I live in Copenhagen, Denmark, and I have almost given up on buying fonds for when I want to make my own reduction sauces at home.
The fonds in the supermarkets here are either far too salty or simply don’t taste well.
I do buy fonds at my local butcher once in a while, but the butcher fonds are quite expensive.
I’ve started making my own fond, but not the classsical way.
I use a speedier version, but it still takes almost 2 hours to make.
The result with home made fond, even my speedy version, is so much better than what you can buy in the stores here in Copenhagen.
How about you ?
Do you make your own fond for your sauces or do you buy it premade ?
My speedy fond is made like this.
I buy some extra meat or cut offs from the existing meat I’m making that day.
I cut the meat into small pieces and high heat sear the meat in a frying pan.
While I do this I cut 2 celery, 2 carrots and 1 large onion into smaller pieces and sear them in the bottom of a small stock pot in a bit of neutral oil.
I then add 2-3 liters of water, 2-3 bay leafs and 25-30 whole peppercorns to that mix and let it simmer away for a couple of hours.
When the meat has been seared to almost blackness, I add the meat to the stock pot with the vegetables. I then deglaze the pan in warm water and add that to the same stock pot.
After 2 hours I run the blend through a fine strainer.
That’s the fond I use for reduction sauce.
It tastes better than any store bought fond, I’ve tried.
For 20 years I’ve been suitcasing a commercial powdered fond from France, my secret weapon. Pandemic has made me quite parsimonious with its use. Roasting bones with veg makes a fine and indeed more classic substitute, but takes more forethought.
I think of fond as just the browned bits in a pan after using it to brown or roast something, usually meat. I absolutely use it and find it close to impossible to get good fond in a nonstick pan, but it is easily made with iron, carbon steel, stainless, tin, or aluminum. It is usually the base for pan sauces, but incorporating it into a demi glace, assuming it gets throughly strained, makes total sense. I do not find that demi requires much work, but it takes a ton of time and patience. I usually make it on a day when either there is not much else to do or I am in the kitchen a long, long time for something that takes hours.
So maybe what we call fond is what you call broth or stock ?
To be honest the English words for stock, broth and bouillon is confusing me a bit.
Is broth thicker than stock ?
In danish I believe we use the same term as the French do.
I looked it up, Tim.
“Why is French stock called fond?
It refers to a flavorful liquid that is used as foundation ( fondation in French, hence the abbreviation fond ) for other preparations, such as stocks, broths, gravies and sauces”
Sorry about my confusion here.
Hope people understand what I’m talking about
Do we have a French speaking person here ?
What is the French word for what you in English call fond (the meat bits you scrape off from the pan) ?
Somehow I think what the French call fond got mixed in translation, when the English guys tried to translate it, hence my confusion about the word fond.
I believe the word fond is originally French, but I could be wrong.
I knew what you meant right away. I just wanted to provide a bridge to Americans who never went to cooking school in France or worked under a hard core French chef or sous chef.
I am USA American and use the terms broth and stock almost interchangeably. I say almost because unless it has a protein other than seafood, I call it broth. Another way of putting it is that I refer to fish stock (fumet) and vegetable stock. It may or not be correct. It is simply how I learned it. I think of a bouillon as a highly clarified stock, perhaps going beyond using the chinois and cheese cloth to using the egg white raft. I also think of a stock that will become a bouillon as highly gelatinous, enough so that it can go yet further and become a clear reddish brown jellied consomme madrllene. A cup of that with a squeeze of lemon and some cumber sandwiches make for a terrific lunch on a hot day. I too welcome expert clarification. And you are right that fond means the base.
An extremely easy recipe for beef or chicken stock that I use regularly to make foundational stock for sauces, braises, risottos, etc. is as follows: save vegetable trimmings that have good flavors, nothing assertive like asparagus. I generally have onion, celery, carrot, and mushroom ends, tomato navels, and lettuce bottoms. I also save beef bones and chicken carcasses. Place a gallon of frozen vegetable trimmings and eithet some beef bones or chicken carcass on top or beside them on a large jelly roll pan. Roast until browned but not burnt. Place the roasted goods in a stockpot with enough water to cover, salt to taste, herbs of your choosing, a couple of bay leaves, and a dozen or so whole pepper corns. Bring to a smile, just shy of bubbling, and hold it there 3-4 hours. Without disturbing things, especially the bones, strain it. Because you are using things you were collecting in your freezer there is no real prep work. The hardest part is getting it to the smile without boiling, but even that does not take long. Same process without protein for vegetable stock. Fish stock is completely different with very few and very delicate aromatics and no roasting, also shorter cook times.
But if I want to make dinner and need a good reduction sauce I skip roasting the bones in the oven and roast them in a frying pan instead (a frying pan I’ll use later on to sear the meat in) to save time.
Still takes me 2 hours to make totally and still quite delicious fond/stock I get out of it, but easier to make.
EXACTLY what Chef Jean-Pierre does in his recipe.
