Foodie Word of the Day: Consommé


Stephanie Moon from Great British Menu

This term was posted following far too many evenings watching Great British Menu for comic relief. Consommé was one of the elements in Stephanie’s humorous dish: Why did the chicken cross the road? 

She placed the watery mixture into a whisky-like glass and her first batch was commented to not be clear enough, which it seemed was a bad thing. But what is it exactly?

Consommé is a strong, rich, flavourful soup made by concentrating and clarifying stock. 

The word consommé means “completed” or “concentrated” in French. 

Beef or veal consommé is made from brown stock, and has a rich, amber color. Chicken consommé is made from chicken stock, and is a pale yellow color. In each case, however, the distinguishing characteristics of a consommé are its strong flavor and its clarity.

The Process

Consommé is clarified through a process that involves simmering the stock along with a mixture of egg whites and lean ground meat called a clearmeat. 

As the consommé simmers, the clearmeat solidifies into what is known as a raft which floats atop the liquid. The clearmeat draws proteins and other impurities that cloud a stock out of the liquid, leaving it perfectly clear.




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