Heston Blumenthal...... With two restaurants in the top 15 in the WORLD this man is a culinary genius! And I would say probably the world’s greatest chef. I was lucky enough a couple of weeks ago to be in the audience for his Melbourne show and see him live on stage. What can I say? He was simply amazing. He took us on a three hour journey of his creations and the experiences he has had in order to get to where he is today.
His dreams are in full bloom, radiating joy and inspiration to all whom are lucky enough to ever see him talk about his master pieces. He toiled through blood, sweat and I'm sure even tears along the way to get his first restaurant, The Fat Duck, up and running. But now, this Michelin stared chef owns a second restaurant in the heart of London, DINNER.
Whilst sitting in the audience, fully enthralled in what Heston is telling us about some of his most famous dishes [Snail porridge being one of them...] he also gave many tips and tricks that would bring a normal home cooked, every day meal to a whole new dimension. By the end of the evening, a head full of tips, buzzing with energy and completely overwhelmed with being able to see such a wonderful man speak about something he loves so much, I left certainly feeling like a..........
“Kid in a sweet shop”
So this is the first ‘tip’ that I endeavoured to put to the test.
Using everyday stock ... and yes, Heston Blumenthal, Michelin stared chef, said you can even use normal shop brought stock!! I’m sure that would make certain people cringe... but at times shop brought stock is a simple saviour! I never thought that I would be able to create or even attempt one of his culinary creations in my own kitchen. But here it is:
1. Start off with as much or as little stock as you want and place it in the freezer. You could put it in a container or freeze it in snap lock bags. Whichever works best for you. I personally prefer containers as it makes the freezer seemingly organised when opened.
2. When the stock is completely frozen, line a fine sieve with muslin cloth [you could just as easily use a Chux cloth. I have found that it does the same job just as effectively] and place the sieve over a bowl. Take the stock out of the freezer and remove from the container. It may need to be run under hot water for a moment to help it slip out easily.
3. When you have the frozen block of stock out, place it in the lined sieve
4. Now simply, gladwrap the bowl and place it in the fridge. This should take about 24-48 hours. But it does entirely depend on how much stock you are putting through this process.
5. When the stock has finished going through the sieve what you will be left with is a liquid that
is packed full of flavour and perfectly clear.
I could not believe the end result. It is utterly amazing. But really, could I have expected anything less from a chef as talented as Heston Blumenthal? No, I dont think that I could have. Now this process is not something that can be done over night, and does need some hind sight in order to have the stock finished in time for a dinner. But it is worth the minimal amount of extra effort which is required to have an end result that could be seen in any restuarant.