Court bouillon roughly translates to “crap, I need stock but don’t have any, what is a poor schmuck like me supposed to do?” Or it might be “quick stock.” I’ve heard it both ways.
No matter how you translate it, it’s perfect for those times when you need a flavorful stock but don’t have any. Chances are you have most of the basic ingredients though. And even if you don’t, you can substitute other flavorful vegetables in their place.
Court bouillon (adapted from Thomas Keller’s recipe in Ad Hoc)
Makes 1.5 qts
1 large onion, sliced in 1/4-inch-thick
1 carrot, washed or peeled, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
3 sprigs thyme
3 whole peppercorns. Tellicherry is great, but use whatever you’ve got
1 garlic clove, peeled
1 quart water
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
Add all ingredients to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or while you prep the ingredients of whatever dish you’re making that requires stock. Strain the liquid and discard the vegetables.