…the foundation for all classical French cooking.
At the CIA (that’s Culinary Institute of America), you start off your three-year education by learning how to peel vegetables and prepare a basic stock. You don’t do it once – you do it every day during the three-week rotation of the first class. Students move on after the first three weeks, but will continue to use the stock prepared by the next class of new students. Every three weeks, a new rotation of prospective chefs learn how to prepare stock.
A great stock is judged by:
The perfect stock has what is referred to as a “neutral” flavor. This is a kind way of saying it doesn’t taste like anything you’re used to eating or would want to eat. But you can do a million different things with a great stock because it has the remarkable quality of taking on other flavors without imposing a flavor of its own. It offers its own richness and body anonymously. When you reduce it, it becomes its own sauce starter. You can add roux to stock and create a demi-glace, and with a demi-glace, you can make over a hundred distinct sauces that define classic French cooking.
What’s your stock?
Personally. Organizationally. However you want to define it.
What’s that basic “thing” you are, have, or do that makes everything else come together to make things happen?
Learn to make a basic stock, and the possibilities become endless.