#1 Matthew Dumas: On the stocks

Matthew shares the one ingredient you won’t find in his cupboard (hint: it’s a cube), and reveals hard-earned secrets on how to prepare the perfect home-made stock.

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#1 Matthew Dumas: On the stocks

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[00:00:00.030] Part of the reason I think that I love it so much and that right now I'm just like can't shut up about it is because it it really takes away a lot of that potential waste from my kitchen. So there is a little end here from the onions. Normally people would compost them. I put them in a pot and I use them for myself.

[00:00:30.250] Hello and welcome to My Signature Dish. These are funky beats aren't they. My name is Ollie Horn and I am delighted that you decided to listen to thisthe very first episode of I hope to be many in-depth conversations with inspiring home cooks talking about their love of cooking sharing their culinary secrets and describing their signature dish to us. I am so grateful you're listening to this the first episode whether you're a pioneering early adoptor who's taking a chance on this podcast; or you've already discovered this podcast by Episode 50 and you've decided to trawl back and see how by the first few episodes.

[00:01:01.780] Well, whoever you are. Thanks a lot for listening - wherever you are in the world. I really hope you gonna enjoy this conversation with Matthew you've already heard a little bit from him. He's a super interesting guy and I really think you're going to get something from this chat. Matthew is a huge food fanatic. I met him in San Francisco. He's originally from the Midwest of the USA and his passion and kindness around food is infectious. As soon as we met he was teaching me how to make cocktails. He knew that the night that we were recording this interview I was going to be braising some lamb and so he cycled to his supermarket.

[00:01:34.540] He recommended to me and he introduced me to his book tour and he brought some homemade stock with him as a gift just a secret kind passionate guy and I really really enjoyed chatting with him. So this conversation is about his unusual signature dish and it starts with me asking him how he got into food.

[00:01:50.950] I hope you enjoy it.

[00:01:55.130] It's serendipitous. Honestly I dropped out of college and was living with a girlfriend and what were you studying in college. I was in theater okay. And then the theater culture wasn't quite for me so I switched to social psych and philosophy and I'm more of a continental philosopher and I was in an analytic philosophy department and that is the worst.

[00:02:15.730] It was not a match.

[00:02:17.050] So I had a dream I had a professor laugh at me about something in a in an elevator one day and he called the philosopher that I was idolizing at the time a clown and I you know I just walked out. I stormed out of the building and resigned from my college career at that moment.

[00:02:33.640] Presumably you've had enough acting training to be was still quite dramatic.

[00:02:36.340] It was a yeah it was epic. Everyone was clapping. Very perform and I still am quite performative.

[00:02:42.620] So yeah I would say I would say it was when she forced me to get a job I had a friend working in a restaurant who got me a dishwashing job and you know at the time. Let's be honest I was smoking and smoking joints before work and and you know we're drinking beers on the job and having it and having a good time it was in like a a gastro pub we were bring our own beer. Very much a party vibe very much where a young man wanted to be and I was just watching these guys like make nachos and pizza and you know chicken tenders sandwiches and just go like Wow you can get paid to do that.

[00:03:23.440] And I'm here in the dish tank you know like scrubbing burnt fucking cheese off of things. And yeah essentially cleaning up other people's messes and I said you know I want to be that guy.

[00:03:33.340] So I just want to be making the messes. Yeah. And so we're like good chefs in retrospect. Absolutely not right. There were clowns.

[00:03:41.860] But they were my clowns you know and they were. That's the thing it's like in retrospect you know you look back and there's this tendency to be like Oh well like was that the best.

[00:03:50.860] No but it was still a step forward and for me it was just about OK I'm not gonna be satisfied here obviously washing dishes for the rest of my life. What's next and what's next in Kalamazoo is a small town. So once I got that first taste of the line it wasn't so much the food the quality of the food initially that caught me. It was the energy it was the community it was the camaraderie it was being you know elbow deep in tickets with people screaming at you and servers storming in and out or a server who likes you bringing you a spiked lemonade you know to make it easier for you.

[00:04:28.450] It was just it was just this. It felt like I belonged to something kind of special this sort of Fraternal Order of cooks. And it was intoxicating.

[00:04:38.450] And what's interesting for me is all of these all of these things which at the time you thought were great about working in a restaurant right the busy environment the stress you seem to have given up.

[00:04:48.400] I have absolutely.

[00:04:51.490] So maybe you can you can share with the listener what will you do now.

[00:04:55.420] OK so now you know I would say about 13 years later after I started this journey I now own a small private chef business here in San Francisco. I do restaurant consulting and I do research and development for people who want to design recipes for large scale production. And yeah it's not that I dislike the restaurant culture entirely. I do think there is a lot of toxic masculinity. There is a lot of sort of abusive working conditions especially here. You know you take advantage of people who have English as a Second Language who may be here illegally so you can kind of capitalize on their human resource.

[00:05:41.560] But anyways we don't need to get too deep into that.

[00:05:44.980] So let's just. When I hear the word private chef I think if someone super super wealthy who's got a yacht he's got about three people cooking makes it themselves. But not all private chefs are dealing with the like the elite and the rich although it seems that what you do is is a lot more accessible.

