Last year I committed to an ambitious project after acquiring a volume of Gourmet Magazines from the magical year of 1972, which brought us Cabaret, The Eagles, and most importantly, me. Once a month I intended to prepare a recipe from the corresponding issue from 1972.
Long story short, I didn’t manage to post a recipe every month because, you know, kids. I have a few. They are rather time-consuming, and seem not to care that I have dedicated myself to a brilliant and tasty endeavor.
I have never lost interest in the project, and I hope that you have not either, but if you have then please find it because I am ready to take my pet project up again, which blends my two passions: cooking and old stuff. Although this time around I am wise enough to not publicly declare that I will be posting a monthly anything.
Nonetheless, I was perusing my January 1972 issue and found a recipe that seemed to possess the trifecta: it was elegant, it was uncomplicated, and it contained ingredients which were obtainable. Pearl onions? Check. Chicken? Check. Fresh artichokes? Check. Glace de viande? Um. Maybe. That’s wine, right? Tell me it’s wine. I’ll find it or a good substitute.
Wine it is not.
It is an uber-concentrated beef stock made over the course of two days, ideally, from a beef soup bone and some onion.
At once I was daunted and intrigued. It is quite a project, on the one hand. But something about January makes me want to get into the kitchen and cook, on the other. And more than anything, I just want to do this. I want to dive in, stretch my abilities, and chalk up a new accomplishment.
My real obstacle, actually, was finding a soup bone, which is actually a cross-section of the shank. I finally found it at Publix. After that, all was well.
Meaty soup bones
To start, coat a roasting pan with cooking spray. Arrange the soup bones in the pan, and bake in a 375-degree oven for one hour.
Remove from the oven, and add one yellow and one red onion, quartered. Turn in the rendered fat to coat, and broil, 10-15 minutes, until meat and onions are lightly browned and slightly charred.
Transfer beef and onions to a stock pot, cover in cold water, and bring very slowly to a simmer. Deglaze the roasting pan and add that liquid to the stock pot as well. Simmer, being careful not to boil, for the next 6-7 hours.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the solid pieces and discard. Strain the broth through a clean kitchen towel. Don’t skip this step. you don’t want any bits of anything in your glace de viande. A strainer will not suffice. Use the towel.
Refrigerate overnight, and in the morning skim the solid fat from the top of your broth. Further reduce over medium heat. This will take about an hour. Stir it often and check the heat as it can scorch as it thickens. Take care not to rapid boil. It will cling to the spoon as it thickens. Once the broth reaches a syrupy thickness, pour it into a small glass dish and place on a cooling rack.
When it is completely cool, it will be like rubber. Cut into cubes. I cut this dish of glace de viande into 9 squares…
The final reduction
They can be individually wrapped and frozen.
This was a lengthy endeavor, but not excessively challenging. More than anything the process requires patience. My house smells like a herd of braised cattle – French cattle, my husband assures me – but I feel pleased and accomplished. Very accomplished. Like I’ve made magic, or delivered a baby.
On Wednesday I return with the main course, poulet boivin, a few ads, and the new Cadillac!