Stock is a foundation in cooking. A good homemade stock is useful in so many other applications, that it’s well worth the little effort required to make homemade stock. Not only are stocks used in soups and stews, it is also a base for most sauces. Cooking rice, beans, barley, quinoa, and other whole grains in stock helps add flavor. You can also sauté vegetables in stock to add additional flavor.
Making a Pan Sauce
When you cook and sear meats you have a built in sauce, right in the pan. Whether cooking in a skillet on the stove, or a skillet or pan in the oven, you can utilize the “fond” (brown, not black, bits stuck to the pan) for a sauce to drizzle over the meat when serving.
Review of Ratio
I checked out Ratio, by Michael Ruhlman, from the library last year. After reading the book cover to cover I quickly went out and bought it. It’s a great reference book. It gives and explains how to use common ingredient ratios for baking and cooking, including ratios for doughs, batters, stocks, meats, sauces, and custards.