When I started my college training to become a chef, one of the first things we where taught was how to make stocks and sauces, along with a few other things these are the basis of a good kitchen and with this knowledge many thousands of dishes can be made. I think it is important to put this info in this section as we are having a drive here on the recipes section of GC. Firstly a couple of "terms" described. Mirepoix - is the French name for a mix of veg roughly chopped. Carrot, Onion and Celery is traditional 2 parts onion and one each of carrot and celery. During my career as a chef in the UK it was anglicised to equal portions of Carrot, Onion, Celery and Leek. The veg is peeled or just washed and barely cut up, so onions and carrots in half etc. You want enough to roughly fill the gaps in your stock pot between the bones. Bouquet Garni - another french term means Parsley stalks, Bayleaaf and a few springs of thyme tied together - Masses of flavour from this! Standard Stocks Standard stocks made in most professional kitchens are Beef, Chicken and Fish, others can and will be made, but these are the standards. Beef Stock (Brown Stock) Beef or Veal Bones Mirepoix Cold water Bouquet Garni Peppercorns Thats the ingredients, lets get on with it. You can order bones from your local butchers and you want knuckle joints, marrow bones or both, ask him to either crack the knuckles or cut them all up small ( some butchers have a bandsaw for this) and you want to buy enough to fill your stock pot to the very top. Spread the bones and Mirepoix on some roasting trays and roast in a fairly hot over to colour them, turning them regularly for even colour all over. Dark brown (Not black) is what your looking for. When this is done transfer the bones and mirepoix into your stock pot, cover with cold water, add a bouquet garni and a few peppercorn and start to heat. Bring your stockpot to the boil then remove from the heat and immediately put in a pint of cold water, this stops the "boil" and helps send the fat to the surface, which you can skim off using a ladle or large spoon. Return the pot to the heat and a gentle rolling boil, put a lid on and cook for a good eight hours - good things take time! Top up the liquid with cold water to keep the bones covered every couple of hours and skim at the same time. After 8 hours your stock is done, you need to get it out carefully, use tongs to remove a few bones then put a conical strainer in, use a ladle to collect the stock from inside the strainer, remove a few more bones with the tongs and repeat. The aim is for a stock that is clear, if it has "bits" in, they can decompose and ruin your stock, cloudy stock is just very fine bits. So dont agitate your pot. Congraatulations, you have just made a stock that will rival any available in any professional kitchen! Professional kitchens will sometimes go a stage further and as they are working in the kitchen all day it is easy for them to do. The stock will be put into a clean pan and further cooked, the purpose is to reduce the liqiud until only about half a teacup remains, constantly skimmed and watched it becomes an intense flavour This is called a "Glace", it will be stored in a jar in the fridge. When needed a very small ammount Tip of a knife (size of a pea) can be added to soups stews or dishes for a flavour boost. Chicken Stock (White Stock) Chicken carcasses Mirepoix Cold water Bouquet Garni Peppercorns This is the same for Beef stock (Brown Stock) except you do not roast the bones or mirepoix. Its a white stock so does not require the colour roasting gives. Fish Stock. Fish bones from non oily fish (No heads). Use white fish only. Cold water Onion White of a leek Sprig parsley Bayleaf Peppercorns Peel and finely slice the veg, then wash it and all the ingedients well in cold water. Place in a pan and cover with cold water, heat on high till almost boiling DO NOT ALLOW TO BOIL then turn down to a simmer, skim and cook for 20 mins. Decant carefully and pass through a chinois or fine strainer. Court Bouillon Not a stock, it's a cooking liquor that is discarded after use but I have been in situations in some kitchens where using a good court bouilon is favourable to using water to thin sauces down with, the same way you would use pasta cooking water to thin pasta sauces for example or cabbage water with gravy. Water Mirepoix Bouquet Garni White wine vinegar or Lemon Juice (cut up lemons) or Wine Bay laef Peppercorns The above is boiled up then reduced to a simmer to poach fish in or to pre cook lobsters/crabs or whole fish for cold dressing later. The acid (vinegar,lemon juice) helps to bring out the flavours of the veg but as it is discarded will not be in the final stock or sauce.