However I also add a tablespoon or two to the vegetables and sear that for a couple of minutes and I think it gives me as nice added depth to the quality of my stock.
I regularly make chicken stock /broth because I buy whole chickens and cut them up. I use a lot of chicken stock because I make rice pilaf often and use chicken stock as the liquid. I rarely make beef stock because I don’t have the bones and it’s a long, drawn process. In America we have a pretty good paste, Better Than Bouillon brand. I use their chicken, beef and lobster flavored. Also use some Knorr products like their demi glaze as a base for braising or gravy making.
I make my own chicken, beef, and vegetable stocks. When lobster prices are lower than usual here in Boston (not often any more), we get the 2 for one lobster special at a local restaurant and bring home all the carcasses to make lobster stock. I would love to make fish stock again and I do make duck stock on the rare occasions I prepare a duck dish. I also make pork stock every few years.
Anyone who gets lobster in a restaurant, bring home the carcass! You can use in a day or so or freeze.
I use the Judy Rodger’s stock recipes in Zuni Cafe cookbook. I follow her instructions to bring it to almost boil briefly so the protein scum can be skimmed off. I think that helps the flavor. I also sometimes make roasted chicken stock rather than the unroasted in her cookbook. Adds a different flavor profile.
Her beef stock is actually a compound stock where the beef bones ar roasted and then homemade chicken stock is used for some of the water. That compound stock is fantastically flavorful. I love it for winter beef dishes. I only make 2 or so a winter, one a beef stew from Italy or France or Catalonia, and every winter a Georgian beef stew.
Fond, as I know it, is reduced stock that is dense and has a rich, concentrated flavor. Yes, I take that extra step with stock sometimes.
The one stock that i find imperative for a good fish soup is made from fresh white fish frames which you can request from your fish monger. Halibut frames are enormous, a meter long and produce a lovely gelatinous stock. One frame will make stock for three or four big soups and freezes beautifully.
I see a lot of people making stock by first roasting things. By doing that, you will caramelise those ingredients and the resulting flavours will be much stronger as a result. Bold-flavoured stock, who doesn’t want that??
Well, me, for starters. I like stock to be clean tasting and full of nuance. In a dish I’d be making, stock will typically play second fiddle and thus I don’t want it be overpowering.
If I’d be making onion soup I might make a brown stock, but usually I’ll stick with white stocks.
If anything, I have more an Italian way of doing things. In Italian cuisine, deliberately made sauces are rare, and if people talk about a sauce it’s usually just a pan sauce made with water, some alcoholic drink (wine/marsala etc) or a light stock. And then of course you have the famous bollito misto, where the stock is the dish: the boiled meats are eaten with a salsa verde.
I make my own stock for risotto. I don’t have a large freezer so I cannot freeze stock. I typically make stock with chicken because it’s fast to make and tastes delicious with many things. I just put chicken in a pot, cut in half, add 1 onion, celery, carrot, bay leaf, a rind of parmesan, whole peppercorns, and flat leaf parsley. I typically use my 20 cm Fissler tall sauce pan or 22 cm Lagostina and it’s ready within the hour.
I also make fish stock once in a while, using the shells of prawns I can buy at our local store, and then with white wine. Unfortunately it’s difficult here in the Netherlands to get really good meats for bollito misto - I should find a better butcher!
I agree that roasting the stock ingredients results in a very different flavor than making stock with raw ingredients. That’s why I usually use raw chicken for chicken stock, which I can then use for many purposes. The roasted chicken stock is welcome in a few dishes, especially in winter, when chicken is the dominant preferred flavor.
I completely agree with you again - when I make my own stock for risotto or a vegetable based soup, I also don’t sear the chicken carcus, I boil it with the vegetables (typically soffritto/mirepoix carrots/celery/onion) and bay leafs and whole peppercorns and strain it for a nice 2-3 hour home made pretty delicate tasting stock.
When I talk sauces and stock however, my heart is in France and I really love the intense flavour you get from roasting/searing the meat first in a stock/Fond for a dark beer og red wine reduction sauce.
But as I feel I begin to know your taste pallette, you have a very delicate taste and don’t want things to overpower the natural taste of the ingredients and I’m actually beginning to find inspiration in how you perceive fine delicate taste in food.
I have started to use dry spices more sparringly in my kitchen and want to further emphasise the taste and scent of the natural ingredients in the dishes I make.
I see this as a natural way of progressing and building my skills in my home kitchen to try to get to the next level of cooking. I’m mowing forward, but at a slower pace as I know most of the basic techniques and recipes now, but fine tuning delicate taste is definitely one step on latter I need to take for me to get to the next level of fine dinig & home cooking.
I just can’t buy stock. Just can’t. Lamb is my fave meat, so I use lamb bones to make my stock, then use that with the pan fond for sauce. I prefer to thicken sauces with cream than make a roux. I also use some tomato paste in the process. My butcher still gives away free bones. Love that guy.