You may have heard of the term beef broth and consomme and you wonder what’s the difference between these two? So, beef consomme vs beef broth – are they the same… Or not?
First of all, they are both liquids. But what makes them different from each other is the quality. To put it simply, consomme in French means “perfect.” So, broth is more of an unfinished or unclarified consomme.
We’ll delve more into the difference between these two terms so you know what to expect when you order them at a restaurant!
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Beef Consomme Vs. Beef Broth
Both consomme and broth are culinary stapes and are the foundations of many excellent dishes.
These help to enhance the depth and flavor of any dish by making the taste more sumptuous, richer, and better in every way.
Moreover, they ensure the extraction of nutrients, so they mix well with the liquid and make the dishes healthier overall.
Beef broth is cooked over low heat. It is not to be boiled since too much heat can lead to a cloudy broth. Also, fat and grease are removed from the surface during the simmering process.
Simmering takes as little as 3 hours and as long as 24 hours. It is best to use a slow cooker for making broth since it helps to bring out the flavor even more. But because it takes long and slow to make, many people decide to purchase premade broth from stores.
However, making broth from scratch does not take much. In fact, all ingredients are widely available but just time-consuming. You can also buy beef broth in a solid or liquid state.
When making broth, it is best to leave it slightly unseasoned. This allows for greater versatility, so you can add it to your dishes and prevent it from being too salty.
As for consomme, it is a mixture of egg whites and beef broth. You simmer these two ingredients together, which leads to a clarified broth.
Once done simmering, you can add some flavorings such as tomatoes, parsley, ground beef, celery, onions, and carrots.
The initial step when making consomme is to separate the yolk from the whites. Then, whisk the whites as gently as possible until stiff peaks are reached. This should take about 3 minutes using an electric whisk. By doing so, you can add in a bit of air to the mixture.
Afterwards, you mix the consomme with ground beef, as well as other vegetables you want to use. The traditional way, however, is with a mirepoix or a mixture of celery, onions, and carrots diced finely.
As you cook the vegetables, you can now add in your seasoning or spices such as bay leaves, bouquet garni, and pepper. Do not oversalt your consomme to keep it versatile.
You can heat the consomme for several hours, as long as you keep it in low heat. Never allow it to boil and stir constantly. The goal is to reach a maximum temperature of 120 Fahrenheit. By doing so, the egg white’s protein compound is able to bind well to the impurities in the stock.
This will result in a light gray film forming on the liquid’s surface, also known as “raft.” Cut a hole in this film to let the broth bubble.
Simmer your consomme for an hour, so it will clarify properly. Then, strain it through a cheesecloth to keep it free from impurities.
What Do Broth And Consomme Look Like?
Beef broth has a light brown color. It is also thin, clear, and void of grease and fat.
On the other hand, beef consomme has a dark amber color. It is clear, yet thicker in quality than broth. There should be no impurities present since you have strained it using a cheesecloth.
Beef Consomme Vs. Beef Broth Taste
As for the flavor, these two don’t taste anything alike.
Broth has a mild and beefy flavor. This is why it is best used in sauces and soups. You can also make gravy using broth.
When you want to add more flavor to your meat and vegetables, you can add beef broth when braising your ingredients. Drinking beef broth is another way to consume this nutritious food.
Beef consomme has a richer and more powerful flavor. This is why it can be a meal on its own because of the enhanced taste.
Aspic is another way to use consomme. This is a type of jelly with a savory taste and contains pieces of meat and vegetables.
Read more: Can You Mix Peanut Oil And Vegetable Oil?
Beef Consomme Vs. Beef Broth History
Historically, broth has been used for medicinal purposes. It is typically used in Chinese medicine to strengthen the kidneys and the digestive system.
In Ancient Greece, broth served as a cleansing dish. The same holds true in South America. Broth was also prescribed to patients in Egypt by a Jewish physician named Maimonides for treating flu, common cold, and asthma.
Beef consomme’s history dates back as early as the medieval times. It originated in Europe and was a typical upper class dish. This is why consomme has the reputation of being a royal meal and connotes refinement and riches. Since there’s a lot of high quality meat used in making consomme, only the well-off people could afford making this dish.
Additional Facts About Broth And Consomme
Both of these foods are water-based. Hence, they are not exactly nutrient-dense or calorie-rich.
However, there is some protein, iron, calcium, and carbohydrates in broth and consomme. But consomme has more protein because of the egg whites and more meat added to make it.
Yet, both are very high in sodium, this is why it is best to consume them in moderation.
Moreover, consomme can serve as a substitute in a recipe that calls for condensed beef broth. The viscosity is almost the same and the flavor is richer.
Yet, consomme is a more refined and pricier product. So, if you want to make your dish more luxurious and have the taste of consomme, then you can use it instead of condensed broth.
If you want to use consomme instead of broth, be sure to dilute the former in water to thin it out a bit.
For convenience purposes, you can make broth and consomme in large amounts and store them well, so you can have them ready to use at any time in your recipes. Just be sure to freeze them right away after cooking to prevent bacteria from growing at a fast rate at room temperature.
Store them in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. When kept in the freezer in a sealed container and without excess air present, these can last for up to 6 months.
Beef consomme and beef broth have been used interchangeably but there are differences between these two. We hope this post has helped you to identify the difference between these, so you can properly use them in your recipes to boost the flavor, aroma, and nutritional profile.