Real Recipes From Real Home Cooks ®

brilliant beef consommé

★★★★★ 1
a recipe by
Andy Anderson !
Wichita, KS

Our teachers used to say that making a consommé was the ultimate test of bravery for any chef. First off it takes a good six hours of your life just to make the stock for the beef consommé, and now you're risking it all to clarify the stock. If you mess it up... you have to start all over again, but if you do it right the results are a clear broth, just bursting with flavor. Well, what do you say? You feeling lucky? Let's make some beef consommé.

★★★★★ 1
serves 4-6
prep time 1 Hr
cook time 1 Hr 10 Min
method Stove Top

Ingredients For brilliant beef consommé

  • 5 md
    eggs, whites only
  • 1 lb
    lean ground beef, shank neck, or shoulder
  • 1 md
    onion, diced
  • 1/2 md
    onion brûlée
  • 2 md
    celery ribs, diced
  • 2 md
    carrots, diced
  • 2 md
    tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 1/2 qt
    good beef stock
  • 2
    bay leaves, dried
  • 2 sprig
  • 1/2 tsp
    black peppercorns, crushed
  • 8
    fresh parsley stems, chopped
  • 2 clove
    fresh garlic, crushed
  • salt, to taste

How To Make brilliant beef consommé

  • 1
    Begin by making the onion brûlée (the secret ingredient). Chef's Note: An onion brûlée, is an onion that is cut in half and charred on a hot dry surface such as a flat top griddle or a dry fry pan, and is used to impart a rich color to a stock. Set the onion brûlée aside and move on to the next step. Chef's Note: We will only need 1/2 of the onion.
  • 2
    Place the egg whites, and the ground beef into the bowl of a food processor, fitted with an S-blade attachment, and give the ingredients a few pulses, until fully incorporated. Chef's Tip: The easiest way to separate the whites from the yolk is to crack the egg open in your hand, and let the white slip between your fingers.
  • 3
    Chef's Note: While it is a lot easier to do this with a food processor, you can achieve the same results with a large bowl, a whisk, and a bit of elbow grease.
  • 4
    Add the tomatoes, a bit of salt, and pulse several times. Finally, add the onions, celery, and carrots. Give it a few pulses until you have one, combined, gloppy, gooey mess.
  • 5
    Chef's Note: if you are using a food processor, you don't have to be so picky about chopping up all the veggies, because that S-blade will do all the work for you. I love my Braun food processor; it's a workhorse of a system; however, to use one you need a 220vac outlet in your kitchen.
  • 6
    Chef's Note: The acids in the salt, and the tomatoes (plus all the agitation) will help to denature the proteins in the eggs, and meat, and help to clarify the stock; while the rest of the ingredients will help to flavor the consommé. Denatured raw proteins attract cook proteins, and that's the stuff that's clouding our stock.
  • 7
    Add the cold beef stock to a large pot, and then pour in our raft materials (that's the gloppy mess). Stir to completely combine the stock with the raft ingredients, and then add the onion brulee, garlic cloves, and the rest of the herbs.
  • 8
    Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium to medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Stop stirring when the meat begins to float to the surface of the liquid. This should be just before it comes to a boil.
  • 9
    Chef's Note: This is the tricky part... You need to keep stirring to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the bottom of the pot, and burning. If that happens... throw it away and begin again. Once the ingredients rise to the surface, you're safe from the ingredients burning, and you need to stop stirring, so they have a chance to bind together.
  • 10
    As soon as it reaches a boil, turn the heat down slightly, and move the pot off center of the burner. That way, the section of the pot over the burner will continue to boil, and it should boil over the raft on the cooler side.
  • 11
    Continue to allow the stock to bubble through the raft, and keep simmering until the stock clarifies, and becomes (by definition) a consommé. This will take an additional thirty to sixty minutes, but no more than sixty. Remember: Boiling veggies give up all they are going to give in a maximum of sixty minutes, and then begin releasing sulfur compounds.
  • 12
    Chef"s Note: At this point all you have to do is watch the magic happen. Even if the consommé clarifies in thirty minutes, I'll usually keep it on heat for sixty minutes, to get as much flavor out of the veggies as I can.
  • 13
    Once finished, remove the pot from the burner. The tricky part now is removing the golden liquid out of the pot without disturbing the raft. I typically allow the consommé to cool, and as it does the raft will settle to the bottom of the pot. Then, I use a ladle, and strain it through a sieve lined with several layers of cheesecloth.
  • 14
    This consommé is excellent to use with my French Onion Soup recipe, or just as a first dish at a nice party.