There is always a reason, sometimes more than one, why some of the recipes are better than others. But "no chef secrets", the reasons are very often written in science books. Or now in the new Why don't spaghetti Bolognese exist?A volume (Ippocampo edizioni) that answers hundreds of questions about the kitchen and its tools very frankly, to become aware and improve without having to study as for a doctorate. Of the many why the author Arthur La Caisne he answers there is a section dedicated to broth that is perfect for this period. A broth can really make a difference during Christmas lunch, in fact, but also in everyday life, from the classic risotto to the mistreated soups. So here are five tricks to go from a sad bland broth to a super broth.
Beginner level: umami
The easiest way to improve a broth that doesn't taste much is to add a parmesan crust or a drizzle of soy sauce to the pot. Both will give your broth the famous umami flavor, the savory, which will "push" the flavor without overpowering the others. The result of a single gesture will be more pleasant and tasty.
Amateur level: do not salt
There is a limit to the amount of flavors that can dissolve in water. When the water is saturated it will no longer be able to absorb other flavors. Salting the water at the beginning will prevent the ingredients you put in your broth from releasing all their flavors, leading to a bland and forgettable result. So don't salt the broth and it will be even tastier.
Advanced level: use rich cuts of meat
Collagen po they fero or po they feather. If it is not cooked enough or at too high a temperature it becomes a shoe sole, instead if you are careful, it melts into a tasty, lean cream, which helps to capture other flavors. Do not use fine cuts, you will only waste money and the broth will be much less tasty than the cheap one. The neck, the head, the royal and the white stalk are therefore welcome. Cut them into small pieces to reduce cooking time and favor the infusion of flavors into the water.
Professional level: do not boil the water
As many know, starting with cold water allows you to better extract the flavors from the meat. However, few know that a good broth must cook while remaining between 80 ° and 85 ° degrees. This allows for a better quality of the infusion, because the collagen remains dissolved, the flavors remain sharp and clean, no bitter foams are created that force us to foam it continuously. So, to have a better control of the temperature, better do a lot of it, on the fire to the minimum, with a cast iron or terracotta pot that distribute the heat evenly. Then check it: better to have a real professional thermometer, but failing that, just observe that it makes a maximum of one or two bubbles every now and then. This is the main tip for transforming your broth from a simple accompaniment to an irresistible golden infusion.
Chef level: design the broth according to the dish
Not all broths are the same. Try different combinations and taste them to become real experts. Do you want a persistent broth? Do not degrease it and do not clarify it. Do you want clearer tastes and a cleaner mouth? Microfilter it, let it cool in the fridge and remove the superficial fat with a spoon. Do you want a roasted flavor? Put the bones in the oven at 180 degrees until they brown and then dip them in cold water. Do you want to have a French touch? Also roast vegetables and meat in the oven. Which broth is best, you will decide on the basis of the balance of the final dish. Try it, indulge yourself and your diners will compete for the last spoonful.
Bonus level: Don't waste the broth
The broth does not keep for long. It can be frozen, but there are better options to take full advantage of it. In the Christmas lunch, for example, you can use it with cappelletti or tortellini, then you can use it in cooking the roast and finally reduce it to make it a sauce or sauce. Broth is a very versatile base that can transform even a simple soup into a dish to remember.
Text by Jacopo Giavara, Margo Schachter