How to make a basic consommé

How to make a basic consommé

Consommé (pronounced "con-som-AY") is a strong, rich, flavorful soup made by concentrating and clarifying stock. The word consommé means "completed" or "concentrated" in French.

Ingredients Used in Consommé

Beef or veal consommé is made from brown stock and has a rich, amber color produced by roasting the bones to make the stock, and also through adding some sort of tomato product, such as tomato paste, during the roasting process.

Chicken consommé, perhaps the most popular variety, is made from chicken stock and is a pale yellow color. In each case, however, the distinguishing characteristics of a consommé are its strong flavor and its clarity.

Because it is high in gelatin, which is produced through the cooking of a protein called collagen which is present in bones, consommé also has body, meaning it's richer and has a more weighty mouthfeel than broth, which tends to be thinner. It also means that a true consommé is not suitable for vegans, or those who prefer not to consume animal products.

Preparing Consommé

Consommé is clarified through a process that involves simmering the stock along with a mixture of egg whites and lean ground meat called a clearmeat.

As the consommé simmers, the clearmeat solidifies into what is known as a raft, which floats atop the liquid. The clearmeat draws proteins and other impurities out of the liquid, leaving it perfectly clear.

One of the most important rules about making consommé is that it should not be stirred during the simmering process. Stirring or otherwise agitating the liquid while it simmers will disrupt the clarification process, so the consommé will turn out cloudy.

That's why another key to making a good quality consommé is using a special pot with a spigot on the bottom. This allows the finished stock to be drained from the pot without disturbing the raft on top—which, again, would cause the consommé to be cloudy.

Serving Consommé

Consommé is often served as an appetizer and is frequently served with a simple garnish of vegetables cut in brunoise or julienne.

Another feature of its high gelatin content is that it will jell when it cools, making it the basis for preparing aspic. Because it seals off the surrounding oxygen, jelled consommé prevents the growth of bacteria that can cause spoilage and food poisoning. Thus storing foods in aspic (such as duck legs, for example) is a simple and early form of food preservation.

Note that cans of consommé you buy at the store aren't true consommé but rather ordinary broth which has been fortified by adding gelatin. Homemade consommé is worth the extra effort.

Recipes That Use Consommé

Although they can be time-consuming and some of the directions may seem a little bit fussy, making perfect, clear consomme is not that difficult. This easy chicken consommé recipe uses a leftover chicken carcass, vegetables and spices most chefs have on hand and egg whites.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, one popular and easy-to-make variety is tomato consommé. It uses fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and egg whites, plus a tiny bit of sugar for a light, summery dish you can serve with crusty bread or vegetables.

How to make a basic consommé

Consommé (pronounced "con-som-AY") is a strong, rich, flavorful soup made by concentrating and clarifying stock. The word consommé means "completed" or "concentrated" in French.

Ingredients Used in Consommé

Beef or veal consommé is made from brown stock and has a rich, amber color produced by roasting the bones to make the stock, and also through adding some sort of tomato product, such as tomato paste, during the roasting process.

Chicken consommé, perhaps the most popular variety, is made from chicken stock and is a pale yellow color. In each case, however, the distinguishing characteristics of a consommé are its strong flavor and its clarity.

Because it is high in gelatin, which is produced through the cooking of a protein called collagen which is present in bones, consommé also has body, meaning it's richer and has a more weighty mouthfeel than broth, which tends to be thinner. It also means that a true consommé is not suitable for vegans, or those who prefer not to consume animal products.

Preparing Consommé

Consommé is clarified through a process that involves simmering the stock along with a mixture of egg whites and lean ground meat called a clearmeat.

As the consommé simmers, the clearmeat solidifies into what is known as a raft, which floats atop the liquid. The clearmeat draws proteins and other impurities out of the liquid, leaving it perfectly clear.

One of the most important rules about making consommé is that it should not be stirred during the simmering process. Stirring or otherwise agitating the liquid while it simmers will disrupt the clarification process, so the consommé will turn out cloudy.

That's why another key to making a good quality consommé is using a special pot with a spigot on the bottom. This allows the finished stock to be drained from the pot without disturbing the raft on top—which, again, would cause the consommé to be cloudy.

Serving Consommé

Consommé is often served as an appetizer and is frequently served with a simple garnish of vegetables cut in brunoise or julienne.

Another feature of its high gelatin content is that it will jell when it cools, making it the basis for preparing aspic. Because it seals off the surrounding oxygen, jelled consommé prevents the growth of bacteria that can cause spoilage and food poisoning. Thus storing foods in aspic (such as duck legs, for example) is a simple and early form of food preservation.

Note that cans of consommé you buy at the store aren't true consommé but rather ordinary broth which has been fortified by adding gelatin. Homemade consommé is worth the extra effort.

Recipes That Use Consommé

Although they can be time-consuming and some of the directions may seem a little bit fussy, making perfect, clear consomme is not that difficult. This easy chicken consommé recipe uses a leftover chicken carcass, vegetables and spices most chefs have on hand and egg whites.

