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  • Larry White

GAME STOCKS & BROTHS



Ahh, the old debate of "is it a stock or is it a broth"? To me the difference is quite simple. A broth is super flavorful from the addition of vegetables, herbs, meats and various other seasonings. A stock should be bone dense. While the bones themselves don't add a ton of flavor, what the do add is body. That body comes in the form of connective tissue and cartilage (gelatin) being melted away into the cooking liquid.


So if you're looking to make an awesome stock or broth, the more joints the better. Also since the meat is pretty much where the flavor is, it doesn't hurt to throw in any scraps that you don't have any plans for. From there add the basic vegetables of carrots, celery and onions for a little sweetness.


For even more sweetness and a little color tomato paste is also another great addition. After that, the ball is pretty much in your court and there aren't many rules to follow. You can add various herbs such as thyme, rosemary and basil, as well as whole seasonings like peppercorns, cloves and coriander.


One of the notes that you usually read in classical cookbooks is to always skim the fat from the stock/broth. Unless i want a clear liquid I leave the fat, because fat equals flavor and in cooking, flavor rules! Another old school rule that you can throw out of the window is to always keep your liquid below or at a low simmer. This is true if you are trying to attain a clean/clear broth. If clear isn't what you're after, simply boil the hell out of it. If you do go the boil route, add your vegetables towards the end if you're planning on keeping and eating them, if not they will fall apart into a clumpy mess.


Another thing to keep in mind that especially true with wild game meat, is that you don't have to make large quantities of stocks and broths at once. If you only have a few bones saved from your harvest, there's nothing wrong with only making two or three quarts.


Here is my non-recipe for an awesome broth


Add roasted game bones (meat scraps if you have some) to a large pot and cover with water by two inches. Set on the stove over a medium low heat for 5-6 hours. When the last hour has arrived, add all of your vegetables and aromatic ingredients. Strain and you're finished.



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