- 1 What is Beef Consommé?
- 2 Why You May Need a Substitute for Beef Consommé?
- 3 Best Beef Consommé Substitutes
- 4 How to Choose a Beef Consommé Substitute: General Recommendations
- 5 How to Make Beef Consommé at Home?
- 6 Conclusion
Honestly, we were never too passionate about cooking! And we couldn’t understand the big deal some of our friends were making about it! Okay, yes, food is essential for us, and it is always nicer when you eat something delicious. But, if we didn’t have time or something, we would make a salad and add some dressing, and that was it.
But then the Covid struck. All our travelling plans and hobbies were limited, as we mostly had to stay at home. So it was as good a time as any to pick up on some new skill, and try to learn more about cooking. There were plenty of great recipes, but sadly, some of them required stuff we didn’t have.
For example, several times we needed beef consommé, but it wasn’t possible to find it anywhere. Thus, we’ve decided to look up – what would be a good beef consommé substitute? And after long hours of searching, we finally managed to find not just one, but an entire list of consommé substitute options – beef stock, beef broth, demi-glace and many more! Now, we would be happy to share these options with you!
What is Beef Consommé?
Consommé is a French word for perfect or something complete. For many people, it is a staple in cooking. But what about beef consommé; what is it? Well, it is a soup with a very intense flavor, made from seasoning and brown beef stock. But keep in mind that consommé and bouillon aren’t the same! When we say bouillon, we have in mind concentrated flavorings that can be dissolved in water. Consommé is made by mixing beef broth and egg whites that then simmer together.
Beef consomme first appeared in the Middle Ages. Before that, soups were made to be much thicker, and they had chunks of food. Peasants were usually eating these soups like a main dish. Besides that, it was also a meal for people who didn’t have teeth. However, around the Middle Ages, when European civilizations began to stabilize and be more prosperous, consommé appeared as a light pre-course to the main dish. It was considered an elegant dish served to lords and ladies and on special occasions.
But that was a long time ago – you might say – what is beef consomme used for now? Pretty much the same – you can eat it as a pre-course to a meal or make soups, sauces, dips, etc. Other than that, there are 3 things that make consommé unique. It is never cloudy, splendidly smooth and has a rich flavor. If you make a good beef consommé, you will see that it tastes meatier than the meat it was made from. You can make it from any meat such as beef, chicken, duck and even fish.
What is the Difference Between Beef Consommé and Beef Broth?
Okay, but what precisely is the difference between beef consommé vs. beef broth. Oh, these are different things, believe us. Beef is a liquid that you get when you simmer beef and veggies on low heat. Consommé is purified beef broth. It is made with egg whites that collect the fat and sediments. It has a way richer texture. More importantly, it tastes much more like beef. And while we usually add broth to other meals, consommé is something that you can eat on its own.
|Beef Broth||Beef Consommé|
|Made from||Simmering beef and vegetables||Purifying rich beef broth|
|Color||Brownish, cloudy||Clear, fat-free, dark|
|Use||As part of soups, sauces, etc.||Served on its own. Used for soups, French dip, sandwiches, etc.|
|Health benefits||4 servings contain 830mg of sodium and 2 g protein. Good for joints and digestive system||2.5 servings contain 7990mg of sodium, 1 g of carbs, 1 g of sugar. It also contains protein, some calcium, potassium, and vitamins|
Why You May Need a Substitute for Beef Consommé?
It is more than clear that you can make beef consommé by yourself. So what is the big fuss about finding a beef consommé replacement? There are situations when simple broth would be enough, indeed. But for some specific things you need consommé. And while it is true that you can make it, this takes time which you often don’t have. That is why it is useful to know the answer to the question: what can I substitute beef consommé for?
