|Consommé with Vegetables|
Consommé is not stock or bouillon, rather it is made from stock and bouillon.
Consommé is created by the proper clarification of a high quality stock by adding a mixture of finely ground meats with mirepoix, a combination of carrots, celery and onions, along with tomatoes and egg whites into either a bouillon or a stock. To make a high quality consommé the secret is simmering; the act of simmering combined with frequent stirring starts the process of bringing impurities to the surface of the liquid, which are further drawn out because of the presence of acid in the tomatoes.
After a while solids will begin congealing at the surface of the liquid forming a 'raft' which is created by proteins, including albumins, mucoproteins and globulins, in the egg whites. Once the 'raft' begins to form reduce the heat and do not stir but carefully poke a hole in the raft so the stock can work its way around it. The stock is simmered at a lower heat until it reaches the desired flavor and all the impurities come out of it, this takes anywhere from 45 minutes to over an hour. The result is a clear and very flavorful liquid that will have a rich amber color for beef or veal, or a very pale yellow color for poultry consommé.
Consommés are served piping hot because they are a thinner variety of soup so they lack the ability to retain their heat and cool down far more quickly than other soups, forming a gel in place of soup. More often than not, they served with garnishes that vary in complexity from a splash of Sherry or egg yolk to cut veggies, or they can be shaped into savory custards. In the 1700s they were made and used in cooking to enhance the flavor of other, daily-served dishes. Stock, Bouillon and Consomme's were always on hand and at the ready for cooking almost any dish. Along with prepared stock, consommé was used to create a beverage similar to what we know today as coffee.
|Latte, as we know coffee today|