Brown veal stock

Brown veal stock

French Lessons
2 litres
20 mins
Cooking time
360 mins
Steve Brown

Veal bones and calf or pig’s feet are all available from the butcher. I prefer to use veal neck bones to make brown veal stock as they have a superior flavour and their meatiness assists in the caramelisation. Ask your butcher to cut the bones on the band saw to the size of a small fist. The calf’s foot is not added for flavour, but for the wonderful gelatine it releases. It gives the finished stock body, ensuring it sets to a good firm jelly with a bright, sparkling sheen.


Quantity Ingredient
100ml vegetable oil
6kg veal neck bones
1 garlic bulb, cut in half
1 onion, quartered
2 carrots, halved lengthwise
4 celery stalks, quartered
1 leek, halved lengthwise
100g tomato paste
150ml red wine
1 split calf or pig’s foot
1 bay leaf
6 white peppercorns
6 sprigs thyme


  1. Preheat your oven to 220°C. Divide the oil between 2 roasting pans and heat them in the oven. Add the veal bones to the roasting pans, spreading them out evenly, and roast for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent them sticking and burning. Even the slightest burn will taint the flavour of the whole stock. Once the bones are a lovely golden brown tip them into a colander to drain, then set aside.
  2. Add the onions to one roasting tray and the carrots to the other and return the trays to the oven. After about 10 minutes add some celery and leek to both trays and roast until everything is caramelised a deep golden brown. Stir half the tomato paste into each pan and roast for a further 10–15 minutes. Remove both pans from the oven and deglaze each with the red wine.
  3. Place half the reserved bones in a stockpot or large saucepan. Place the split calf’s foot on top, followed by all the roasted vegetables, and then the remaining bones. It is important that the calf’s foot and vegetables be submerged in the middle of the pan, for maximum flavour release. Pour on enough water to cover the bones and bring to the boil slowly.
  4. Use a ladle to skim away the scum and impurities as they rise to the surface. When the stock boils, reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered for 6 hours, skimming from time to time.
  5. Leave to cool slightly then strain through a fine sieve into a pitcher or bowl. Allow to cool, then skim again and refrigerate overnight. When the stock is cold most of the fat will have solidified into a layer on the surface of the stock. This can be easily scraped away.
  6. If not using immediately, divide into 500 ml batches and freeze. If using from frozen, leave to thaw out in the refrigerator overnight, or defrost quickly in the microwave. This minimises the risk of harmful bacteria forming.
  7. The stock will keep in sealed containers in the fridge for 3 days or up to 3 months in the freezer.


  • Veal glace is simply a reduction of brown veal stock. Heat in a heavy-based saucepan over a high heat until reduced by half. Skim continuously to ensure the glace is clear and the flavour is intense. I like to divide the veal glace into 200 ml batches and store it in the freezer. That way you’ll always be ready to make a superbly flavoured sauce with minimal fuss.
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