Since 1995, Essential Cuisines have been manufacturing cooking ingredient products for the Pro Chef, but in 2011 branched out into the home chef/foodie market. (That’s me and you!) Their range of stocks are now available in some of the countries leading farm shops, delis and butchers and are collecting high praise from professionals and home chefs alike.
The line-up of stocks in their range include Chicken, Beef, Vegetable, Fish, Veal and Lamb. The stocks are perfect to use when making extra special stews, casseroles, braises, pies, risottos, roasts, gravies and sauces….the list goes on!
I was first introduced to Essential Cuisine by Lee my husband at the Good Food Show in the summer of 2013. As a professional chef, he has been aware of and using essential cuisine for a while, so back then we took home a Veal and Fish Stock to try out at home. More recently we have also tried a few others in their range, the Chicken, Beef and Vegetable. So now we have an almost complete collection! I tried a little sip of the Lamb stock a few days ago at this Winters BBC Good Food Show and it was like a little sip of heaven – such a depth of flavour, I could have drunk a whole mug (but then I was partial to the odd glass of hot Bovril when I was younger…..!)
The stocks are in powdered form, and go a really long way. Each 96g pot makes up to 6 litres of gorgeous, tasty stock. We have made lots of different dishes over the last few months which have used the stocks. The veal and beef ones we have used in lots of red meat based sauces, especially with a Sunday roast as well as for the stock base for a few different casseroles. It really gives a stronger and meatier flavour than any other powder or granule based gravies or stock powders I have tried before. The Vegetable stock I have recently tried out when making a Veg stock to use in various wintry soups.
On the website there is a really great tips section. Looking through this over the past week or so I decided to try the stock in a couple of ways I had not thought of, or would not do usually. Firstly I tried out the tip of adding a teaspoon of fish stock in to a cream sauce that I made to go with a piece of Pan Fried Cod – the richness and flavour it bought was immense, and there was no need to dissolve it first so the sauce did not get more liquidy. Perfect. I also tried a similar thing with a sauce I was making for some chicken, again great results.
I also want to try out their idea of adding the powder to risotto. Another thing I really liked about these stock powders was their colour. I know this seems a strange thing to say, but when you put them all together, the colours of the powders are quite vibrant, and all very different to each other, not just a boring bland grey colour of some I have used.
I really have found Essential Cuisine Stocks to be really great to cook with at home, and they are a lot more versatile than I would have imagined too! I would recommend giving these stock powders a go, you might find you never want to go back! Look out for them in you local deli or farm shop, or you can buy online here.
Disclosure: Several of the stock powders were given to me free of charge, and others we bought to compare, but all opinions expressed are honest and my own