Best Beef Consommé Substitutes
Maybe it won’t be the first to come to your mind, but beef stock is one of the best beef consommé substitute options. It comes from cooking bones, which creates a thick liquid. In this sense, we can say that its consistency is the same as the one of consommé. Of course, you can make your stock at home. It is maybe the best option, but it takes time. You will need to roast beef bones for about half an hour. After that – add the meat to a pot of water with carrots, onions, celery and any spice or herb of your choice. After all this you will need to simmer all this for 8 hours.
So as you see, it’s a pretty lengthy process. Hence if you are in a hurry and you don’t want to spend time cooking bones, you can run to the supermarket and buy bouillon cubes.
Beef broth is the second alternative to beef consommé. Although broth is much cloudier, you can use egg whites to purify it, and you will get consommé. The taste of the broth is also milder. However, if you let it simmer for a bit longer, let’s say 20-30 minutes on low heat, the water will evaporate. And that will enhance the taste, and will make it and the texture pretty similar to beef consommé . As you can imagine, it is much simpler to cook meat and veggies than the bones. Hence the preparation of broth will take way less time than the stock.
Wine & Beer
We know already that wine and beer aren’t just there to help us relax after a long day. They are also used in many French and Italian (not only) meals. Thus, wine and beer could be an excellent substitute for beef consommé. And while the texture of this replacement is quite different, wine & beer are a wonderful choice when you have to make gravy, chili, or stew.
It is hard to deny that French cuisine is among the best in the world. They have all these kinds of creams, sauce, dips – all of which will make your mouth water. One of those is demi-glace which can be an ideal substitute for beef consommé. The name comes from the word glace, which when we talk about cooking means icing or glaze. It is made by combining Espagnole sauce and brown stock. Usually, it is made with veal. However, you can use other meat to make it, such as beef, chicken, etc. You can also make a vegan demi-glace.
Mushrooms would be an amazing beef consommé replacement. Well, the even better thing is that you can use them to make mushroom consommé. Since mushrooms cook for less time than meat, you can make a perfectly good variation at home in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Besides, there are plenty of mushroom consomme recipes that can help you out! For example our personal favorite is with herb gnocchi and confit tomatoes.
Au Jus is another wonderful beef consommé substitute. In French, au jus means with sauce, which is fitting given that this ingredient is basically just a liquid that comes from meat and vegetables. As for the method of preparation, Au Jus is usually made of beef broth, onion, garlic, and soy.
And while this is a great beef consommé alternative, it mostly goes well for soups, as well as a sauce to put over meat that has been cooked in a roaster oven.
Browning sauce is a combination of caramel color, seasonings, and vegetable concentrate. It’s wonderful taste makes it a great addition for other sauces and gravies. However, you can use browning sauce as a substitute for beef consommé. For example, it would make a perfect vegetarian or vegan dish as it doesn’t contain any animal products. However, browning sauce also goes really well with meat dishes too.
How to Choose a Beef Consommé Substitute: General Recommendations
Beef consommé is unique, and as such, it is not simple to find an adequate substitute or even make it yourself. Thus, you can always replace it with beef broth or beef stock. And if you want a vegetarian variation, we recommend mushroom or, better yet, shitake mushroom consommé.
How to Make Beef Consommé at Home?
How to Make Beef Consommé Substitute Taste Better?
- Add coriander, cloves, peppercorn, or other spices.
- Add carrots, ginger, celery root, garlic, or other aromatic vegetables.
- Add herbs such as thyme, parsley, sage, lemongrass, etc.
- You can also add some camembert or parmesan.
- One idea is to simmer the broth with lemon/lime peel.
- Put in some fish or hot chili sauce. You can also think about adding miso paste.
Are you hungry now? We understand you talking about beef consommé always makes us hungry too. If you haven’t tried this wonderful meal so far, we believe that now is a good moment! And don’t worry if you can’t find it in the supermarket! As you have seen, there are plenty of good beef consommé substitute options! Plus, you can always make it yourself!
So have you tried beef consommé before? Do you like it? What about these substitutes? What are your experiences?