Dem Boneless Bones

Let’s say you have some scraps of fatty meat left over from the procedure described HERE. You can use them to make a sauce just like people in the FB Group are always complimenting me on as if it was difficult. It’s not. It takes a little while, which means you wait. Waiting is not hard. More on that later.

Put a few drops of oil in large skillet and put about 2 lbs of scraps in. Turn the burner on medium heat, approximately 250 F/121 C. Brown the meat. There is a common misconception that the color of the sauce comes from the meat. It does not, at least not entirely. You can use fish bones, or even no meat at all to make a sauce that looks like this. But that’s not we’re going to do today–we are not quite THAT lazy.

Brown the meat well.

Add two carrots and four stalks of celery, cut coarsely as shown. Avoid stirring excessively. That only slows down the process. Give the vegetables about half an hour to get well browned on all sides.

Onions brown more quickly than celery and carrots, so I add them later. Er, now. Continue browning another half hour.

The vegetables are fully cooked through–they almost disappear.

Combine 6 oz/180 g of tomato paste mixed with an equal amount of water, wine, or unseasoned sous jus. Stir to coat the vegetables with the tomato puree.

Same as it ever was–continue browning.

A crust should slowly develop on the bottom of the pan–

rotate the pan periodically to make sure the crust develops evenly.

Add 2 qt/2 l water to fill the skillet. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for at least two hours–the meat should fall apart if you try to lift it out.

If you are that devoted to sous vide, you can stage the stock into a Ziploc gallon bag and hang it over the edge of your vessel. Process at 183 F/84 C for at least 8 hours. Use the lid on your Lipavi vessel to secure the open end of the Ziploc.

Strain the sauce/stock. The yield should be approximately 32 oz/1 liter. Refrigerate the stock and the excess fat will form a crust on the top that is easily removed.

In this state, the stock can be seasoned to taste, thickened with roux and used as what is colloquially referred to as “brown gravy.” If you reduce 2 oz/60 ml of the stock by half, gradually incorporate 1. 5 oz/45 ml of cold butter and season very lightly (sodium occurs naturally in meat), you end up with something like this: That’s not hard. Teaching my wife how to use her iPhone for anything other than just making a keypad phone call is harder. It takes about the same amount of time.

Norm King