If you’re looking for a vegetarian option, one popular and easy-to-make variety is tomato consommé. It uses fresh tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil and egg whites, plus a tiny bit of sugar for a light, summery dish you can serve with crusty bread or vegetables.

Consomme soup is refined and clear. Learn how to make consomme and you will be able to prepare this classic French dish anytime. If you want to make consomme for 4 people, you will need 2 pints of good quality clear stock, 2 peppercorns, a clove, 2 peeled, seeded, sliced tomatoes, and a chopped celery stalk, carrot and onion.

So what’s next if you want to know how to make consomme?

Consomme Soup Instructions

Roast some beef shin or even bones with cartilage, or some chicken, then put the meat and bones in the stock with the other ingredients and cook gently for an hour, not stirring the mixture. Sieve the stock and put it in the refrigerator until the clear liquid and fat separate.

Ladle the clear liquid into a clean pan and leave the fat and sediment in the first pan. If the fat doesn’t come out as one lump, you can strain the mixture through a clean tea towel or cheesecloth. As long as you have not stirred it during cooking, it should be clear, not cloudy.

Tips for Consomme Recipes

Whenever you have leftover meat or vegetables, you can cook them in water until the liquid is flavorful, then sieve the mixture and use that as the base for a wonton soup. Most stocks freeze well too, which is another bonus, and you can pick up beef bones quite cheaply.

If you are using a store-bought stock to make consommé instead of making your own, choose something which is good quality, because if the stock is not of a good quality then the resulting consommé will be no better.

There is no fixed recipe for making a flavorful stock or learning how to make consomme the classic way, but if you have beef bones or a chicken carcass left over from a meal, as well as some vegetables, you can make a stock out the ingredients you would otherwise have thrown out.

How to make a basic consommé

The consommé comes from the word ‘consummate’ which means to bring to complete or perfect. It is a clear soup which is prepared from beef, chicken stock, and garnish with verities of ingredients. This can be served hot or chilled, consommé take it name generally from of the garnish for example:

Consommé Julienne: Julienne cuts of vegetable.

Basic consommé (1 lit)

SL. Ingredients Quantity SL. Ingredients Quantity
01 Minced meat 225gm. 06 Egg white 2 no.
02 Onion 70gm. 07 Celery 40gm.
03 Carrot 50gm. 08 Thyme ¼ tsp
04 Turnips 30gm. 09 Bay leaf 1 no.
05 Stock ½ lit 10 Peppercorns 3-6 no.

Method:

Mix minced meat and chopped onions, carrots, turnips, celery and mix well with egg whites. Add cold stock, thyme, bay leaf and peppercorns. Then put on fire and go on starring so that the ingredients do not stick to the button of the pan and the articles are suspended. When the mixture starts boiling then control the temperature. And let it simmer until the coagulated mass come to the top. Simmer for ½ hour. When the consommé is clear and tasty then strain through a double muslin cloth and adding the seasoning agent.

How to make a basic consommé

Beef consomme (consommé) is not just a clarified beef stock or beef broth as some may define it. The word ‘consommé’ is translated from French as ‘completed’ or ‘concentrated’. What this means is that a consomme is a strong, concentrated stock or broth. In fact, in classical French cuisine, to be called a consommé all a stock had to be is concentrated. Consomme was then further divided into two kinds: regular and clarified.

In this recipe, the definition of consomme is concentrated and clarified beef broth or stock. This is likely the most precise and most complete definition of consomme. Yet, let’s make it clear that beef stock of broth richness and strength are more important than clarity. You can have a consomme that is cloudy and not visually appealing yet rich, mellow and full of aroma, but you can’t have a consomme that is thin and watery.

How to make a basic consommé

How to make a basic consommé

How Beef Broth/Stock Clarification Works

When beef broth or stock is made, a certain amount of proteins get dissolved water, making it cloudy. When the water is heated these proteins coagulate and rise to the top. When properly controlling this process, these coagulated proteins will all rise to the top, leaving perfectly clear stock or broth behind. Now it’s just a matter of not disturbing the top while carefully transferring clarified stock out of the pot.

Basic Ingredients for clarifying beef stock or broth

The ingredients that are used to clarify beef stock are called the clearmeat or the clarification. The ingredients include:

Consomme soup is refined and clear. Learn how to make consomme and you will be able to prepare this classic French dish anytime. If you want to make consomme for 4 people, you will need 2 pints of good quality clear stock, 2 peppercorns, a clove, 2 peeled, seeded, sliced tomatoes, and a chopped celery stalk, carrot and onion.

So what’s next if you want to know how to make consomme?

Consomme Soup Instructions

Roast some beef shin or even bones with cartilage, or some chicken, then put the meat and bones in the stock with the other ingredients and cook gently for an hour, not stirring the mixture. Sieve the stock and put it in the refrigerator until the clear liquid and fat separate.

