What’s in a Fond?

by | Dec 11, 2020 | Fond | 0 comments

“Fond” is the French Term for ‘Stock” and it means “Foundation”. This makes complete sense, as Stocks are the Foundation to the ‘Flavour Mansion” you are about to create from which you can make sauces, soups, “Jus”, Glazes and Reductions, use it as a Poaching Liquid, Quick Broth, or an option to boil or cook items in.
This is where it all starts Ladies and Gents…. We are “laying down” the Foundation for the ‘Flavour Castle’ during the cooking process through using Stock. This is the same principle as building a home – if your foundation is weak, your home might crack, walls could come down and cracks will reveal itself all throughout your home. Therefore, this is the ultimate Flavour Philosophy I live by – “Cheap and Nasty In, Cheap and even Nastier Out!” Use the absolute best Flavour Agents, Wine, Fresh Herbs, Little but good quality Fat and Base Ingredients during Stock production and cooking. Cheap wines with high acidity for example, will become intensely acidic when creating a Reduction or making a top-notch Stock. That is the Golden Rule. Start fresh, using the best. Then, take your time when making Fond… this is not a 15-minute Recipe…! Put on your favourite music, strap on that apron and take time in gently sauteing the vegetables, roasting the bones or boiling the Stock… you will not be sorry for taking the time and making the effort to produce a good quality Stock.

Here are some classic French Fond Basics. Make this when you are not in a rush!

What is a Fond not?
• Not Seasoned (No salt!)
• Not Fatty
• Not thick and pasty
• No overpowering pungent aromas
• Necessarily boiled for hours and hours (Depends on its Type)

Okay!!! Then, what should a Stock look like?
• Glossy
• Well balanced
• Flavourful & Aromatic Medium
• Strained
• Temperature Controlled during Production to release maximum flavour
• True to its Nature in Colour and Aroma
• Ingredients are well prepared (Bones Roasted, Vegetables Rinsed & Chopped etc.)
• Highly Flavourful Medium for Sauces, Soups, Broths, Poaching, Simmering or Boiling Techniques.

Famous French Chef, Auguste Escoffier (1846-1935), left us the legacy of “Fond Brun”, the classic Brown Stock, that is very carefully prepared for hours, sometimes, even days! The end result of this famous Brown Stock is an exceptionally rich, deep, dark “meaty” type of stock that, if well prepared, should provide good structure to any and every (Rich, Classic, Spicy) Red Meat Dish or sauce. The word “Brun” is “Brown” in French, and the colour we want to achieve here is Deep, Dark and Rich Auburn Brown – very MEATY! We achieve this beautiful colour and depth of flavour through various steps as explained in his cookbook “A Guide to Modern Cookery” (Le Guide Culinaire) of which I would like to highlight just a few…

Let’s Do “Mice en Place” [read “Mie-zon-plaa” meaning Preparations”]:

• For this recipe, get good quality 5kg Beef Bones from our local Butcher [No Fat on the bones, partial pieces of meat is good….]
• You will need Tomato Paste & Brown Sugar
• An Oven placed on 200◦C
• A Roasting Tray
• Large Stainless Steel Stock Pot
• Tongs & a Wooden Spoon
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Cold Pressed
• Sweet Veggies: Large Brown Onions (Most Aromatic), Celery, Carrots
• Bouquet Garni bundle (This is a herb bundle tied together with string): Parsley Stalks, Thyme, Rosemary, Origanum, Coriander Stalks, Bay Leaf, Lemon Leaf etc.
• Epice d’ Sachet baggie (“Epice” is Spice in French): Peppercorns, Cloves other spices
• An Extra-Large Baggie of enthusiasm!! This is great fun!

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