I’ve seen a variety of instructions for clarifying stock with egg whites. The lack of authoritative step-by-step details annoys me. (I realized too late that I should have called this post “Sassi Clarifies Clarifying Stock”, but now I don’t want to mess with the permalink.) Today I had two different stocks to clarify, so I tried two different techniques. Sadly, I’m lacking important photo documentation; my phone ran out of charge at an inopportune moment, and I couldn’t wait, so I’ll have to provide visuals in a future test.
Technique 1: Whip egg whites until quite foamy, but not to a peak stage. Stir into rapidly boiling, strained stock. Shut heat off. Strain. This resulted in a stock full of tiny bits of cooked egg white–they’re minuscule, and are hard to perceive texturally on the palate, but the stock is not clear. I can probably get it better-clarified if I strain it through cheesecloth, but I am disappointed with this result. (It’ll make good soup, though.)
Technique 2: Whip egg whites until quite foamy, but not to a peak stage. In a large pot (at least 4x the volume of stock + egg whites), whip together cold stock and egg whites (I put the egg whites in the pot and then poured the stock in while whipping). Bring to a boil–a full, crazy, roiling boil. After a few seconds (after the point at which I shut the heat off, above), the egg whites suddenly expanded, very very quickly, and then they TURNED INSIDE OUT. It was amazing. I shut off the heat, let things cool for about five minutes, and then ladeled the stock through a regular sieve, with no cheesecloth. Result: beautiful sparkly stock.
My methodology is definitely flawed: the two stocks were similarly cloudy to begin with, but very different in composition. Test 1 used a highly gelatinous fish stock made with a whole rockfish frame and head; it was well-gelled at fridge-temperature. Test 2 used a not-very-gelatinous pork stock made with rib bones (slightly syrupy-liquid at fridge-temperature). Now I am very eager to make another batch of stock and try this again, with video.
Also, this process left me with five egg yolks, which I beat with 5 pinches of salt and am freezing in an ice cube tray to see if I can make homemade mayonnaise with previously frozen egg yolks.