[00:06:05.380] Absolutely I think I personally I strive to be available for everybody. So if an extremely wealthy person wants to throw a private party for their child's third birthday I'm their What are you cooking a three year old child for.

[00:06:21.780] I'm not cooking the children any I'm cooking them hot dogs on the grill.

[00:06:24.420] But the parents on the other hand want the entire spread. So I was in Hillsboro California which is an notoriously wealthy area south of San Francisco and we were cooking a What even was the theme. It was unclear to me what the theme was but it was like it was like a petting zoo. They had brought in animals.

[00:06:44.790] There were people performing cooks those animals. Yeah I absolutely did we slaughtered them live in front of the children to teach them where their food comes from. But it was it was insane they had to actually ask me can you wear a cowboy hat will you dress up for the part and you know what I said.

[00:07:01.470] I said Absolutely yeah. Great. Whatever you want because cooking is performative isn't it.

[00:07:06.840] It is absolutely performative and I'm absolutely convinced that so right we're recording this in the Mission District of San Francisco famous for the best tack areas in the world maybe outside of Mexico. And I just you know yesterday when I got some tacos there was a mariachi band playing music. When I the lady who took my order did not speak English. Absolutely. And so like I said you know again and I'll Paulo whatever it is. I mean she was like Are you staying in. In Spanish because I don't speak but I kind of guessed that that's what she was asking.

[00:07:41.580] And I would see. But just that kind of theatricality right taking you know taking a step into Mexico made the breezes more delicious and that's all you know in Japanese cuisine you have people that are cooking in front of your eyes right in my Yankee economy Yankee. It does. It does affect experience and so when you when you're being a private chef do you feel that you have to kind of play that role.

[00:08:04.350] Sometimes you know and I mean it's a fine line right between people wanting wanting to create some sort of like fun experience for their children and you know and I would say that that experience specifically was was I felt good walking away I didn't I didn't feel like I had been you know dressed up and told to dance like you know anyways. But sometimes it is weird you know sometimes there still is this expectation and I think we've all been out to dinner with that person who doesn't treat the server very kind. And we kind of sit back from the table and cringe a little bit going like Hey who are these people why are we here what is it that we're expecting from them.

[00:08:46.860] And that's I think a big reason why I left the restaurant industry because like what you're talking about in your mentality is that it is a special performative experience where you become immersed in someone's culture and someone's world and not everybody sees it as that sort of gift. Some people bring their own level of expectation into that. And for me what I'm really trying to change is People's concept and understanding of food and why it is that we sit around a table with other people and share those meals and what it is that we can gain from those experiences.

[00:09:25.370] And so let's talk about the the the private chef thing you do inside the home because you're not just doing big events and fancy dinner. Definitely not. And it is fascinating to me that people want to kind of bring in an outsider to make that their home cooking kind of more more delicious more authentic.

[00:09:44.020] Yeah. So I have this concept that I call food literacy and I think that my food literacy is extremely high because I've been working in professional restaurants for over a decade. A lot of people's food literacy comes from watching the Food Network or going over to someone's house to eat or going out to dinner. And curiously asking what's this what's this what's this. So when I come into someone's home space part of what I think I'm doing is help helping them increase their food literacy because they get to observe me cooking in their home.

[00:10:20.850] They get to watch me interacting with their tools. They get to see me move throughout their space and they see the raw products come in when I bring them. And then they see me packaging all of this beautifully cooked food and I sort of give them like a rundown of like hey you know this is this kind of braised meat and these greens have been long cooked and these you know squash had been roasted with beef tallow and time and then I also tell them like hey like this is how you warm it up and these are the combinations and I think especially in the comfort of their own home.

[00:10:56.280] It's a great place to learn or who you know are you know so it just so well off and so good and everything's fine for them and they just they just recognize the value of bringing in like fresh organic food prepared with love and care all their clients which simply just want you to cook for them in their home. It's interesting. Yeah I think there are definitely at the beginning there are people who are just not interested in the mentorship or the quips or you know the witticisms pardon me the witticisms or you know just the story behind the food or how how to improve as a cook but eventually sense the way that I like I don't provide meals for people I provide compartmentalized ingredients so everything that I provide for someone is separate it's extremely modular you build a meal every day it's gonna be different just based on what you open up and look at.

[00:11:54.830] Give me an example of a meal that you might be preparing in someone's home. What stuff are you doing what parts of the middle of a cooking.

[00:12:01.470] Okay so I don't do any like staple grains you know. So there's no I'm not like boiling any pasties I'm not cooking any rice. I'm also. Rice is the hardest thing in the world.

[00:12:15.560] Absolutely. If you don't have a rice cooker you're just gonna burn it to the bottom of a pot if anyone out there is trying still to cook rice so that a rice cooker. I encourage you to spend one hundred dollars less than that. Get yourself a rice cooker and it will change your life 100 percent.

