Beef stock or “consomme,” as it is known in the culinary world, is rich and multidimensional beef broth. You can use veal and make your own homemade stock for best results. If you are in a hurry though, you may use its store-bought counterpart.
How The Beef Stock Refinement Works
When you prepare beef stock at home, some proteins from the meat dissolve poorly in the liquids and result in a murky or dark appearance. After the water reaches a certain high temperature, these proteins stick together and rise to the upper surface.
When you properly monitor this procedure these clotted proteins will all rise to the outer surface, revealing totally clear stock.
Key Ingredients For Clearing Beef Stock/Broth
- Fat-free ground beef is a rich source of clean protein that allows the clarification of meat proteins and also boosts the flavor of the beef stock.
- Egg whites to boost the meat’s clarification potency.
- Mirepoix (diced vegetables) and other herbs or seasonings add flavor.
- Acidic-based ingredients e.g. tomato juice help break down and bind the proteins together. These are not mandatory, but they are quite helpful.
Beef Consomme Recipe
- 1 lb. (450g) ground beef, preferably veal
- 20 cups/5 quarts veal or beef stick
- 8 oz. egg whites
FOR MAKING YOUR MIREPOIX
- 8 oz. white onion, finely chopped
- 4 oz. celery stalks, finely chopped
- 4 oz. carrots, finely chopped
- 8 oz. tomatoes (canned or fresh)
- 6 stems of parsley, chopped
- 2 whole cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- Pinch of dried thyme
- ½ tsp crushed pepper
- Begin with a robust and rich beef stock/broth that is tasty and cold in temperature. The weak or diluted stock should be simmered and reduced until it gains more richness in flavor and cooled down later. Any excess fat should be removed.
- Mix the mirepoix, beef/veal, tomatoes, egg whites, herbs and seasonings in a large crockpot. Stir well with a wooden spatula or whipping tool.
- In professional kitchens, cooks utilize bulky and tall stock pots or spots for soup with a faucet at the bottom to prepare the consomme. This lets them skim off any stock without bothering the raft (the level above the stock that features mirepoix, bonded proteins and other bits). Thus, if you own one, use it.
- Gradually incorporate the cold stock while ensuring that the broth is well combined with the remaining ingredients.
- Bring everything to a simmer over low heat, stirring at random times.
- Once you reach a simmering temperature, start whisking. The cleat meat proteins will emerge on top and develop a raft.
- Lower the heat more and allow to simmer for 1 ½ hours. Avoid covering the crockpot with a lid and don’t let it boil heavily as this will ruin the raft and make the consomme murky.
- Pass the consomme through a cheesecloth to strain it (wrap it up and use several layers). If you do not have or use a pot with a faucet, you can transfer the consome through a food-grade tube of suitable dimensions without damaging the raft. In my case, it turned out with a bit of fat on top because the meat was not lean enough. That is fine as the stock will be clarified in the next phase.
- Skim out any greasy parts from the tip very rigorously. Strips of brown paper along the surface work pretty well in catching every last bit of grease without absorbing much stock.
- Check the seasonings and adjust if necessary. It is suggested that you use kosher salt as it’s purer than table salt and has no artificial ingredients.
- Keep in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months.