boiling water; 1/2 cup cooked corn; 1/, cup peas; 1/2 cup chopped turnip; 1 teaspoonful salt; 1/2 pepper; 1 teaspoonful sugar; 1 bay leaf.
Some of these vegetables may be omitted, and rice, barley, or vermicelli added. Cabbage and paiships may be added, but as these are frequently objectionable it is well to use thew only when the tastes of the diners are well known, or in such small quantities, finely chopped, that the flavor will be very slight.
Cook the chopped turnip, onion, carrot, and celery for ten or fifteen minutes, drain off the water, and -add these and the other vegetables to the stock and boiling water, simmer until tender, but not broken; add the seasoning, and serve.
1 quart stock; 1 pint vegetables same as in vegetable soup; 1/4 saltspoonful white pepper; 1/4 saltspoonful paprika; 1/2 teaspoonful salt.
Cut the turnip and carrot into quarter-inch dice, or slice thin and cut any fancy shapes. Cut the potato in small dice, and the celery in thin slices. Cover the vegetables with boiling water, add the salt and boil long enough to cook tender without losing shape. Bring the stock to a boil, add the vegetables with the water in which they were cooked, season, and serve as soon as hot.
1 quart stock; 2 cups stewed tomatoes (or 1 can cooked and strained); 1 teaspoonful sugar; 1 teaspoonful salt; 1 saltspoonful pepper.
Add the sugar, salt, and pepper to the strained tomatoes, then add the boiling stock.
Serve with inch-square croutons, well buttered and toasted in a hot oven.
TOMATO AND GREEN CORN SOUP
4 medium-sized tomatoes; 4 ears of green corn; 1 pint milk; 1 pint water; 1 small onion; 1 tablespoonful butter; 1 tablespoonful flour; 1 teaspoonful salt; 1 saltspoonful pepper.
Scald and peal the tomatoes, cut the corn from the cob, and mince the onion very fine. Cut the tomatoes in quarters and slice thin. Put in a saucepan with the boiling water and cook until tender, then add the milk and the flour and butter rubbed together; add the seasoning, simmer gently until the flour is cooked. A pint of strong beef stock may be substituted for the milk.
1 pint chicken or other white stock; 1/4 cup sago; 1 pint water; 4/4 cup good cream; 1 tea-spoonful salt; 1/2 saltspoon white pepper; 1 blade mace.
Wash the sago and soak it for two hours in as much cold water as it will absorb, then add the pint of boiling water and salt and mace and boil until it is clear. Take out the mace, add the stock and pepper, let it boil up and simmer gently for a few minutes; add the hot cream, and serve.
Or use clear brown stock instead of white, and omit the cream.
Use tapioca or rice instead of sago, soaking and cooking the tapioca until clear. If rice is used, wash thoroughly through several waters, and cook in boiling water ten minutes, then add the stock and cook slowly until the rice is tender. Add more seasoning if necessary.
1 pint milk; 2 eggs; 1 dessertspoonful flour; 1/2 teaspoonful vanilla extract; salt and sugar to taste.
Boil the milk and add the vanilla; mix the flour with a little cold milk, pour it into the boiling milk and cook until it. thickens, then strain. Return it to the fire and add the slightly beaten yolks of the eggs, and the sugar, keeping it well stirred. 'Beat the whites of the eggs to- a snow, and cook in a pan of water until set. Send the soup to the table with this snow floating on the top. Serve with very thin biscuits.
Being-very easily digested as well as nourishing, this is a good nursery or sick-room soup.
BEEF SOUP (FRENCH METHOD)
3 pounds lean beef; 1 large shin bone; 1 can tomatoes; 4 quarts water; 2 teaspoonfuls salt;
1 large onion; 2 leeks; 1 dozen black pepper-corns; 1/2 dozen cloves; 1 bay leaf.
Rinse the meat h cold water and wipe with a clean cloth. Cut it into small pieces; remove all the fat; have the bone well cracked; cover with cold water, and heat very slowly. When it is boiling add the tomatoes, leeks, the onion which has been fried, and the seasoning. Simmer slowly four hours, then strain; add 2 lumps of sugar burned in a spoon, or a spoonful of caramel. Let it boil up, then serve.