[00:12:31.950] Yeah. So I'll get like five or six different kinds of meat so I'll do proteins I should say chicken lamb pork beef and turkey. The turkey's ground. I make meatballs. The beef is a chuck roast so I'll braise it with red wine and young garlic and nice harder herbs like rosemary and time young garlic is one of those things that just it's a special seasonal gift. It's like a wild flower that you stumble upon on a on a hike. One sunny morning and it hits you like like something so fragrant and all of a story it's at once and it looks like a spring and it absolutely looks like a spring onion it's at once a leak it's at once an onion a spring onion and it's at once garlic it's all of the most fantastic elements of the album all sort of rolled up into one and if you get it at just the right moment it is so tender and so sweet that you can eat it raw if you get it young you can mix it up very finely throw it in some oil and just barely warm it to kind of take the raw off the garlic and hold it like that preserved in your refrigerator and it will last you all season and if you if you preserve enough that way and it'll it'll last you till next year and you just take a spoonful of that gently heated in a in a saute pan before you're cooking and yeah try it.

[00:13:58.940] It's definitely worth it.

[00:14:00.170] So you're taking. So you're taking the proteins right so you've got the fish the meat the tofu whatever it is. So basically you do you do with the cooking of that.

[00:14:07.160] Absolutely a hundred percent and then I'm also bringing in just a boatload of fresh produce. So whatever's fresh at the market right now we've got here in California we're just getting into asparagus season. We have artichokes. We're doing summer squash is just hitting. So like the green zucchini squash is sweet potatoes cauliflowers broccoli pennies and then a whole bunch of mix of greens. So we have Swiss chard Lawson Otto kale collards all stuff like that and sort of just preparing them however I see fit. So the Greens. It's always a hard sell trying to get people to eat greens.

[00:14:46.580] So I usually braise them with some chicken stock with some kind of spice and a little bit of garlic maybe a chili pepper to you know bland Ching all of the brass because roasting all of the squash is really just doing as minimal work as I can in the kitchen to keep the food just tasting like the food because.

[00:15:06.590] And will they be eating this food straight after you've cooked it or you portion it up and leaving it for them to reheat.

[00:15:12.290] Exactly so what I will do after I do it is I package it all individually so the squash stays with the squash the broccoli Romanesque stays with the broccoli Romanesque so and the braised lamb shoulder stays with the braised lamb shoulder and when it's dinnertime or lunchtime they go into their refrigerator and they build a meal as they see fit out of the elements that put into teaching them how to reheat this food some. Yes I think I've had a lot of success with people who are motivated cooks and motivated chefs aspiring chefs I should say and who just really a find a find it hard to go shopping hit the farmer's markets and you know I mean good braised meat as you found out the other day and it takes four to six hours to make it a good piece of braised meat so the expectation that someone could do that every night or would have the wherewithal or professional experience to braise eight pounds of beef Chuck in their oven themselves is you know it's asking a lot and I think what I'm really doing is as a lot of that leg work for them so they can have the fun experience of combining fun flavours with their favorite dishes and and whipping up a meal.

[00:16:23.300] And so there is presumably opportunity for them to have a certain degree of flair when they're putting these dishes together. If you've cooked some veg maybe they're so taking them with them. And is this is this a journey that your clients are kind of taking with you.

[00:16:36.770] Some of them yes. I mean I think you're right in saying that that there are some people who are just mostly interested in having healthy food and there are other people who do have culinary aspirations who will send me pictures saying Oh my God Matt like look at this delicious you know rice and chicken soup that I made with the leftovers at the end of the week. And then you know I offer them like light critiques like oh that looks good. But like what about this. And did you put any vinegar in your in your suit because a little bit of vinegar will really just like blow up the flavor.

[00:17:08.330] I don't know. You know it's just it's kind of fun to just be to start riffing with them as as they become more confident in their own respect.

[00:17:16.400] And so you spend all this time cooking for four other people professionally. Mm hmm. What do you feel self.

[00:17:23.630] What do I cook for myself. I mean I eat honestly the same food that I'm providing these people in my and my my private work. So I mean then I also like other things you know I'm a big burrito fan. I like living in San Francisco you know California the home of the burrito. How can you not enjoy a burrito from time to time. The pizza scene here is pretty dismal. I wish it was better but yeah for me you know I spend most of the time in my kitchen just boiling a pot of rice making a really nice softball sauce something like chili baste and then a steaming steaming some produce and and putting some braised meat on there.

[00:18:04.820] Excellent. And so this this podcast is about asking people what their signature dish okay. And go. I mean you've been waxing lyrical about braising meats ever since I met you. Mm hmm. Do you have a signature braised meat. Is there one specific.

[00:18:22.610] This may come as a surprise but I would say that my signature dish is not a braised meat. My signature dish actually goes back further than that and maybe some people would would I would argue with me that it's not a dish at all.

[00:18:35.680] But I think my signature is stock OK broth. OK. Similar very similar. Yeah. I stand by that. Well this.

[00:18:47.210] Yeah. Well this makes a lot of sense because you you even gave me some of your stock when I was praising this lamb things that don't don't braised lamb without good stock. Now for me if I'm uh if I'm making a stock or if I need a stock I do sometimes buy Stovall which happens a lot. I mean what what. What do you do to take a stock.

