Clear soup, that’s what we are talking about. Something frightfully old fashioned. I have only heard about it in books or films or TV series like Poirot or other Agatha Christie storylines. I thought I’d give it a go.
Ingredients for my easy version:
500 finely minced/ground beef (a cheap cut), 1 carrot, 1 onion, 1 celery stick, a few cloves, 1 bayleaf, 1 egg white.
Place all the ingredients in your pot and add cold water – about 1 litre or just over depending on how ‘strong’ you want it.
You can just about make out the bayleaf up at the top there.This is the egg yolk that gets left behind; do NOT put it in the stock. The egg white serves to ‘clarify’ the soup.
This is a photo to show the egg yolk in the soupd but it’s not very easy to spot. What I have spotted, instead, is a celery leaf – and that is a major no-no when making stock/broth. Rule of thumb says no leaves except bay leaf. Now that I am writing this post, I remember what happened. I didn’t have any celery in the fridge and these measely leaves were all I had.
Use a whisk or other utensil to shake things up a bit, to unloosen the minced beef.
Turn the heat on and give it a good stir. And I mean stir! Stir energetically for a few seconds.
Then, let it be, let it simmer over a very low heat for about 40 minutes.
And this is what it looks like. See how ‘clear’ the stock is?
Drain the soup-making elements. I would love to say one could make something of the meat that is left behind … but basically all the taste has been boiled out of it. So … be kind and give it your dog.
And now you are ready to serve. Taste it first, in case it needs more salt.
Who says old-fashioned can’t be exquisite? Please note: consommé is to be drunk straight out of its cup, no spoon soup to be used.
Try drinking a glass of sherry with this, and proceed with wine for the rest of the meal.
P.S. I actually did not serve the consommé straight away. I let the consommé cool down and refrigerated to use the next day. When it came out of the fridge it was a bit like jelly. Nor was the liquid clear any longer – and I was mortified.
No worries: Once the consommé got heated up again, it regained its former glory in look and feel and tasted delicious.