Both beef consomme and beef broth are widely used in different dishes for their amazing beef flavor. But before you decide what to choose for your dish, it is essential to understand how both beef consomme and beef broth impact the taste and texture of your final dish.
The main difference between beef consomme and beef broth is that the latter is richer in beef flavor. The broth comes from cooking beef and veggies while the beef consomme is strained beef broth with a stronger beef flavor.
Beef Consomme Vs Beef Broth Comparison
|CHARACTERISTICS||BEEF CONSOMME||BEEF BROTH|
|Ingredients||Beef broth, eggs, tomatoes, celery, ground beef, black peppercorn, salt||Beef, veggies, water, salt, optional seasonings|
|Taste||Intense beef flavor||Light beef flavor|
|Texture||Thicker than beef broth||Thin and watery|
|Usage||As a dish, as an ingredient to soups, stews, sauces and casseroles||As an ingredient to soups, stews, casseroles and sauces|
Can I substitute consomme for beef broth?
Beef consomme and beef broth can be used interchangeably. However, it is important to note that your final dish will not taste the same due to the difference in flavor.
The beef broth is thinner in texture and has a lighter flavor compared to beef consomme. So, your dish will be thinner as well and the beef taste will not be as present.
Note that adding more beef broth to make up for the mild flavor will not give your dish a more intense beef taste. It will make it more watery though, which might not be suitable for all dishes.
Also check: 15 Best Beef Stock Concentrate Substitutes
When you substitute beef consomme with beef broth, it is recommended to maintain the same ratio. If you want a more defined beef flavor, you can add a pinch of beef seasoning to your dish. Adding a bouillon cube with beef flavor can also help you enhance the beef taste of your final dish.
Are beef broth and beef consomme the same?
No, beef broth and beef consomme are different dishes even if they come from the same ingredients.
Beef broth is the liquid obtained from simmering different vegetables and beef. You will have to cook the beef and the veggies at low heat so all the flavors mix perfectly.
The simmering time can vary between three to eight hours. The more you simmer your broth, the better it will taste. Also, you won’t have to stir your broth at all during this time.
On the other hand, beef consomme is a clarified version of beef broth. The consomme doesn’t contain impurities and it has a stronger beef flavor thanks to this aspect. It is also thicker than beef broth.
Also check: 11 Best Beef Consomme Substitutes
Can you use beef consomme instead of beef broth in soup?
If you want to make soup but you are lacking beef broth, you can successfully use beef consomme instead. But you will have to prepare your consomme a bit before adding it to your recipe.
Since the beef consomme is thicker than the beef broth, you might want to consider diluting it with water. Add two parts consomme to one part water and check the texture and taste. If you are satisfied with the result, add the mix to your soup.
If you want your consomme to be more watery add equal parts of consomme and water. Take into account that the more water you add to your beef consomme, the lighter its flavor will get.
After you adapted the texture of your consomme to suit your soup, keep cooking your recipe the way you want.
What can be substituted for beef consomme?
If you want to make a recipe that requires beef consomme but you are lacking this ingredient, you can use beef broth instead. But what if you don’t have beef broth either? Here are the top substitutes for beef consomme that will help you with almost any recipe!
Mushrooms are well appreciated for their rich flavor as they can impact any recipe they are added to. And mushroom consomme is exactly what you need if you want to replace beef consomme in any type of dish.
If you are putting together a vegetarian or vegan dish, mushrooms can be the best substitute for beef. Use your mushroom consomme in the same way you would use your beef consomme. Maintain the same ratio and cooking steps.
Mushroom consomme is fairly easy to find in stores but you can also use bouillon cubes with mushroom flavor or make your consomme from the type of mushrooms you like best.
Vegetable stock is just as common as other types of stocks and it is often used instead of beef consomme to add flavor to soups or stews. The flavor of vegetable stock will be much lighter compared to the flavor of beef consume and the texture will be thinner as well.
But your food will get a delicious flavor from all the veggies used to make the stock and you might even prefer this option in the future.
Use your veggie stock in the same ratio you would use your beef consomme and respect your original recipe. You can find vegetable stock already made at most grocery stores but you can also prepare it at home. All you need is to let your favorite vegetables simmer for about one hour and use it in your soups, stews, casseroles, or sauces.
Bouillon cubes can save you out of almost any situation when you need beef consomme but you discover at the last minute that you don’t have this precious ingredient. You can find bouillon cubes in several flavors from beef, chicken, pork, turkey, and even mushrooms and vegetable.