[00:19:13.040] So there's so much to unpack here. This is there is a lot.

[00:19:16.010] Well there's so many different kinds of stock so there was a job that I had in the city a wonderful restaurant called outer lands if you're ever in San Francisco please go there for brunch eat their grilled cheese you might have to wait in line for an hour and a half but it is worth it. They also have a spiked apple cider they mold their own apple cider and spike it with brandy. Can't complain about that. So I was working there and we started making Doshi. OK yeah.

[00:19:43.550] And I think for me the first benefit the listenable it was actually do you want to take a shot at it. No. Gonna go ahead.

[00:19:49.290] I mean I'll give it a loose a Doshi is usually just like a Japanese leaning broth. I'm usually using bonito flakes. So it's like a fish flavored broth and then you also use white soy to kind of season it. So you're not using like traditional salt you're using soy.

[00:20:07.710] Yeah. And Dusty is kind of it's it's really kind of mommy slightly fishy. Mm hmm. And it's used in so much so much Japanese cooking isn't it.

[00:20:17.810] Absolutely it's foundational and I think that right there is why I would say that stock is my favorite dish. And I think it's that foundational quality for me that makes food really good. OK so let's get back to basics. What is a stock. I mean a stock. I think if you were to look up a definition on some sort of Wikipedia would say that stock is simply and I would say there's nothing simple about it but simply meat and vegetables boiled in water with some kind of Erb added to give it aromatic flavor and the stock is that residual liquid.

[00:21:00.800] Mm hmm.

[00:21:01.200] So you're just essentially abstracting all of the flavors from the things that you put in that pot of water and then you discard the solids strain out all the particulates and then you're left with just a mostly clear liquid that has a lot of beautiful essence left in it.

[00:21:18.590] Okay. And so why. Why is it important for you to put so much effort into a stock when what people are really experiencing when they're tasting a dish is kind of the top layer layer flavors right in the middle. Know the chili or the meeting meetings of the steak. What is it about the stock that's in the zone ports until cooking.

[00:21:38.660] I mean if I were to offer an analogy it's why do you want organic you know pasture raised beef. You know you could have factory farmed you know corn fed corn finished beef and it would honestly taste very similar. Of course there are there are differences and people with discerning palates will convince you that there are extraordinary amount of differences. But for me it's it's about a lot of the invisible labor and things that go into food that most people don't see on that top layer. And for me stock addresses almost all of those.

[00:22:16.950] So it's about kind of taking a dish that would otherwise be sensational to just that next level it's kind of noticeably. Absolutely. Stop in your tracks. Delicious.

[00:22:26.580] Yeah. Or even in perceptibly better and you go What is it about this soup that is just so good. Right. And for me you know I came up the formative restaurant that I worked out here in San Francisco and I moved here is a place called Zuni cafe and I was really saved by a woman named Judy Rogers who has since passed away uh rest and power. She's definitely my tia. She taught me a lot and there's a bread salad dish at Zuni that is just the most exquisite thing I've ever tasted in my entire life.

[00:23:01.350] And it's it's.

[00:23:03.420] Really just bread pine nuts currants and green onions mixed with chicken stock.

[00:23:11.160] But the chicken stock that they make at Zuni Café I could drink gallons of it a day.

[00:23:17.640] It is the most fantastic thing ever. And it's how do you take just bread soaked in stock and baked in an oven and sell it for what they sell it for.

[00:23:26.420] It's because it's there's just something about that essence that that that baseline flavor just uh. You know it's the foundation that that everything else is built on.

[00:23:37.610] OK. So let's let's find out then what what is the difference between a stock cube some broth some stock. Mm hmm. You gonna tell me the difference. Mm hmm.

[00:23:47.630] The other day that you buy in a store the stock that I would make which is just to take a chicken carcass and boil overnight. Absolutely. And your stock. OK. So store about stock you know what is it.

[00:23:57.420] What is in it. I mean for me I think they're really leaning on money sodium glutamate and other forms of sodium which is delicious.

[00:24:05.520] I'm not gonna lie and in a pinch it's really great.

[00:24:08.010] And you know I bought I bought some some olives the other day that had mono sodium glutamate in them and I ate the entire jar.

[00:24:14.670] My brain was very pleased to see me. I just checked the box. Yes.

[00:24:21.660] So that's cool. But I think it's sort of a cheap trick right. The store bought cubes the boolean whatever you want to call it so what is in these cubes. I mean it depends. You know I'm not saying that you can't find like really nice you know freeze dried powder eyes to stock you know. But like anything that's mass produced it's it's where. Where are these onions coming from where is this garlic coming from that they're they're drying and powder rising and then pressing into these cubes. So I mean that's the thing that's it's sort of the same ingredients every every step of the way.

[00:24:55.830] But you know I would challenge anyone to think about the difference between you know the four dollars steak that's mass produced and the 30 dollar steak that's cooked by a professional. And I think with anything there's definitely like a level of quality there.

