I tried to prepare the bone and skin from a ham shank for use as a kind of brown sauce or stock. The purpose was to fold the reduction into a beef/pork chili. I was very pleased with the flavor that resulted, but want to push it further. However, I had to use them whole and my guess is that the fast process and uncut nature of the bones made them less effective.
First I roasted the (hickory smoked) ham shank (meat and skin on) at 350'F for about 2 hours. Then I removed it and pulled off the meat and skin from the bone. I took an old boning knife and was able to separate the two bones from each other; covered with water (added some onions and salt etc) and boiled vigorously for about 3 1/2 hours (covered in a high-walled frying pan), replacing water as necessary. Shortly after beginning that, I kind of pan steamed the skin from the meat and added the meat to the chili and the skin to the stock pan. What resulted was a good broth.
Basically, I would like to know how I can take it from good broth to a demi-glace or essential oil; one pungent enough to be rendered with a roux or other thickener and incorporated into a chili. (Forgive me, there are better words for what I am asking; I just don't think I know them.) After the process I had about 8 ounces of the oily liquid, and per the scale of 4 quarts of chili the ham stock was just not as pronounced as I would have liked.
- Any initial suggestions or red flags that my process may have brought to mind are appreciated.
- The process I wanted to follow but couldn't (no cleaver, are they necessary?) involved cutting the bones into 1-2 inch segments and pan-frying those (instead of the two whole bones) then vigorously boiling. What knife is actually suited for this purpose where there is some required accuracy in the portioning?
- There was a time constraint on me originally, but does really getting to demi-glace require a minimum of 6-8 hours simmering and reducing?