For a better taste match, you want to use bouillon cubes that have a beef flavor. But if you are not so determined to maintain the beef taste in your recipe, you can choose any other flavor you like.
To replace beef consomme with bouillon cubes all you have to do is add the cubes to your dish along with water or the liquid of your choice.
You can add the cubes directly into the dish as it is cooking or you can dilute them in water before adding them to your pan. Either way, you will end up with a dish that is full of flavor and you can adjust its texture on the amount of water you use.
A less common but just as efficient replacement for beef consomme can be liquid aminos. This liquid comes from fermented coconut or soybeans. It is rich in flavor and has a similar texture to beef consomme.
Liquid aminos are used in vegetarian dishes that require beef, thanks to their intense taste. However, you will not be able to enjoy this liquid plain, as you can do with your beef broth or beef consomme. But once you cook it along with the rest of the ingredients, it will add a delicious flavor to your food.
Liquid aminos might not be so easy to find in grocery stores though. But you can have a better chance of finding it in health stores or Asian markets. If you get this alternative, feel free to use it in soups, stews, or casseroles instead of beef consomme and you will love the final taste.
As for the ratio, you want to start by adding half of the quantity of beef consomme that you would add to your recipe. Taste and adjust accordingly for the best outcome.
Beef consomme vs au jus
Beef consomme and au jus are two different dishes. Au jus is the French term for a dish “with juice”. This dish is made from meat and veggies juice obtained as a result of the cooking process. Adding jus to a dish is a common practice as it increases its flavor.
The main difference between au jus and beef consomme is that au jus is made from the juice that comes from meat as it is cooking. On the contrary, beef consomme is a more concentrated beef broth that is essentially the water used to boil the beef in, along with other ingredients, such as vegetables. Also, it is important to note that beef consomme is free of impurities while au jus dishes are not.
Another difference is that beef consomme can be enjoyed plain as a dish. You will be more than satisfied with a bowl of this type of consomme. On the other hand, au jus can’t be eaten plain as a single dish. This French specialty is most often used as an ingredient in more complex recipes.
But both beef consomme and au jus have beef in common so, you can still use them interchangeably. However, keep in mind that the taste of au jus is more intense than beef consomme and the texture is thicker as well.
You can go to a restaurant and order beef consomme but you will not be able to order au just by itself. What you can do is order meat with au jus as an additive to it to complete your meal. So, these two types of dishes are not just made differently, but also enjoyed in different manners as well.
How to make beef consomme from beef broth
You will be pleasantly impressed to see how easy it is to make beef consomme at home, as long as you have beef broth. You have to know that it will take more than beef broth to make the best beef consomme at home.
The ingredients you will need are 4 eggs, 1/2 pound ground beef, 1 tbsp black peppercorn, 3 tomatoes, 4 celery ribs, 6 cups of beef broth, and 2 tsp salt.
Mix the egg whites with the peppercorn
Whisk the crushed black peppercorn and the egg whites until you get a foamy consistency. This could take three to five minutes, depending on your speed.
Blend the ground beef with the rest of the ingredients except the beef broth
Add the ground beef, celery, and tomatoes to a food processor or blender. Blend the ingredients until they are well mixed.
Cook your beef consomme
Add the ground beef mix, and the egg mix along with the beef broth into a stockpot and start cooking it on the stove. Also now, add the thyme and the salt to season your beef consomme.
Make sure you bring your consomme to a boil and stir now and then so all the flavors mix perfectly. When the consomme started to boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for half an hour. Don’t stir during the simmering time.
To convert this beef soup into a beef consomme, you will have to separate the liquid from the solids. Use a fine-mesh sieve and a cheesecloth to strain the beef soup. It is important to not allow any impurities or solid parts into the final beef consomme dish.
You can serve your beef consomme as it is or use it as an ingredient in future dishes. Served plain, beef consomme will taste much better warm and with a side of croutons to improve its texture.
If you want to store it, make sure you keep it in a sealed container in the refrigerator. You can keep it in the fridge for up to four days and use it in all types of dishes for that delicious beef flavor.
Now that you know what beef broth and beef consomme are and what makes them different, you will be able to choose the right one for your dish. Note that if you want a dish by itself, beef consomme is always better than beef broth since it is richer in flavor.
But if you don’t like such an intense beef taste, the broth might be a better version for you. Ultimately they are both very healthy dishes and ingredients for more complex dishes and you can make them at home with minimum effort as long as you have the right ingredients.