[00:25:12.570] OK. So fundamentally what goes into the store stock is gonna be the same base ingredients or whatever meat carcass they're using whatever vegetables they're using. I love that market. And you know say you were to buy a better stock prices say for example a stock that comes in a carton there's already liquid is that likely to be better.

[00:25:35.040] Yeah I think so. You know there are there are definitely like butcher shops here that you can buy what they're calling now bone broth which don't believe the hype it's just stock people and it's definitely better. You know it's fresher. It hasn't been processed as heavily. I think your body responds to it on a nutritional level better and you know you're supporting people who are local to you which I also think is a value add. But so I think what I'm realizing is is what I'm trying to say is that there are it's sort of like a level of freshness it's a level of human connection and a level of artistry.

[00:26:09.690] So for me that star about stock did they roast the chicken bones before they made the stock. I don't know maybe they did. There's no guarantee and there's no guarantee that there weren't burnt bits in it. So for me when I'm making a stock for my client tell I'm really just micromanaging that process. I'm using all of the freshest seasonal aromatics that are that are available to me. And.

[00:26:36.510] You're using the ingredients that use in your stock would be ingredients that you would otherwise use regularly in a normal dish. Right. The onions which are using you'd happily use.

[00:26:46.200] Oh yeah. And I would say that part of the reason I think that I love it so much and that right now I'm just like can't shut up about it is because it it really takes away a lot of that potential waste from my kitchen. So there's a little end here from the onions. Normally people would compost them. I put them in a pot and I use them for my stock.

[00:27:06.990] Brilliant. And of course that's what's great about a stock right. That you know say for example when I when I cook a roast chicken I will spectacle it. Remove the bat but what do you possibly what can you possibly do with that backbone other than make a stock out of it right. Oh maybe you've got an idea then I could see your brains wearing.

[00:27:22.740] Yeah but that's not what we're talking about. Tell me what I was gonna say.

[00:27:26.130] I was gonna say the only thing that you can get out of the back really is the oysters and you should always be trying to get the oysters out of the back of the chicken. So it's just these two little uniform nubs of dark meat that sort of live above the hip bones of the chicken. So would I likely be cutting these off if I'm cutting the back burner. No what you kind of have to do is is you'll throw them all on a sheet tray with some salt and pepper into the oven to roast them.

[00:27:50.330] Priest stock and then when they come out of the oven you'll just scoop them out with your fingers and just eat em.

[00:27:56.820] Through your your stock you'll see that just stock.

[00:27:59.040] Yeah. Let's pick one. So I usually chicken we're on chicken. It's easy. I break down a lot of chickens for a lot of people. Everyone loves it. So I do two versions let's do the non roasted and yeah you start with chicken carcasses cold water as cold as you can and salt.

[00:28:19.800] So let's break all three of these down because this isn't this isn't intuitive to people that don't care about.

[00:28:24.600] Absolutely. Thank you. Yeah. Keep me keep me Keep me real.

[00:28:27.930] So a chicken a chicken caucus is everything that isn't the meat that we going to eat. Is that right.

[00:28:33.510] Absolutely not. And I'm not gonna lie to anybody I use the neck. I use the livers. I use like so usually when you get a whole chicken you'll get giblets packed inside of the the carcass of the chicken. If you're not gonna cook the liver to eat it put it in your stock if you're not gonna cook the neck to like shred the meat off of it put it in your stock if you're not gonna use the heart just put it in your stock. You know I think there's a lot of mineral content in there that's good for you and I think it also adds for me what I really love is this like gamey kind of undertone to the to the stock flavor and it's just kind of a matter of respect if you're gonna.

[00:29:15.360] Persuade a chicken to go through the indignity of dying so we can eat it. I do think I do strongly believe that the least we can do is to use all of the animal. Absolutely. If we're minded to eat meat we should do we should do so by committing to eating meat. I couldn't agree with you more. And so you're taking basically anything that you're not carving up separately to put on the plate. Mm hmm. That goes in your water. Mm hmm. Right. And we're using just hot water.

[00:29:43.820] Yeah.

[00:29:44.010] I mean you know no your water if you live in a place where tap water is not maybe the cleanest or the best water source. You know you can just buy a bulk bottle bottled water or something like that. But I think we're blessed here in San Francisco to have pretty good water so I'm comfortable with it. And why is it cold. Because the temperature change from cold to hot will actually help to dry out any of the what I call skulls or the impurities of the chicken carcass. So as it comes up and you're approaching a boil you will notice that there is like us a bit of foam yeah that is sort of collecting on the top of a pot and you want to very carefully strain that off.

[00:30:28.320] So that's not good enough. You don't want that foam. What's enough. I don't know. I've never had it tested but I guess it's conventional wisdom that's been passed on to me in the kitchen is that you know like any like any animal in any animal that's been processed by some impurities there's some. Yeah yeah. And and the conventional wisdom there is that that skulls as I like to refer to it is usually something that doesn't add to the overall flavor of a stock. So it may serve to add bitterness later if you allow it to reincorporate.

[00:31:07.890] It may also add cloudiness to your stock which you know for the home cook may not matter but for professional cook that's always a consideration.

