CONSOMMÉ- CLEAR SOUP
Submitted by Anne-Marie Hofman
8 oz (225 g) Ground/Minced shin meat
1 qt (950 ml) Stock (White or brown but must be cold)
4 oz (115 g) Mixed vegetables (Such as onion, leek, carrot and celery all finely chopped)
2 egg whites
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme, and bay leaf tied together or placed in a cheesecloth bag)
1) Into a clean large heavy bottom saucepan, mix the meat with the 2 egg whites and 1 cup (236 ml) cold stock.
2) Finely chop the washed vegetables, and then add to the beef mixture with the peppercorns and the bouquet garni.
3) Over a gentle heat, allow to come to the boil, stirring occasionally.
4) Now let it boil for 5-10 seconds and give it one final stir.
5) Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Do not stir at all during this time. This aids in the clarification process.
6) Strain through a doubled muslin (cheese) cloth to prevent anything from passing through.
7) Gently remove any fat with kitchen towels.
8) A delicate amber colour should result and correct seasonings if needed.
9) Degrease if needed and bring to the boil, garnish, and serve.
CRYSTAL CLEAR CONSOMMÉ TIPS:
Do not use dirty pans when you start the process.
Always aim to get the egg white and meat mixture off in one piece so that the liquid is underneath.
The liquid under the meat/egg white mixture should be gentle simmering.
Cloudiness is due to poor quality stock, dirty pots or allowing the soup to settle before skimming off the meat/egg white.
Slight jelly effect if the stock is good quality and this is nice in the warm months.
As it's cold downunder, my favourite garnish is the julienne of the chervil, tarragon and parsley pancakes. Add this just before serving.
Le Repertoire de La Cuisine has many versions so make the basic version and prepare to experiment and maybe look at the old favourite in a new light.
A good consommé is well received and I find it right up there with chicken soup. But sadly, many chefs think it's just flavoured stock.
The soup is a light start for the meal and most people will remark on how clear and tasteful it is.
Let me know if you want to try other versions of this good old basic -- I am willing to try them with the exception of tapioca ones which always remind me of frogs or polliwog eggs.
May the Lord watch over you and may He provide you with patience to master this.
Downunder (Australia) is cold currently so I am working in the opposite season -- but try this as a jelly consommé in your neck of the woods.
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