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Broth for Sauces and Gravies


Place in a soup-kettle or saucepan fresh bones of beef, mutton, lamb, veal, or poultry—of either, or of all; also, bones of the same meats from roasted pieces; also trimmings of the same, if very fresh, with one quart of cold water to every pound of bones or meat; skim it like the preceding, add the same vegetables and seasonings, and simmer for at least six hours. Then skim off very carefully all the fat on the surface, pass the remainder through a strainer or a sieve, and it is ready for use. This broth is certainly very inferior to the preceding one, but it is excellent for sauces and gravies, and is very cheaply made. It may be used for potages also; but, as we have said above, it is very gelatinous, and cannot be compared with the highly nutritious beef-broth.

Broth that is not to be used immediately must be cooled quickly after being strained, as the quicker it is cooled the longer it keeps. As soon as cold, put it in a stone jar or crockery vessel, and place it in a cool, dry, and dark place. It will keep three or four days in winter, but only one day in summer. If the weather is stormy, it will not keep even for twelve hours; it turns sour very quickly.

I do not put parsnips or thyme in broth, the taste of these two vegetables being too strong. They really neutralize the fine aroma of broth. Even in this nineteenth century there are some pretty good cooks who put thyme and parsnip in broth, but they do it by routine. Routine is in every thing the greatest enemy of progress. Ancient cookery used to put in the pot (old name for soup-kettle) a burnt onion to give an amber color to the broth. This has exactly the same effect as thyme and parsnip, giving it a bad taste, and neutralizing the flavor given to the broth by the osmazome of the meat. When broth of an amber color is desired, add to it a few drops of burnt sugar, the receipt for making which will be found elsewhere.


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Hand-Book of Practical Cookery (1884).

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