Beef consomme is a clarified version of brown beef stock; it has a clear color, a strong flavor, and is fat-free.
As a starter for a gourmet dinner, serve it in cups. I like to top it with small fried meatballs and risotto bites to make it more festive.
WHAT IS BEEF CONSOMME (CONSOMMÉ)?
As some may define it, beef consomme (consommé) is more than just clarified beef stock or beef broth.
The French word ‘consommé’ translates as ‘completed’ or ‘concentrated.’This means that a consomme is a potent, concentrated stock or broth.
In fact, to be called a consommé in classical French cuisine, all a stock had to be was concentrated. Consomme was then classified into two types: regular and clarified.
In this recipe, consomme is defined as concentrated and clarified beef broth or stock. This is most likely the most precise and comprehensive definition of consomme.
However, it should be noted that the richness and strength of the beef stock of broth are more important than clarity.
A consomme that is cloudy and not visually appealing but rich, mellow, and full of aroma is possible, but a consomme that is thin and watery is not.
The following ingredients are required to make a Consomme:
- If you want to clarify the beef stock, keep in mind that it will reduce by half, so if you need 4 cups of Consomme, you’ll need 8 cups of stock. Make certain that all fat has been removed. If not, chill the stock and wait for the fat to solidify before removing it with a spoon.
- Egg whites should be at room temperature because cold egg whites will not firm up.
- I use 1 tbsp lemon juice as the acid component.
- To enhance the flavor, use lean meat. If you want a stronger aroma, use wild game or duck.
- Vegetables are typically mirepoix, a combination of carrots, celery, and onion. Depending on the flavor you want, you can substitute other vegetables.
HOW BEEF BROTH/STOCK CLARIFICATION WORKS
When you make beef broth or stock, a certain amount of proteins dissolve in the water, making it cloudy. When the water is heated, the proteins coagulate and float to the surface.
When this process is properly controlled, the coagulated proteins will all rise to the top, leaving perfectly clear stock or broth behind.
It’s just a matter of being careful not to disturb the top while carefully transferring the clarified stock out of the pot.
BASIC INGREDIENTS FOR CLARIFYING BEEF STOCK OR BROTH
The ingredients used to clarify beef stock are referred to as clearmeat or clarification. The following ingredients are included:
- One of the major sources of protein that allows the clearmeat to perform clarification is lean ground meat. It also enhances the flavor of the consommé. Because fat will have to be skimmed off later, the meat must be lean. The best option here is beef shank.
- Egg whites, which greatly enhance the meat’s ability to clarify.
- For flavor, mirepoix and other seasoning and flavoring ingredients are included.
- Acidic ingredients (tomato products) because the acidity aids in protein coagulation. They are useful even if they are not absolutely necessary.
WHAT TO DO WITH THE RAFT
The raft is usually discarded, but if you have pets, you might want to give it to them.
However, because it is very rich and may upset their stomach, dilute it with rice or pasta. I gave some to Eddie, and hours later I discovered it on the carpet in the living room.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONSOMME AND BROTH
Consomme and Borth are distinguished by their color and flavor.
- It is made by long-boiling beef, chicken, or vegetables in liquid that retains the flavor of the ingredients. After the ingredients are removed, the broth contains suspended particles and fat, giving it a foggy appearance. It can be combined with other vegetables and used in soups or risotto.
- The Consomme, on the other hand, is typically served as a clear soup with a few garnishes. The clarity of the Consomme remains an important visual component of the dish, and its intense aroma provides a one-of-a-kind sensory experience. It can be served hot or cold, and you can find out more about it further down. The Consomme is considered a culinary delicacy because its preparation necessitates the use of a large amount of meat, which is then discharged.
WHAT IS BEEF CONSOMME USED FOR
SERVING HOT CONSOMME
- If served hot, it is brought to the table in cups rather than bowls at the start of the meal. It is adorned with a few herbs and vegetables such as parsley, carrots, and truffles, as well as more complex additions such as meat, eggs, profiteroles, quenelles, and ravioli. It can be served on its own or with truffles or Sherry. In a separate bottle, the Sherry can be infused with hot chili and served to guests.
SERVING COLD CONSOMME
- A cold consomme is made in the same way as a hot consomme, but gelatinous bones are added to the egg white to make the consomme creamier but not too solid. It has a very light creamy consistency and should be stirred before serving. Lemon slices are served on the side.
STORING THE CONSOMME
The Consomme can be kept in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 days.
However, I always keep a stock in the freezer that is divided into portions so that I can defrost as much as I need if I have unexpected guests.
CONSOMME GARNISHES LIST
A Consomme can be garnished in a variety of ways. The following are the most common:
- Consomme à la Parisienne: topped with small shredded vegetables sautéed in butter
- Consomme avec profiteroles: served with small profiteroles filled with a meat or foie gras puree.
- Bizet’s Consomme: served with chicken quenelles
- Monte Carlo Consomme: served with toasted thin slices of round bread flavored with butter and sprinkled with Parmesan.
- In Calabria, consomme (not as common, but my favorite) is served with fried rice bites and meatballs.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is beef consomme made from?
Beef consommé is a rich, flavorful soup made from brown beef stock and seasonings. Contrary to broth, which is typically used as an ingredient in another dish, consommé is intended to be served on its own.
What can I use if I don’t have beef consomme?
If you’re looking for a beef consommé substitute, your best bets are beef broth, beef stock, or mushroom consommé. If you have the time, making your own consommé is also an excellent option. It may take several hours to cook, but the end result will be far superior to a store-bought product.
What is the difference between beef bouillon and consomme?
Consommé is a clear bouillon made with egg whites that collects excess fat and sediment from the broth. Bouillon refers to cubes of concentrated flavorings that can be dissolved in water and reconstituted as stock in some recipes and on grocery store shelves.
Can you substitute broth for consomme?
To make consommé a good substitute for broth, simply dilute it with water. This will soften the flavor and thin the consommé to the consistency of broth. If you have a lot of time, you can make consommé by clarifying the beef broth yourself.