Cook for Julia in honor of what would be Julia Child’s 100th birthday on August 15 continues! I missed a few days due to scheduled photos shoots here on the beaches of Longboat Key and Anna Maria Island, but I’m here this evening with a simple, yet sublime consommé from Julia Child’s The French Chef Cookbook (show #102).
I love a good homemade broth or a consommé. But what’s the difference? According to wikianswers, consomme is crystal clear while broth will almost always have some suspended materials in it.
Broth is made by simmering vegetables or meat and bones for some time, until the flavor of the simmered food has infused the water. The stock or broth is then usually poured through a strainer to remove most of the particles, bones, skin, and the meat. It’s used this way, with no further processing.
Consomme is cleared by adding a step: after sieving as above, egg whites are added to the hot broth or stock. As the egg whites cook, they precipitate into the stock, and begin to bind with some of the particles in the broth. They then rise to the top, appearing as scum or foam. Once the foam cap has formed, pouring off the broth from below, while leaving the cap undisturbed will produce consomme – a broth as clear of suspended particles as water.
I’ve been buying cans of beef consommé at Publix and it looks like I’m the only one. I can see where the stockpeople haven’t filled in the spaces where I grabbed two cans the day before! Funny, I guess, at least funny from my perspective. Do people even buy beef consommé anymore? Campbell’s must have had a great market with this product back in the day. I love the savory taste in combination with the tomatoes and herbs. This is the kind of food I like.
That’s why I love revisiting and making Julia Child’s recipes. People for the most part don’t cook like this anymore. Ingredients we as *foodies* would perhaps find lame or questionable to use today are ingredients she used liberally. They were new back then – perhaps that was a part of the appeal.
Anyway….I’ll stop boring you about broth and consommé.
- about 1½ cups excellent beef consommé, fresh or canned
- 2 large, ripe, firm tomatoes
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mixed herbs such as parsley, chives, and tarragon
- 2-3 tablespoons port wine
- Bring the consommé to a simmer in a saucepan. Drop the tomatoes into boiling water and let sit for 10 seconds. Remove the stem and peel and and add to consommé; halve the tomatoes and gently squeeze seeds and juice into consommé. Mince the pulp very fine and set aside. After it has simmered 5 minutes, strain the consommé into another saucepan and add the minced tomato pulp. Heat for a moment or two without simmering, to cook the tomato pulp. Add salt and pepper to taste; stir in the herbs and wine.
From The French Chef Cookbook by Julia Child
And – ha! I stopped in our Chop Shop the other day and look what I found – in a can!
Thank you for stopping by!!