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I finally may have found a somewhat local source for veal bones and want to start making stock in earnest. I've done chicken and turkey stocks before but for those I use entire carcasses. I've browsed around a bit and haven't really found any concrete info on what bones I should be using.

Before I make the trip to the butcher (he's about 30-40 minutes away) I'd like to know what to ask for. I've seen a couple references to avoid marrow bones a bit, and some references to neck bones, but I'd love to read/learn more about exactly what I want.

My goal is a rich nicely thickened (gelatin) stock that I can use for a delicious soup, or as a base for my sauces.


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Also see… – Martha F. Jan 23 '12 at 20:24
up vote 4 down vote accepted

To get that gelatin you're looking, you need joint bones and lots of them. The back, neck, tail are great for that. If you've ever made Ox tail soup you'll know what I'm talking about as you'll get a really thick coating on your tongue from the gelatin that is disolved from the tail's connective tissues.

The reason for avoiding marrow bones is because it can make for a cloudy stock if the marrow gets broken up and the fact that marrow bones don't generally have the highest amount of connective tissues. Cloudy stocks also are caused by boiling of the stock instead of simmering.

Typically when making stock bases, you want them to be as clear as possible so you can use them for just about anything. A cloudy stock doesn't make a consomme look very nice. However, if you are just going to use the stock in items which don't demand a high amount of clarity then don't worry too much.

When you go to your butcher ask for knuckle bones(joint bones) and chine bones(back bones) as your first choice.

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Thanks for the info! Hopefully will be able to make the trip next weekend. It's been entirely too long since I've made stock. It's just such a wonderful winter weekend activity, makes the house smell great and humidifies to boot! – Brian Jan 22 '12 at 14:18

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