Reading Guide

Preview Understanding causes and effects can help clarify connections. A cause is an event or action that makes something happen. An effect is a result of a cause. Ask yourself, "Why does this happen?" to help you recognize cause-and-effect relationships in this section.

Read to Learn

Key Concepts

• Identify the elements of a stock.

• Explain the preparation of different varieties of stock.

Main Idea

Stocks are the liquids that form the foundation of sauces and soups. Learning how to make stocks can help you create flavorful sauces and soups.

Content Vocabulary

• stock

• fish stock

• nourishing

• fumet


• vegetable

• mirepoix


• base

• glaze

• white stock

• reduction

• brown stock

• supplement reserve

Graphic Organizer

As you read, use a problem-solution chart like this one to list the three potential problems that could happen when preparing white stock, and how to prevent those problems.

Preparing White Stock



Graphic Organizer Go to this book's Online Learning Center at for a printable graphic organizer.

^ English Language Arts

NCTE 2 Read literature to build an understanding of the human experience.

tJ Mathematics

NCTM Problem Solving

Build new mathematical knowledge through problem solving.


NSESB Develop an understanding of the interactions of energy and matter.

Social Studies

NCSSIV B Individual Development and Identity

Identify, describe, and express appreciation for the influence of various historical and contemporary cultures on an individual's daily life.

NCTE National Council of Teachers of English NCTM National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

NSES National Science Education

Standards NCSS National Council for the Social Studies

Stock Basics

The French word for stock is fond, meaning bottom, ground, or base. Since the 16th century, the quality of sauces and soups has depended upon the stocks that are used as their base. Learning the skill of making stocks will allow you to build sauces and soups on a strong foundation.

A stock is the liquid that forms the foundation of sauces and soups. Simmering various combinations of bones, vegetables, and herbs extracts their flavors to create this foundation.

Elements of a Stock

A stock is composed of four ingredients: the nourishing element, mirepoix, bouquet garni, and liquid. These ingredients are usually mixed in the following proportions to make most stocks:

• 5 parts nourishing element

• 1 part mirepoix

• bouquet garni

• 10 parts liquid

Nourishing Element

The most important ingredient in a stock is the nourishing element. A nourishing element includes any one or a combination of the following:

• Fresh bones (beef, lamb, chicken, fish, veal, or game)

• Meat trimmings

• Fish trimmings for fish stock

• Vegetables for vegetable stock

The nourishing element provides flavor, nutrients, and color. Some nourishing elements may bring other benefits to the stock, such as bones, which add gelatin.


Mirepoix (mir-'pwa) is a mix of coarsely chopped vegetables that is used in a stock to add flavor, nutrients, and color. The ingredients vary with each recipe, but usually include two parts onions, one part celery, and one part carrots.

Bouquet Garni

French for garnished bouquet, a bouquet garni is a combination of fresh herbs and vegetables, such as carrots, leeks, celery, thyme, and parsley stems, that are tied in a bundle with butcher's twine. This bundle is added directly to the liquid and is allowed to simmer. The bouquet garni is removed before the stock is used in other foods.


Liquid, almost always in the form of water, makes up the largest portion of stock. The liquid used to make stock should be cold when you begin to cook. This brings out the maximum flavor of the ingredients and prevents the stock from turning cloudy. When all the ingredients are prepared, the ratio of liquid to the nourishing element should be 2 to 1.

Commercial Stock Bases

Stocks can be purchased in a powdered or concentrated form, called a base. Using a commercial base saves time and money. However, what many bases add in convenience, they lose in flavor quality.

When you choose a commercial base, check the list of ingredients. Remember that the ingredients are listed in order from highest weight amount to lowest weight amount. A better-quality commercial stock base will list fish, meat, or poultry extracts rather than salt or sodium first. You can give commercial stock bases a fresher taste by simmering them for a few hours with bones and mirepoix. Then, strain the mixture and use it like a stock.

Some chefs use commercial stock bases to give sauces and soups a stronger flavor. Commercial stock bases can also be added as a supplement, or addition, when there is not enough stock available. Recipes must be adjusted when using bases because of the high amount of salt they contain.

four main ingredients of stocks?

^J Mirepoix in Stock A mirepoix adds flavor, color, and nutrients to stocks. What vegetables would you use for a mirepoix?

2 JFIGURE 20.1 | Stock Names

Stock Sources There are many different types of stocks, which are often referred to by their French names. Which ingredients can be made into white stocks?

^J Mirepoix in Stock A mirepoix adds flavor, color, and nutrients to stocks. What vegetables would you use for a mirepoix?

Types of Stocks

White, brown, fish, and vegetable stocks are the main types of stocks. They are sometimes referred to by their French names. (See Figure 20.1.)

White Stock

A white stock is made from chicken, beef, veal, or fish bones simmered with vegetables. White stock is generally colorless while it is cooking. To keep the stock as clear as possible, you may blanch the bones before adding them. However, some chefs think doing so causes flavor to be lost.

Brown Stock

Brown stock is made from either beef, veal, chicken, or game. It gets its color from roasting the ingredients without water, in a

French Name

English Translation

Fond de boeuf

(fan ds bf)

Beef stock

Fond de veau

(fan ds vo)

Veal stock

Fond de volaille

(fan ds vol-'ya)

Poultry stock

Fond de légume

(fan ds le-'gûm)

Vegetable stock

Fond d'agneau

(fan dan-'yo)

Lamb stock

Fond de poisson

(fan ds pwa-'son)

Fish stock

Fond de gibier

(fan ds zhê-'byâ)

Game stock

hot oven. The browned bones, mirepoix, and tomatoes or tomato product combine to give a brown stock its color. This mixture is then transferred to a stockpot and simmered along with water and herbs.

Brown Stock Preparation

The steps to make white stocks and brown stocks are mostly the same. (See How to Prepare White Stock on page 512.) The main difference is that for brown stocks, the bones and mirepoix are browned by roasting.

Follow these steps for brown stock:

1. Cut the beef or veal bones into 3- to 4-inch pieces.

2. Browning is slowed down by moisture, so do not wash or blanch the bones.

3. Place the bones one layer deep in a roasting pan.

4. Roast bones in the oven at 375°F (191°C) or higher for more than an hour, stirring occasionally. Some chefs lightly oil the bones before browning.

Continue reading here: Prepare

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