Rich Pale Veal Gravy, or Consommé


  • Lean of ham, 6 to 8 oz.
  • neck or knuckle of veal, 3 lbs.
  • strong broth, 3 pints (or veal, 4 lbs., and water, 3 pints)
  • salt
  • bunch of Savoury herbs
  • mild onion, 1
  • carrot, 1 large or 2 small
  • celery ½ small head
  • mace, 1 large blade
  • peppercorns, ½ saltspoonful 4 hours or more.
  • Or: ham, ½ lb.
  • veal, 4 lbs.
  • broth, third of a pint
  • nearly 1 hour. Additional broth, 3 pints: 3½ to 4½ hours.


The French, who have always at hand their stock-pot of good bouillon (beef soup or broth), make great use of it in preparing their gravies. It is added instead of water to the fresh meat, and when this, in somewhat larger proportions, is boiled down in it, with the addition only of a bunch of parsley, a few green onions, and a moderate seasoning of salt, a strong and very pure-flavoured pale gravy is produced. When the best joints of fowls, or of partridges have been taken for fricassees or cutlets, the remainder may be stewed with a pound or two of veal into a consommé, which then takes the name of chicken or of game gravy. For a large dinner it is always desirable to have in readiness such stock as can easily and quickly be converted into white and other sauces. To make this, arrange a slice or two of lean ham in a stewpan or saucepan with three pounds of the neck of veal once or twice divided (unless the thick fleshy part of the knuckle can be had), and pour to them three full pints of strong beef or veal broth; or, if this cannot conveniently be done, increase the proportion of meat or diminish that of the liquid, substituting water for the broth; throw in some salt after the boiling has commenced, and the gravy has been well skimmed; with one mild onion, a bunch of savoury herbs, a little celery; a carrot, a blade of mace, and a half-saltspoonful of peppercorns; stew those very gently for four hours; then, should the meat be quite in fragments, strain off the gravy, and let it become sufficiently cold to allow the fat to be entirely cleared from it. A handful of nicely prepared mushroom-buttons will much improve its flavour; and the bones of boiled calf’s feet, or the fresh ones of fowls, will be found excellent additions to it. A better method of making it, when time and trouble are not regarded, is to heat the meat, which ought to be free of bones, quite through, with from a quarter to half a pint of broth only, and when on probing it with the point of a knife no blood issues from it, and it has been turned and equally done, to moisten it with the remainder of the broth, which should be boiling.