Called it Lamont B, but not sure what to do with this yet.......
In the early days Lamont worked the line at “ Four Stars” under the guidance of the heavy handed and often absent, Charles Ledoux. Called into the cubbyhole Ledoux called an office, Lamont was put in charge of making the restaurant's signature beef stock. Ledoux pushed home that this was his only job and nothing but.
Now four a.m starts and sluggish from previous long shifts and rumbled sleep, Lamont fired up the stoves and ovens and woke the kitchen. Last shift had been the usual. A rushed start to the day at nine a.m. A flurry of phone calls about missed deliveries and threats of cash withheld and then onto the days' prep work.
By 2p.m., the promise of a `family meal` pushed everyone through the afternoon without a break. Nothing new here. No one , under pressure of time, could volunteer to cook for the crew. By shift end, drinks after bullied about, but now quickly forgotten replaced by the walk home to bed with a brief stop at pizza corner for supper.
Looking back now in the quiet morning Lamont thought of how it had been just another typical long day into night of their six day week. Now here he was starting a new position five hours earlier!
The kitchen warmed to life and Lamont would bring the beef stock to centre stage as many had in the past. At this early hour there was no sous chef barking orders, no flat seated dining room turning over every hour or so and no customer wanting to come into the kitchen to drink with cheffy while the crew cleaned around them.
Knuckle and shank beef bones band sawed to the correct size, washed and trayed, were oven ready. He would get the mirepoix cut, tomato paste and the aromatics ready to add later but first a nice roasting was step one. Lamont checked the older stock supply and decided that they were low on glace de viande and demi-glace so a nice caramelized, gelatinous brown stock would be on the agenda.
He thought of his friend David Barachois over in Newfoundland. How they discuss the differences in beef and moose stock. David being well known for making a moose stock unlike any other, selling it all across the island and even up into the big land, Labrador. It was as David said, dark, strong stock flavoured of the land each moose traipsed over.
Lamont remembers one story of the hunter, Clem, down on the Burin whaleback. A barren ridge sparsely covered by scruffy tired tuckamore hiding many a moose over the years. The tale of that moose plunging into a `shaky` bog hole. Clem chasing the wounded moose across the crisp fall yet spongy bog. He said he could feel in the silence the life blood pumping out of the animal as it tried to flee and he knew the moose felt death coming with each snort and slowing stride. Finally Clem had to figure out how to pull the moose out and begin to break it down quickly.
Back to the task at hand Lamont pulls crackling brown bones from the hot oven and now smears them with tomato paste, adds the mirepoix and pushes the pans back into the oven to finish the caramelizing.
The large stock pots were ready. He would add the bones when ready to cold water and begin the cycle of days to make brown stock.
It was the next morning and there were signs of last nights success. The floors were not cleaned, bins overflowed, and chits not torn, hung from the wheel as if these meals never made it through the pass. Everyone scurried out after midnight, all for taking a shingle into the wee hours as the night
pushed into day. Lamont thought cheffy must have left early.
For Lamont all that mattered was the beef stock, simmering and` dropping` all night in the well tarnished stock pots. These, all staff knew never to touch, as Ledoux was known to fire on sight, anyone fooling around with the simmering gold. Last night before leaving, Lamont had brought the temperature up to a gallop,and slowly turned it down to `sleep` over night. At this point he gave a quick skim of the top layer removing what everyone called impurities. The mirepoix and aromatics would be added but first Lamont double checked the temperature as he would leave this overnight and there was no room for error as this had to slow roll until morning.
He lifted the lid on the two pots and grabbed the skimmer ladle. The night's slow turn, had raised the fat to the surface to be snagged by the mirepoix. Slowly he moved the ladle around in slow circles starting from the centre and moving outward. The bones had released their fat, and any collagen had now softened and left the stock with a lovely unctuous sheen. Exactly what Lamont desired. Ledoux would be impressed but mostly Lamont thought of the glace de viande and demi glace and how he could use that with David's moose stock.
Not sure how to finish this other than talking about straining it off—just think I had the steps right!