[00:31:15.550] OK. And so you're bringing that up to to boil kind of slowly so you get a chance to to allow this to this foam to develop. Mm hmm. You take that off and what stage are we heading that third ingredient the salt from the beginning also.

[00:31:29.550] So usually what I do is is add the chickens into an empty pot put a put a nice amount of salt in a nice amount meaning you know you can do two or three tablespoons per gallon of water.

[00:31:45.170] Okay what then an absolute this is regular so kosher so. Mm yeah. Mm hmm. And so you're not roasting the chicken before you put it in.

[00:31:53.610] You can. That's that's the that's the that's level 2. Yeah well it just it adds a different quality. I would say okay you can also roast the veg that you would that we'll talk about in a second.

[00:32:05.670] So it's just yeah it's up to you in a sentence what might not do to the flavor if you were to roast the chicken before you put it in the sweetness. Interesting.

[00:32:15.350] Okay yeah. So you know when you when you caramelized anything you're kind of like roasting the sugars that are naturally present and you just yeah you add a little bit of a sweeter quality so say you didn't have carrots to add to your chicken stock you could just roast chicken bones and then you would end up with a with a sweeter stock.

[00:32:34.740] Very interesting. So we've brought this to the boil. Mm hmm. Like a really aggressive rolling boil.

[00:32:39.960] No sir.

[00:32:40.410] So you'll notice this Gus's is forming right as we're approaching a boil. As soon as you start to see simmering you want to turn your temperature back down to medium and you want to add your vegetables. So let's just keep it simple and use like a traditional French me or pour. So you're doing carrots celery and onions I actually have a tattoo here on my right forearm. Oh wow.

[00:33:04.790] Okay so you've got 2 1 1 2 1 1 which is the traditional weight ratio just in case I'm ever too intoxicated while I'm cooking to remember what's going on. So that's two parts of onion.

[00:33:15.810] Yes to one pot celery one carrots yes by weight.

[00:33:19.140] Amazing yeah. So yeah you just you know what I do is I depending on your carrot if you're getting really nice farm fresh carrots that are sweet You can leave the skins on but a lot of times if you're buying stuff about carrots you want to peel them because the skins tend to be better of course the celery We're just washing it and then onions which chopping in the onions. Yeah you just take off like the outermost papery skin and then the rest of it you can leave and just rough chop put all that in a couple of bay leaves a small handful of peppercorns and.

[00:33:51.840] Yeah.

[00:33:52.710] Before we move onto these aromatics let's talk about this veg then. So yeah the veg in terms of like an overall quantity if you will using say one or two chicken carcasses in your stock. Mm hmm. How much veg in real terms might we be using.

[00:34:04.380] I would say if if we're just like eyeballing by volume compared to the the amount of chicken carcass that you have you'd want to go like ten to one chicken carcass two vegetable OK so.

[00:34:19.640] So really you're you're prioritizing the chicken. Absolutely. That makes sense. And so once you we've added all these vegetables presumably the temperature's going to drop. Mm hmm. Do we then have to wait for it to come back to.

[00:34:30.360] Yeah. And then this is where you kind of want to baby things. You know you turn it down to prevent it from boiling. The main reason that you don't want the stock to boil is because it will start emulsified the fat that is forming on the top of the pot so you know if you were gonna make like a chicken broth for like ramen you know all all broth for like ramen is they're all emulsified.

[00:34:54.390] So it's like a little bit of a deviation here into different cultures cause of course see this is why this is why stock is my favorite my my favorite ramen is is Tom Cotton.

[00:35:07.030] Yeah right. So I lived in it. I can't stop going on about it but I lived in the south of Japan QC which is the home of Tom Clancy ramen which is a pork pork bone broth. And I always wondered how kind of the fatness kind of stayed in the soup what I mean. Oh yeah right. How. When you take a bite can you almost taste this this this fat content. Right. And so it must be it must be that must be we are talking about they must be producing their broth stock.

[00:35:36.540] OK. Let's pause here. Yeah. What was it it was in a brothel stock.

[00:35:40.950] So I would say that a stock is is just this water that has been imbued with with this with the flavor of you know whatever meat vegetable whatever. Very simple. I think a broth is sort of the next step of saying we've straightened everything out and we've decided what the application is going to be. And now we're sort of moving it in that direction. So if I'm seasoning it with a bouquet of herbs or I'm adding wine to it or I'm a multi defying the fat into it.

[00:36:20.060] And presumably that's what they're doing then for this to 100 percent.

[00:36:23.120] Exactly and that's when it becomes a broth because it's really now it's interesting. OK. It's something in and of itself stock is just so open to going any direction but kind of going back to this really basic chicken stock we're making.

[00:36:39.560] So we've we've put this veg in the temperature's pretty constant now and the bay leaves and the black peppercorns.

[00:36:45.230] So I was gonna say so now we're adding these aromatics are absolute and your arms in addition to having to 1 1 You've also got a loaf you've got well can I see half a half a lemon or orange is that lemon Yeah citrus. Generally speaking you've got some some kind of leaf.

