Play with your food! Quenelles with no cream in beef and mushroom soup.

DSCN1271Making soup stock is opera! To those looking onto the stage the whole productions seems a long, boring tragedy, but for those on stage it’s craft and art — it’s one of my favorite things to do. I make stock in 20 liter batches. A couple of months ago I replenished my beef stock, Espagnole, and demi-glace — two full days of work. Today I took out a liter of the beef stock for soup and all is right in the world.

The stock is bold, flavorful, and filled with body — enough to stand on its own; but I added mushrooms and a swirl of caramelized onions (I’m saving for French Onion Soup).

I had two thawed turkey steaks. The food processor was already out, as was the keifer, so I put the three together as a non-fat quenelle in the pot with a few ladles of soup. Honestly, the soup was so full of flavor nothing in the turkey mixture came into it. The quenelle wasn’t juicy, didn’t have the mouthfeel it should but it was good and I will do them again without cream for something light. The key for this dish was play on beef, mushroom, caramelized onion, and turkey which, as something totally unexpected, heightened the sensory experience.

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9 Comments on “Play with your food! Quenelles with no cream in beef and mushroom soup.

  1. AAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHKKKKKKKKKK! THAT IS WHY I DON’T MAKE STOCK!!!!!!!! All those bones of all of those animals! I just can’t. FEET AND TENDONS! CARTILAGE! You are about to send me into a vegetarian state for which my husband will have words for you. You are a true cook, whereas, I only fake it.

    Thank you so much for your tips and details. I honestly had to skim your reply because really . . . . . . I cannot focus too much on where meat comes from. I know it is stupid, but I just can’t. If I did I would HAVE TO, be COMPELLED to, become a vegetarian.

    I once thought about becoming a chef then when I thought of having to truss a bird or deal with heads, I realized I could not.

    I love the idea of putting the veggies (mirepoix?) in a colander and replacing them. That sounds like a fantastic idea. No wonder you say your stock has so much flavor.

    And you are so awesome to dehydrate the veggies and grind them.

    Wow. You go all out. I have to google many of the words you have in this reply; like mirepoix . . . . tonight I made my husband something we call “Porky Pork Chops” . . . just to give you and idea of where I am coming from. (Respectfully bowing my head to your wisdom and knowledge!) Thanks. I will be on the look out for your post about stock. Although, I will probably skim it! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thank you again for your reply.

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    • (lol) Then I will not tell you about how I make chicken stock. You’ll have nightmares because the good flavors come from . . . .

      You should always challenge yourself. If meat stock isn’t your thing, try fish or seafood stock, or even vegetable. The trick is sweating the vegetables (vs browning), using not only mirepoix but shallots, leeks, parsnips, etc, and quick cooking — no more than 1 – 2 hours max.

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      • Oh my. I gag just thinking about fish. Maybe I will have to stick to vegetable stock. But I can throw the bones in a pot right?

        Thanks for the veggie stock tip!

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      • You don’t like fish? Six words for you: Go to France to eat Bouillabaisse.

        Yeah, your bones will make a stock. Don’t let it boil. If you see bubble come up, the heat is too high. Either turn it all the way down or take half the pot off the burner. Add mirepoix if you can to give it flavor. And, if you’re inclined, near the end of cooking add diced meat, the same kind as the bone, but you don’t need it. You’ll further flavor your stock when you turn it into stock, soup, gratin, pilaf, etc. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Just know that restaurant quality stock uses something (from the animal) to give the soup gelatin, the feeling of gelatin in the mouth is what they call “body”.

        Oh, I’ve never done it, but making stock in a pressure cooker is trending now.

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      • Ok, so really the thought of fish makes me gag, but if I were in France I would try it. But I have been to Europe twice and I found that they cook very different than here and I liked things there that I do not like here. Probably starts with their ingredients. Unfortunately, I don’t see myself traveling anytime soon.

        Ahhh . . . . I would have boiled it. I would have brought it to a boil then turned the heat down. But . . . . no boiling. Ok. The bones are from a portion of a cow we bought. So how long do I boil it? What about using a crock pot?

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      • I’ve never used a crock pot for stock. It would have to be a huge crockpot.

        The point in boiling bones is to get 1) get the gelatin then 2) extract the flavor. To extract the flavor you’re looking at about two – four hours. To extract all the gelatin is four to eight hours.

        My guess is you’ll be happier with a shorter boiling. My suggestion is to brown the bones in the oven 350 – 400 degrees F for 45 minutes then put them in a pot with your veggies for two hours. Strain and throw everything away. When it’s cold, skim off any fat. The browning in the oven will give you the most flavor from the bones.

        I just posted something vegetarian for you to make! Aloo Gobi. Give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  2. It is like a time warp . . . . your blog was posted tomorrow! So . . . .how do you make your beef stock? Do you use bones? I have bones in my freezer and I want to get them out. Ha, ha. Sounds morbid.

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    • I will be making a post on that when I run out. You can easily make a beef stock just from bones. Myself, I turn it into a huge production:

      Veal bones, beef bones, pig trotters, hoof or tendons, and tough cuts of beef. For aromatics I use onions, celery, carrots. Final seasonings include bay leaf, fresh thyme, parsley stems, tomato paste, occasionally garlic.

      To give the stock body the feet and tendons — anything with cartilage or gelatin — goes in from the beginning. I’ll put the mirepoix in a kind of colander and after two hours pull it out to replace it with a fresh batch then another fresh batch near the end when I add the beef (which I cook about 2 hours, or until the individual pieces have no flavor left). Boiling in this way lasts about 8 – 12 hours, depending of the flavor and body.

      Then I dehydrate all the vegetables and grind them into powder. The meat — and whatever falls off the bones — go into croquettes and pies, and the bones get a second boiling for remouillage — then it’s time to get to work on the sauces. ๐Ÿ™‚

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