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Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by koukouvagia, Dec 12, 2010.
What is it, how do you make it, and what do you use it for?
By the addition of chopped meat ,egg white, bouquet garni, ice,and veges into a strained stock.Simmering and letting all the sediment rise to top. (if possible use of a Consomme spigot pot) a perfectly clear and strong broth or soup or Boullion will be formed. This liquid is then garnished with over 60 variations of veges, egg(Royal) meat to form the finished product and give it it's name. Example when you Julianne crepes and put in broth, it is known as Consomme Celestine, or and egg custard that is cut in small diamond shape is Consomme royal, diced vege is Consomme Brunoise. Get Escoffier cookbook it will list all of them.
Its a crystal clear stock, very flavorful.
When cooking you make an egg rift to catch particles, and then pass through a filter when finished.
Hmmm this whole egg business is making it sound pretty unappetizing. I won't attempt to make this myself.
Before you "give up on consommé", take a look at: http://frenchfood.about.com/od/soupsandstews/r/beefconsomme.htm
Is that how you do it? Havent made a consomme in 20 years. Bring stock to a boil add the egg white mixture in with some ice, stir for a couple minutes, then let simmer. I dont recall using ground meat or the egg shells.
I use ground meat, Mirepoix, egg whites, and occasionally, egg shells.
I start with cold stock, whisk everything together, and sslloowwllyy bring it to a gentle simmer, whisking occasionally until the raft begins to form, then I leave it alone, I NEVER allow the stock to boil.
Pete You and I do same way(old School)
Well, it was "new school" when I learned it! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/talker.gif
I was always curious about the consomme as well.. So basicly you take your already made stock which could have been simmering for hours beforehand with the bones and stuff, that gets strained, then add the egg whites andstuff to strain out all the praticles AND to add additional flavor??? Is that why Mirepoix and ground beef is added for additional flavor?. I thought the egg white and that whole raft thing was just to filter out all the particles.
The egg whites DO filter out the particles, unfortunately, they also filter out some of the flavor in the same manner, so the ground meat and mirepoix add additional flavor to compensate for that removed by the egg whites. At least that is the way I learned it, well before anyone knew what "Google" meant let alone internet!
This was something I wondered too. So after reading your thoughtful replies (augmented with wikipedia) I gather that the reason consomme is so highly regarded, is the flavor of the end product should be completely "pure". Holistically, this still doesn't make a lot of sense to me unless you are going specifically for a textural/visual impact. From a flavor standpoint, I can't see where a consomme would be superior if you consider the vast array of flavor profiles that people set out to achieve in stocks/broths. In fact, I'd love a side by side, of stocks that were then processed as consommes to see which one really tasted better!
Totally different product, with totally different usages. Let us not confuse a stock and a consomme or a boullion and a broth. You would not serve a customer the makings f from the stockpot as is !
I'd put dumplings in it first! /img/vbsmilies/smilies/biggrin.gif
It takes a lot of patience to do it right, as I remember you had to stir it constantly until the raft forms. Could you tell a difference if you start with a good stock, I doubt it. If its a broth left over from boiling some meat for a couple hours you might not be able to get it very clear with only a strainer.
Originally Posted by redzuk
People used to put "whole" egg whites in to the stock, and stir and stir to break them up as well as to get the dreck to stick to the egg proteins. However you can beat the egg whites to break them up before adding them to the stock, and the whole thing needs considerably less stirring. I think the shortcut may have been discovered sometime in the fifties. It was common practice in the sixties.
Nowadays some people use whites so well beaten they're practically meringue. Didn't Morimoto make a consomme on Iron Chef using well beaten egg whites?
In any case, you stir until egg white tendrils just start to form and cling to the side of the pot, then stop stirring immediately. The difference is that if you break the egg whites up first, the raft forms a lot quicker.
Oh sure. Absolutely you can. The better the stock, the better the consomme. And of course, you want to use a very clear stock before beginning clarification. If the stock is cloudy from being boiled when made, it will never clarify.
I'm not sure what you mean by this. You can't ever get stock or broth as clear by straining as you can by going through the consomme process. And if by "boiling" you mean boil instead of simmering, you can't ever get a boiled stock very clear no matter what you do to it -- short of long column fractionating or sub-micron filters. In fact, you can't get it anywhere near clear.
But visual clarification is not the point of consomme -- or at least not entirely. Compared to a broth made by simply seasoning a stock, a consomme's flavor is less muddled and more intense. A turbid soup will never achieve the same purity of taste.
BDL You are right re stirring, I added beaten whites, meat, leek,carrots, celery herbs, shells, Ice stirred once on adding this and never stirred again. Either took off right under top with ladle or used spigot pot. I had a different consomme on the menu every day for years. never had a problem..
And Eastshores a lot of the supposed consommes I have seen were like dumplings in a stockpot, maybe the schools did not spend enough time on their correct preparation.?
With a name like boar_d_laze, you arent going to let anyone use your good stock for a soup are you. Always thought of consomme as something you do with left over broth, or a "simple stock". Clarity can also lack depth, and lose its interest quickly. What can I say, I still put roux in the demi-glace.
Thanks for the comments though, I feel like revisiting consomme.
I think the most useful way to think about this is a basic classification difference: consomme is a dish, stock is an ingredient. Stock is a fundamental ingredient of consomme --- much the most important, in fact.
You have to be into things like purity and perfectionism of a sort to get into consomme. It's perfectly crystal-clear, and has a remarkably clear, sharp flavor. Well made, it's a lovely thing, and it can be accented with any of those 60-odd garnishes someone already mentioned.
One extremely irritating thing about consomme is that you actually can tell a great deal about the ingredients used and the technical mastery of the cook. I can make a decent consomme without a lot of trouble, but a great consomme is a labor of love. You've got to use excellent ingredients, go slow, be precise. No shortcuts: every shortcut will screw it up noticeably. There's no way to hide with consomme.
It's rather like sashimi, in a sense: any fool can slice raw fish, but great sashimi requires great fish and excellent cutting technique (and knives), and yes, you can tell. I don't claim to have the finest palate in the world, but I can tell. And yes, I can tell with consomme too.
When Craig Claiborne was at hotel school in Switzerland, and they learned to clarify consomme, the chef noted that a perfect consomme should have absolutely no trace of impurity in the liquid or on the surface. It should look like amber water, period. But he also noted that a lot of customers think a soup ought to have a little bit of fat floating on top, and that there's something wrong if it isn't there. So if someone complains, you take the consomme you've so lovingly crafted and add a tiny dab of flavorless vegetable oil. This floats in little circles, and you serve it again.
There is a process for clarafied Consomme that makes it stronger. It has a simple name .It is called Consomme Double. The clearing process is done two times. It was used by the Chef Decorateur or Gard'e'Manger to prepare Aspics and Chaud Froids.