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What Shall We Have To-Day? 365 Recipes for All the Days of the Year

What Shall We Have To-Day? 365 Recipes for All the Days of the Year

By X. Marcel Boulestin

Published 1932

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The classical French clear soup or pot-au-feu is prepared in the following manner: Put a piece of beef in cold salted water, bring slowly to the boil and skim well. Then add the vegetables: two or three carrots, two turnips, a head of celery, one tomato, two onions stuck with a clove, two leeks, pepper, a bouquet of thyme, bay leaf and parsley; and, if you have any by you, a few pieces of chicken, neck, legs, carcass. Bring to the boil and let is simmer regularly for about five or six hours. Pass through a strainer and remove the fat. This is the clear soup or consommé with which many other soups are made, and which is necessary for a large number of dishes.

The proportion are four pounds of beef, including a piece of shin bone to eight pints of water; the pieces of chicken are to be put in with the vegetables. The water must be brought very slowly to the boil. The effect of this slow heating of the water is to dissolve certain albuminous matter which come to the top and form the scum; this scum must be removed regularly and frequently, and when the water approaches the boiling point, it is advisable to add a tablespoonful of cold water, which will help the process. The more scum you “produce” and the more you remove the clearer your consommé will be; but if you do not take this little trouble at the beginning nothing, done later, will clarify it properly.

Also the consommé would not be properly flavoured as the essential juices, kept back by the matter which ought to have come out as scum, would remain in the meat which would, also as a result, be tougher, should you want to use it.