A Lamb Stock Recipe

Tomorrow I cook the 300th blog recipe – a dessert, but for #299 I am going to do a lamb dish which requires lamb stock. You don’t see lamb stock cubes in the USA very much so you can’t cheat if you need it for a recipe so I thought this might come in useful for anyone who may need it. It is adapted slightly from the book a Celebration of Soup by Lindsey Bareham. Unless Jane Grigson gives a specific recipe for stock, I always turn to this book to give me a helping hand.

Start with getting around a pound to a pound-and-a-half of lamb bones – I used the bones from the leg of lamb I am using for recipe #299 (I shan’t tell you what it is yet). The bones need to be broken in half at least, so wrap any in a teatowel and give them a good whack with a hammer until there is a snap. Put the bones in a roasting tin and place in a hot oven – around 200° (400°F) for around twenty minutes. Place the bones in your stock pot, drain off any fat and deglaze the roasting tin with half a pint of water. Pour the water in the pot and add a further two pints of water. Bring to a boil, skim and allow to simmer gently partially covered for an hour.

Meanwhile, peel and chop an onion and a carrot and chop a stick of celery. Put these in the roasting pan along with a little oil and roast until nicely brown. When ready, add them to the pot along with six peppercorns and some herbs – parsley stalks, a couple of bay leaves, a sprig or two of rosemary, some mint stalks etc. This will depend upon what the stock is for. If you are not sure, just put in your favourite herbs and spices.

Allow to simmer for a further ninety minutes then strain the stock. Let the stock cool completely before skimming it for fat. You can reduce it to make it stronger if you like, but I would recommend only adding salt once you have reduced the stock as it might end up too salty. You can add, but you can’t take away Grigsoners!

Everything you wanted to know about bouquet garnis but were afraid to ask…

Ok, you weren’t afraid to ask…

Not really had time to add extra entries other than the stuff I’m cooking from the Tome. However, I did come across this information in the very excellent book A Celebration of Soup by Lindsey Bareham on the subject of bouquet garnis – I usually guess as to what should go in mine, and try and match it to the ingredients of the soup/stew etc, but Lindsey gives an ultimate list here, which I’m reproducing – I’m using it as a benchmark from now on and thought you might like to know too… So whenever I mention that I’ve used a bouquet garni, unless Griggers is very specific as to what should go in it, it’ll be one of these and I’ll link back to this post. Hope it’s useful!

Poultry – stick of celery cut in half, parsley stalks, a couple of sprays of tarragon, a bayleaf, a sprig of thyme and leek trimmings.

Game – A sprig of rosemary, ½ an onion, 3 inches of pared orange peel and a sprig of thyme.

Fish – A couple of fennel stalks or leaves, a sprig each of chervil and tarragon and leek trimmings.

Meat – One clove of unpeeled garlic, parsley stalks, a bayleaf, ½ an onion studded with a few cloves and a sprig of time. (I’m also adding a spring of sage with pork and rosemary with lamb).