[00:36:59.000] These are big leaves they leaves you've got a fish bone Yep you've got that at stake though this is a rabbit. This is a rabbit skull and then I have a guinea hens Cosmo Clover here and go to the bait basically for for the sake of the listen I'll try and get a picture of this but we've got a dozen different ingredients tattooed on my arm and it's all of these little are they're gonna make a delicious stock absolutely. So is this what that is. Yeah.

[00:37:27.910] That's just my recipe. And then this one here actually another sidebar is is a recipe for vinaigrette and alchemical own symbol. Is this because why not. Right.

[00:37:37.650] If ever you publish a cookbook you just need to do a new photo shoot. Yeah. It's just gonna be a picture of my naked body. Goodness me. Okay. So let's talk about uh let's look at these dramatic sense okay. Bailiffs. Yes. Let's talk about these aromatics you were adding bailiffs. Yes.

[00:37:54.230] You're adding J peppercorns black peppercorns Taylor Cherry peppercorns if you can find them. Okay what's the difference. It's just classically sort of the Mediterranean vibe. Someone out there is gonna be like now. It's not it's this is where it's from. Okay so Teller Cherry is just kind of for me that the quintessential sort of like what I use in my French style. Chicken stock which is what I'm describing to you and you're putting these black peppercorns in hold you know crushing them or not. No not toasting them not doing anything.

[00:38:23.310] OK. And is anything else when he's at no and then how long are we leaving this to Semaphore.

[00:38:30.970] That's the hard one this is and this is where I think it really becomes an interactive experience because you just need to be tasting you'll start to smell you'll have a smell sensation first I think and you'll say oh wow like you'll leave your house you'll come back as this is simmering sidebar. I call it a champagne simmer which if you've ever just watched a glass of champagne it's barely bubbling. And I would say if you apply this same sort of premise to your chicken stocks you will never have a problem with anything.

[00:39:05.410] So yeah you just taste it. You know you start to smell it. You go Oh man you know I came back in my house spent a couple hours smells really good in here and just taste it with a spoon.

[00:39:15.160] I guess it's easy for you to say oh you just smell it. Right. But what judgment are you using to work out whether this is ready to go whether it needs a few more hours whether you've already ruined it.

[00:39:23.980] Yeah well so the reason that I think you start smelling it is because you're actually evaporating out some of the term or some of the essential oils that are existing some of the fats are evaporating off the top of the pot so you're going oh ok. Like cool we've like we've extracted enough of this flavor into the into the water that we're now evaporating that flavor out.

[00:39:46.600] Right. OK. So it's a critical point where it stops just being water this evaporates. Exactly.

[00:39:51.220] OK that makes sense and then you'll know OK we've crossed over the threshold. We've created a stock in our day. OK.

[00:39:57.730] And and then it's about hitting peak flavor. And the only way you can really know peak flavor is by tasting it. So yeah it's going to vary. You know if you do. So for me let's just pick six if you use stock made out of six chicken carcasses I would say it's going to take you five and a half hours at a light simmer before you get a nice a nice chicken stock. Are you ever putting a lid on by the way. Never. No. OK. Was that because I just don't I mean I think some people have their own personal philosophies about it.

[00:40:34.230] I like to allow some of the some of the water to evaporate out and to sort of concentrate the flavor of the stock is it completely wrong to just say look I'm gonna be really lazy about this I've just you know roasted a pork shoulder. Mm hmm. I'm just going to stick it in a pot of water any skins let any veg I've got leftover just chuck it all in. Mm hmm. Put it on the lowest heat my hob goes and just leave it overnight. Is that is that in your eyes a complete disaster waiting to happen.

[00:41:05.880] No. And I would say you know you run some risk structurally to the home that you're living in. And if I could offer an alternative suggestion would be to use a crock pot. I think you know a crock is really great. It's induction heated you run zero risk of lighting anything on fire burning anything down. OK so. That's.

[00:41:28.480] OK. So aside from the health and safety risk. Yes no.

[00:41:31.540] Let's talk about what what might be produced inside this. This pill is basically what I'm trying to ask is if I if I might my stock for like 24 hours let's say. Yeah. I'm just super lazy about it. I just say it'll definitely be done by then. Mm hmm.

[00:41:44.410] I miss my lunch to produce a good result. You are.

[00:41:46.960] And I would say the only problem there would be what some people refer to as a bony quality which is like an over extraction of of the bones. And it goes again like most things in cooking once you take it too far it starts to get bitter and that's the only issue that you're worried about there.

[00:42:09.960] Okay so we've we've worked out all the stops ready. Mm hmm. What do we do next.

[00:42:15.330] Uh you turn the heat off and you strain it somehow. There's a lot of different options here. I like a Collender I find a Collender that fits very nicely into the top of my pot. The kind of wedges down in there so that when I when I pour things out it kind of holds all of the solid matter into the pot.

[00:42:38.440] Under these like quite these is a call when I think of a colander and think you've got big holes.

