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Thread: What is beef consomme?

  1. #1
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    Question What is beef consomme?

    Help! I want to make CL's French Onion-Beef bowl but I don't know what beef consomme is or where in the store to find it. Is it like broth? TIA

    Editor's Note: Consomme is slightly thicker than beef broth, but broth can be substituted in most cases. Check out our Taste Test of Stocks and Broths with more tips on cooking with prepared stocks and broth.
    Last edited by AllisonCL; 07-28-2010 at 08:19 AM.
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  2. #2
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    Here's a definition courtesy of foodtv. They have a great encyclopedia online, btw. I love it.

    consommé


    Definition: [KON-suh-may; kon-suh-MAY] A clarified meat or fish broth. Consommé can be served hot or cold, and is variously used as a soup or sauce base. A double consommé has been reduced until it is half the volume (and has twice the flavor) of regular (or single) consommé. See also madrilène.
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  3. #3
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    I'm pretty sure Campbells sells consomme in the can. Look in the soup area. It's heartier than broth.
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  4. #4
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    Bumping up because I went to the store last night and spent 10 minutes in the soup aisle looking for consomme...no luck. Any other ideas?
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  5. #5
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    What are you planning to use it for? I have just subbed beef broth when I didn't have consomme at hand. (Campbells does, BTW, sell beef consomme in a can right next to the broths and other soups - could just be that your particular store doesn't carry it.)

  6. #6
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    I want to make CL's French Onion-Beef Bowl. It calls for the consomme as well as broth. I've thought of using beef boullion dissolved in half the usual amount of water (twice the usual concentration, in effect) but wonder if that will be too salty.
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  7. #7
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    Duh, sorry. You already said in your first post what you were making. Forgive me, it's Friday and my brain has already checked out for the weekend.

    I did a BB search and found the recipe that I think you're making - does it call for chicken broth and beef consomme? If I were making this and couldn't find the consomme, I think I would just sub beef broth. Or your idea of making a concentrated broth with bouillion is good too, but just leave out any additional salt that the recipe calls for and make sure your other ingredients (chicken broth, etc.) are low-sodium. If it ends up being too salty, you could always dilute it a little bit with some water or low-sodium beef broth.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
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    Sounds like a plan -- thanks aggie94. And we're all entitled to a Friday brain freeze now and then!
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  9. #9
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    At my store, they place the consumme with the regular soups, not with the broths, so make sure you're looking there. I almost miss it every time. And, while the official, "real" definition of consumme is reduced stock, good ol' Cambell's thickens theirs by adding gelatin. I find it to be extremely salty and have never seen a low-salt version.

  10. #10
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    Consomme is basically stock and will have more gelatin than broth since the bones are simmered for a longer period of time and then it's reduced even further than broth (broth being diluted stock).
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  11. #11
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    My grandmother kept a can in the fridge and then sliced it like a jello mold and served it on lettuce. I thoght it was pretty yucky, but it definitely has gelatin or bone innards in it!

  12. #12
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    Consommé, I thought, is more of a purified broth. I spent a week at the culinary institute, and we made chicken consommé one day. Basically, you start with chicken stock. You make a mixture of eggs, ground meat, mirepoix, seasoning, etc. Put the mixture into the stock and simmer. As it simmers, the proteins in the egg/meat mixture bind together and pull all of the impurities out of the stock. It forms into a "raft" that floats on the top as the stock simmers. When it's done, you have to strain the stock without breaking the raft. What's left is a beautifully clear "purified" and refined stock. You don't get much for the amount of time that goes into it...which is why you don't see consommé on most restaurant menus. But it was delcious. The garnish could be anything from fresh herbs to chunks of meat. But the consommé itself is a beautifully clean and flavorful soup.

    I've never seen/tasted the canned stuff. But from everybody's input...it doesn't sound quite like what my understanding of consommé is.

    Here's the basic recipe we followed, maybe you can alter it for beef...

    Chicken Consommé

    1/2 lb. Mirepoix (onions, leeks, celery, and parsley stems)
    1 1/4 lb. Ground Chicken
    5 egg whites, beaten until slightly frothy
    6 oz. chopped tomato
    Standard sachet d'épices (parsley, thyme, 1 bay leaf, pepper), plus 1/2 clove and 1 allspice berry
    2 1/2 qrts. cold chicken stock
    Kosher salt as needed

    1. Combine the mirepoix, chicken, tomatoes, and onions. Mix well.

    2. Add the stock and mix well.

    3. Bring mixture to a slow simmer. Stir frequently until a raft forms.

    4. Add the sachet d'épices and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, or until the appropriate flavor is achieved.

    5. Strain; adjust the seasoning with kosher salt as needed.

    6. Serve with garnish.

    suggested Garnish: fresh peas and tomatoes concassé

  13. #13
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    That's REAL consomme. When most people say consomme though, they are referring either to stock or a clear, broth soup. I get request all the time for consomme at work. We don't sell the real stuff because the amount of work and effort that goes into it means it isn't cost effective.....

  14. #14
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    Ok. I'm learning.

    So, there is REAL consommé, and there is the other kind. What is the other kind? Thickened stock? I know this is a theoretical question...but why wouldn't they come up with a new name, rather than calling something that is not consommé, consommé? the stuff in the can that was described earlier sounds a little unappetizing. Is it just more flavorful broth?

  15. #15
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    I suspect , and I am may very well be wrong, that Cambells or some other company hijacked the name to glorify their product. Consomme sounds so much more professional than broth soup or whatever it really is. Meat flavor and gelatin.... I don't know. I somehow doubt taht they do consomme the real way. i wish I could get that accent thing over my e.....

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by Kayaksoup
    I suspect , and I am may very well be wrong, that Cambells or some other company hijacked the name to glorify their product.
    That totally makes sense. I just find it so frustrating when things aren't really what they are called.

    Anyway...to get the accent, (I am working in windows)I go to Start, then Programs, Accessories, System Tools. There is a listing for "character map". The character map has all kinds of accented letters. you just double click on one and then copy it. Then you can paste it wherever you want. Hope that helps. I thought the same thing when I went to reply to this post about consommé. I was very annoyed that I could not type it properly. I remembered that there was a way to get special characters, so I just looked around a little.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the tip

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