Broth is one of the most fulfilling things you can make in the kitchen. Consommé is the funnest magic trick you can do with your broth. Here's how I got there.
Sick in bed one day in May with the worst allergy attack of my life, I watched the DVD that came with the Jacques Pepin (JP) book Essential Pepin. In a KQED radio interview, JP said that the DVD was more valuable than the book, so I think to myself, "word, I better check this out!" In addition to lots of timeless techniques that he integrates into his show, the DVD also contained a segment where JP turned cloudy soup stock into crystal clear broth called consommé. I was so amazed that I made consommé as soon as I was feeling better. Adapted from Jacques Pepin's latest book, Essential Pepin.
| ||homemade stock||8 cups|
|chicken, beef, or a mix|
| ||ground beef||1 lb|
|super lean, optional if the stock is already heavily seasoned or concentrated|
| ||carrots|| 3/4 cup|
|optional (he didn't use these in the DVD)|
|large saucepan to boil broth|
|large stainless steel pot for consomme|
|large mixing spoon|
|large mesh strainer
|Bring the stock to a boil in the saucepan.|
|In a separate pot, combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix by hand until homogeneous.|
|Pour in the hot stock. Stir and boil over high heat. Stir often to prevent scorching. The egg white and the beef will eventually form a crust. The moment it starts to boil over, stop stirring and reduce the heat to low.|
|Rinse and wipe the empty saucepan. Reserve for straining.|
|If the stock is strongly seasoned and just needs to be clarified, simmer for 15 minutes. Otherwise, gently simmer for 1 hour. Do not disturb the crust, but be sure that there is at least 1 small hole through which the broth simmers.|
|Line the mesh strainer with moistened paper towels. Set strainer inside of the rinsed, empty saucepan. Ladle the consommé into the strainer, taking care not to break up the crust. Let the consommé rest for 1 hour before serving.|
Because you don't want the hot broth to cook the egg whites on contact, water is mixed in with the egg whites. Think of the vegetable mixture as a "tea" that seasons the consomme.