One of the most important parts in a soup or stew is broth.
The flavoring of the broth determines nearly everything else in a dish such as this. If your broth is not flavorful, it will drag the rest of your dish down.
While making a broth is not difficult, there exists a certain kind of broth that is truly impressive and that will enhance any kind of soup or stew.
Enter consomme, a certain kind of broth that is much more complicated but beats any kind of broth in terms of flavor.
If you have ever had french onion soup or anything resembling it, you have experienced consomme. Utilizing centuries old french methods, consomme is a broth that has been “enhanced” by a number of things.
Beef consomme in particular is one such meat broth that is extremely complicated to make. Anybody who has made it knows how special a broth it is, and knows exactly how taxing it can be to make it.
It takes a lot of ingredients to make beef consommé. Is it possible to find anything like it that is not as complicated to make?
The refreshing answer to this question is that there do exist substitutes for this extremely complex but fantastic type of broth.
The complicated process of making beef consomme
Anybody who has made beef consomme knows what making it entails.
- In order to make beef consomme, you need to be prepared to spend a lot of time and money on the dozens of ingredients that are necessary.
- The first thing you need to make beef consomme is beef stock. This alone takes a very long time to make, and making the stock itself requires you to gather and simmer roasted beef bones, celery, carrots, onions, tomato puree, and various herbs and spices.
- This needs to sit for hours before it can be made into a consomme, which involves another process in and of itself.
- To convert your beef stock into beef consomme, you need to simmer the stock with egg whites and lean ground meat. This is a completely separate process from making the beef stock itself.
- Making the stock and then converting it to consomme will take an entire day. This is how complicated, time consuming, and costly making beef consomme can be and it is why it is a good thing to seek out substitutes.
What to expect in beef consomme substitutes
As mentioned earlier, making beef consomme from scratch is extremely complicated. It is also rare to find it prepackaged in stores, so there is a good amount of demand for things that you use in place of beef consomme that has a similar flavor and texture.
Here are a few things that you might want to know when choosing a substitute.
Beef consomme is such a complicated broth that you will probably not find a perfect substitute. This is especially true if you are looking for a substitute for beef consomme that you have made from scratch.
It can even be difficult to find a perfect substitute for prepackaged beef consomme, but if you are looking for substitutes for prepackaged beef consomme, you will not notice a difference. You should still be able to use these substitutes for beef consomme for french onion soup or anything like it.
Substitutes for beef consomme
Before exploring these substitutes, it is first necessary to know why you might need a substitute for beef consomme.
First, you probably just do not want to take the time and effort to make it from scratch and you cannot find any prepackaged beef consommé. This is probably the most common reason.
Another reason is because you prefer a vegetarian or vegan broth. Beef consomme is made with beef stock, and if you follow a vegetarian diet but still want to experience the distinct flavor of beef consommé.
These are two major reasons for why you will need a substitute. The following substitutes keep both of these reasons in mind.
The first substitute for beef consomme is to just make the beef broth that is made before converting it to consomme and just stop there. If you are just using beef consomme as a base, chances are good that you will be able to get the same kind of effect with beef broth.
If you are buying beef consomme at a store and need something to replace it, there is nothing wrong with going with beef bouillon cubes. These are usually just as flavorful in a broth as beef consomme is, at last when it comes to using it as a soup base.
Making beef consomme from scratch is a complicated process, but it does not need to be even more complicated if you want to make a vegetarian option. All you need to do to maintain the same flavor is swap out anything beef related with mushroom related ingredients. You’ll get the same kind of flavor and it is completely vegan friendly.
These are just two practical substitutes for beef consomme. It is not difficult to find substitutes like these. All you need is to understand what you are using your beef consomme for and be creative enough to change up some ingredients.
Beef consomme is an impressive broth – it always will be.
If you are making it from scratch, there is no real substitute for beef consomme, especially if you are using it as a first course meal. The ingredients all just fit too well, and nothing can replace how these ingredients come together.
However, substitutes exist if you are not serving beef consomme as a first course meal and instead using it as a soup broth. If this is the case, you can usually just go with beef broth. There is no reason to complicate things any more if all you want is a quality soup base.
Mushroom broth is also a very good alternative if you still want that signature beef consomme taste but follow a vegetarian diet. Mushroom broth is only a little less flavorful than beef consomme, but you will not notice much of a difference.
Do not let the complicated recipe of beef consomme intimidate you if you are looking for substitutes. If you know what you are using your beef consomme for and are willing to make some changes, it is easy to come up with substitutes for it.