STOCK OR CONSOMMÉ.
This is the basis of all kinds of soup and sauces. Shin of beef or
ox-cheek make excellent stock, although good gravy-beef is sometimes
preferred; the bones should always be broken, and the meat cut up, as
the juices are better extracted; it is advisable to put on, at first,
but very little water, and to add more when the first quantity is
nearly dried up. The time required for boiling depends upon the
quantity of meat; six pounds of meat will take about five
bones, the same quantity will require double the time.
Gravy beef with a knuckle of veal makes a fine and nutritious stock;
the stock for white soups should be prepared with veal or white
poultry. Very tolerable stock can be procured without purchasing meat
expressly for the purpose, by boiling down bones and the trimmings of
meat or poultry.
The liquor in which beef or mutton intended for the table has been
boiled, will also, with small additions and skilful flavoring, make an
excellent soup at a trifling expense.
To thicken soups, mix a little potatoe-flour, ground rice, or pounded
vermicelli, in a little water, till perfectly smooth; add a little of
the soup to it in a cup, until sufficiently thin, then pour it into
the rest and boil it up, to prevent the raw taste it would otherwise
have; the presence of the above ingredients should not be discovered,
and judgment and care are therefore requisite.
If colouring is necessary, a crust of bread stewed in the stock will
give a fine brown, or the common browning may be used; it is made in
the following manner:
Put one pound of coarse brown sugar in a stew-pan with a lump of
clarified suet; when it begins to froth, pour in a wine-glass of port
wine, half an ounce of black pepper, a little mace, four spoonsful
of ketchup or Harvey's sauce, a little salt, and the peel of a lemon
grated; boil all together, let it grow cold, when it must be skimmed
and bottled for use.
It may also be prepared as required, by putting a small piece of
clarified fat with one ounce of coarse sugar, in an iron spoon,
melting them together, and stirring in a little ketchup and pepper.
When good stock or consommé is prepared, it is very easy to form it
into any kind of soup or sauce that may be required.