Ladle the clear liquid into a clean pan and leave the fat and sediment in the first pan. If the fat doesn’t come out as one lump, you can strain the mixture through a clean tea towel or cheesecloth. As long as you have not stirred it during cooking, it should be clear, not cloudy.

Tips for Consomme Recipes

Whenever you have leftover meat or vegetables, you can cook them in water until the liquid is flavorful, then sieve the mixture and use that as the base for a wonton soup. Most stocks freeze well too, which is another bonus, and you can pick up beef bones quite cheaply.

If you are using a store-bought stock to make consommé instead of making your own, choose something which is good quality, because if the stock is not of a good quality then the resulting consommé will be no better.

There is no fixed recipe for making a flavorful stock or learning how to make consomme the classic way, but if you have beef bones or a chicken carcass left over from a meal, as well as some vegetables, you can make a stock out the ingredients you would otherwise have thrown out.

Maybe it’s the bone broth trend that has people commenting on consommé, but we’ve noticed a lot of you asking about what it is. Well, allow me to clarify. OK, that (bad) joke becomes more clear (if not more amusing) once you know that consommé is clarified meat broth.

Let’s break it down.

To make beef consommé, you start with brown stock, which is what you get when you simmer roasted beef (or veal) bones, roasted mirepoix (celery, carrots, onions), tomato puree, and some basic herbs and spices in water for hours and hours, then strain it.

How to make a basic consommé

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This savory, collagen-rich brew is entirely delightful as it is, but in true French fashion, it can be further refined.

To turn that somewhat cloudy brown stock into clear consommé, the stock is gently simmered with a mixture of lightly whipped egg whites and lean ground meat, which congeals and floats to the surface forming what’s known as a raft. Think of the raft as the Death Star of your soup pot, dragging everything—in this case all the little solid food particles that cloud the stock–to it, like a giant protein magnet.

What’s left is a crystal clear liquid that’s traditionally served hot as a soup, or cold (because of the collagen, consommé has a gelatinous consistency when chilled) in a delicacy known as aspic. Personally, I can live without meat gelatin—my favorite way to consume consommé is to sip it straight out of a cup, Canora-style.

In the early days of the Renaissance, the painter Giotto supposedly earned a commission from the pope by drawing a perfect freehand circle. For chefs, making consomme is exactly that sort of deceptively simple test. Consomme is a perfect broth, absolutely clear and yet richly flavored. The classical repertoire was filled with consomme recipes, each with its own distinctive garnish. They’re seldom served in restaurants anymore, but every classically trained chef and many food enthusiasts still know how to make them.

I Can See Clearly Now

Consomme starts with a rich, well-flavored broth. After it’s been refrigerated and all excess fat removed, you pour the broth into a tall, narrow pot. Next you mince up some of the meat the broth was made from — beef, chicken, veal, game or fish — and mix it with egg whites, aromatic vegetables and an acidic ingredient such as chopped tomatoes. As you heat the cold broth, those ingredients form a repellent-looking “raft” of proteins at the top of the pot. Like a marsh filtering groundwater, the mesh of egg proteins traps impurities from the broth. When it’s finished simmering, the newly crystalline broth must be carefully ladled out from underneath the raft.

Bringing the Garnish

To cooks, a soup’s garnish is anything that’s added to the broth. Viewed in that light, your chicken noodle soup is chicken broth garnished with noodles and diced chicken. Classical consommes typically have well-established names, which tell aficionados their contents. These classic combinations of soup and garnish are period pieces in the modern world, but like Lalique’s art nouveau enamels, they’re still appreciated for their beauty and simplicity. Many garnishes are used, and some consommes include several.

Garden Garnishes

For example, many are garnished simply with vegetables cut in different ways. Consomme Brunoise is garnished with vegetables cut into tiny dice, just 1/16 of an inch square. The vegetables are cut into matchsticks for Consomme Julienne, or into large, thin squares for Consomme Paysanne. Consomme Printaniere is garnished with peas and pea-sized balls of turnip and carrot.

Prepared Garnishes

Some classic consommes require garnishes that are prepared ahead of time, then cut for the soup as needed. For example, Consomme Royale is garnished with small shapes cut from firm, savory custards. Consomme Celestine calls for a garnish of finely julienned crepes. Many others call for profiteroles — tiny balls of the same dough used for cream puffs — stuffed with various ingredients. For example, Consomme Alsacienne fills them with chicken while Consomme Chasseur fills them with minced game.

Celebrity Consomme

Some of the most elaborate consommes in the classical repertoire were created in honor of contemporary celebrities, and were intended to showcase the chef’s skills. For example, Consomme George Sand — named for the popular 19th century novelist — is based on a fish consomme. It’s garnished with quenelles, or boat-shaped portions of mousse, made from both white fish and crayfish. It also contains earthy, deep-flavored Morel mushrooms, and croutons spread with soft-cooked carp roe.