Consomme is the French word for a soup based on meat stock that has been enriched, concentrated and then clarified. It is the simplest, yet most sophisticated, soup and you may serve it hot or cold. The perfect garnish for consomme are thin strips of blanched carrot and leek.
Ingredients: 1 litre cold beef stock
250g minced beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1 small leek, chopped
4 whole black peppercorns
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon dry sherry
Directions: 1. Place stock, onion, beef, carrot, leek, peppercorns, boukuet garni and egg whites in a large saucepan, bring slowly to the boil, whisking continuously. Reduce heat, stir in sherry and simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours without stirring.
2. Remove from heat and set aside to stand for 20 minutes. A thick brown scum will have formed on the surface of rhe stock, skim off scum and strain stock carefully through muslin. Remove fat from surface using absorbant kitchen paper.
Cook's tip: consomme should be clear. If your consomme is cloudy it may be because the stock was greasy, unstrained or of poor quality. Whisking the stock after it reaches boiling point or not allowing it to stand before straining will also cause consomme to be cloudy. Remember that the pan and muslin cloth must be very clean when you are making consomme.