This beef consommé recipe is packed with flavor and takes minimal effort. With just a few vital steps to ensuring the consommé is clear and free of impurities, you'll have a gorgeous consommé ready in just under 2 hours!
This recipe is adapted from a cookbook I received in my culinary class I received in college. It's made for professional chefs and is pretty standard. I tweaked a few things to make it work for me however try to stick to the main steps I listed below to ensure it turns out clear and flavorful.
What is beef consomme?
Beef consommé is a clear, rich broth made from beef, vegetables, and seasonings. The consommé is clarified using a process called "rafting," which involves simmering the broth with egg whites, ground meat, and vegetables.
The raft ingredients trap impurities and rise to the top of the pot, creating a clear broth underneath.
The resulting color is usually a rich amber color.
How do you make beef consomme?
To make beef consommé, start by roasting beef short ribs and vegetables, such as onions, carrots, and celery, in the oven.
Then, transfer the roasted meat and vegetables to a large pot with tomatoes and broth, bay leaves, thyme, parsley and peppercorns. Simmer the mixture for several hours making sure to leave the raft undisturbed until the flavors are well combined and the broth is rich and flavorful.
If you want to play around with different flavors, you can make a consommé from other proteins like veal, chicken, pork, duck or lamb.
How to clarify your both
The clarity of your both or consomme is what separates the pros from the amateurs. we want a super clear consommé that's not cloudy.
To help clarify the broth, we will be whisking in egg whites to help the foamy raft to develop and remove impurities.
Here are other tips for ensure your consommé is clear:
- Do not let it boil! Boiling disrupts the surface leading to a cloudy both.
- Do not stir after the raft has developed. Once the raft floats on top, we want to leave it alone.
- Don't skip out on the egg whites. When this coagulates, it binds to the impurities bringing them to the surface.
- Allow the consommé to chill in the fridge overnight. Then skim off any excess fat or raft that has accumulated.
What is the different between consomme and broth?
Consommé and broth are both types of clear liquid that are made by simmering meat, bones, vegetables, and seasonings in water. However, there are a few key differences between the two:
- Clarity: Consommé is typically clearer than broth because it is clarified using a process called rafting, which involves adding egg whites and other ingredients to the simmering liquid to trap impurities and create a clear, transparent broth.
- Intensity of flavor: Consommé is usually more intensely flavored than broth as it's reduced down longer and starts with a broth rather that water. Also, the rafting process removes any impurities that might otherwise dull the flavor.
- Use: Consommé is often used as a base for sauces, soups, and stews, while broth is typically used as a stand-alone soup or as a cooking liquid for rice, grains, and vegetables.
- Time to make: Consommé takes longer to make than broth because of the rafting process, which can add several hours to the preparation time.
How To Use Beef Consommé
You can use consommé in many different recipes.
- Mix in some to boost the flavor of your stock or broth.
- Deglaze the fond from your pan to make a rich, tasty sauce for pasta, steak or chicken dishes.
- As it's own soup with some chicken, tofu, mushrooms, noodles or chopped veggies.
Beef consommé can be stored in the refrigerator, freezer, or canned for long-term storage. Here are some guidelines for each method:
- Refrigerator storage: Beef consommé can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to four days. It is important to let the stock cool down to room temperature before storing it in the refrigerator.
- Freezer storage: Beef consommé can be stored in the freezer for up to six months. Again, make sure the stock cool down as cold as possible (the fridge is best), and THEN transfer it to a freezer-safe container, leaving some headspace to allow for expansion.
Storage Tip! Label the container with the date and contents before placing it in the freezer.
- 5 egg whites
- 2 lbs beef shortribs
- 2 large yellow onion
- 1 large carrot (or 2 small ones)
- 2 celery ribs
- 6 oz. tomatoes, seeded & diced
- 2 qts. beef broth or stock
- 2 bay leaves
- 3-4 thyme leaves
- 1 tsp whole peppercorns, crushed
- 1 bunch parsley stems
- 2 cloves
- salt, to taste*
- Whisk the egg whites until frothy.
- Add your herb sachet to a small cheesecloth square and tie it up into a little bag with twine.
- Cut your onion in half. Place it directly over a flame either on your stove or under the oven broiler. We want a very charred onion for flavor. This should only take a few minutes. See photo above!
- Add all ingredients to a stock pot including sachet and charred onion and simmer stirrly occasionally. Stop stirring when your consomme develops a thick foam floating on top.
- Simmer about 1 hour.
- Strain well using a cheesecloth or fine mesh seive.
- Use a paper towel to remove any excess grease by laying it on top. See photo above.
- Add salt to taste and let cool completely before storing in the fridge or freezer.