[00:42:42.280] Perfect. Yeah that's fine. Okay. So for the initial strain we just want like the big chunks of vegetable the big chunks of meat or bone to stay inside the bay leaves little particulates little chunks of skin little bits of meat are gonna get through right now and that's fine. I think I go through personally several different levels of straining depending on what I'm using it for. So some some things I just really don't use a strained broth at all for. Sorry a strained stock for at all. Can you give some examples then a rest I guess filtered would be a better word.

[00:43:18.370] Yeah I'd like if I'm making like a bread salad I don't mind if there's like chunks of it'll beat Seattle bits of skin and things like that a random peppercorn here and there to just add some sort of excitement to it. Is this how it happened at the Zuni cafe. Yes. And then you know if I'm making like a soup like a nice clean soup you know I will really strain the stock and filter it through cheese cloth. So yeah I just poured into a receptacle. Then how long will that last for.

[00:43:45.760] It depends. You know. I would say you know don't build port in anything plastic because plastic is a great insulator of heat so you'd want to strain your stock into something metal so that it cools down quickly and you can freeze it. You can portion it out into whatever you want and you can freeze it and it will last almost indefinitely.

[00:44:06.310] A tip that I heard is you. You can post stock in ice cube trays. Absolutely. And then you can just take one or two for one.

[00:44:12.680] You'll make em and that's perfect for you. If you want to reheat some vegetables in a skillet and you want to steam them you can just throw one of those ice cubes in with the vegetables put a lid on it put it on medium heat and groom your good and so let's say let's say you want to show off your stock so you want to really impress them with what you'll still can do.

[00:44:33.510] Mm hmm. What dish you're going to use it for.

[00:44:35.710] I think I think for me like a nice simple soup is the best. You know like a like a rice and vegetable soup is people will taste it and they will be very surprised when they eat it and it's like oh like there's only celery root and parsnips in this soup. And why does this taste so good and you say well the chicken stock that I made you know it's the best and you prepare that for the soup by you know reheating it with a bouquet of softer herbs. So for me that would be maybe chives shrivel maybe tarragon stuff like that and a little bit of citrus perhaps some salt and a splash of nice wine some red wine whatever whatever it is that you like.

[00:45:28.320] Yeah. And I think it just it's just really the people can taste that. You spent hours and hours and hours babying this and even if the soup really only takes you like forty five minutes to put together there is just so much flavor and packed in there.

[00:45:45.550] Incredible. OK. Well final question I'm going to ask is What's the what's the most adventurous stock you've either ever created or ever thought about. And how can you take this stock to the next level. What's gonna be the. The stock that goes on your tombstone.

[00:46:00.850] For me the the point of stock is that it isn't adventurous. The point of stock that it is that it is so mundane and basic and approachable that you can use it for anything but maybe you know too. To answer that slightly differently is what is the craziest application yeah that I've ever that I've ever done with the stock is. And I didn't think this is gonna work and you know a lot of people out there are gonna roll their eyes and go how is this crazy. This doesn't sound crazy at all to me but was I read this really great book.

[00:46:35.360] It's called the honey from a weed and I'm blanking on on who the author is. But it's essentially a story of a woman who travels around the Mediterranean region with her husband who who is a potter and there is a recipe for beans in this book. And the way that she's cooking the beans is kind of by putting everything that you're gonna want in a clay kind of cooking vessel and putting it on a real gentle her and just letting it cook for like hours and hours and hours so that when the beans are completely cooked there's no liquid left.

[00:47:08.750] It's just beans and everything that you put in there. And I was living in Italy and we were butchering a lot of pigs I was I was doing a sort of a charcuterie apprenticeship over there and so I just had so many pork bones.

[00:47:26.110] I was making all kinds of pork stock. It was a glorious time of my life. Yeah.

[00:47:31.070] And I was like I'm going to do this I'm going to do this bean thing and and you know usually I cook beans with water and I was like I like this time I'm gonna do it with this pork stock. And it was like a fresh. TROTTER Yeah goes in all this pork stock all this like wonderful veg that we pick from the garden. And I kind of do what you said I just put it in a in a pot unfortunately wasn't clay and just put it on the edge of the fireplace before I went to bed and I just woke up in the morning expecting it to be gross and weird and kind of disastrous.

[00:48:04.130] But when I you know and I don't eat beans in the morning and my mouth is watering right now just describing this but I just lifted that lid off it in the morning and it just this most pungent fragrant Porky beanie thing just hit me in the face and I was just like I fell in love in that moment. It was fantastic.

[00:48:31.000] That was Matthew. Well great char. I really enjoyed that that book by the way which he recommended honey for a wheat. It's by patients gray. I've just found out on Amazon five star reviews across the board. I can't wait to read. I've just ordered it. So thanks a lot for that recommendation Matthew. And thank you to you for sitting through this. The very first episode is really hard to launch a new thing and it relies on people like you who are going to take a chance. So I'm going to ask just one thing from you if you did enjoy this episode and you think you might enjoy future ones please subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening to it and if there's anything which you'd like to say to me please get in touch.

[00:49:06.970] You can e-mail me at podcast at Posner dot app that's podcast at Posner P.O. and a dot app and I can't wait to show the next episode with you next week. Until next week goodbye.