General Procedure for Making Consommés

Appears in
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Cuisine

By French Culinary Institute

Published 2021

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Making a consommé is a two-step operation:
  1. Begin with a marmite of beef, game, chicken, or fish. Do not use veal, as it does not carry enough flavor.
  2. Clarify the marmite. This is the process that creates a more flavorful marmite that is perfectly clear and fat-free.
The general cooking procedure to make a perfect consommé is as follows:
  1. Place the marmite in a stockpot over high heat and bring to a boil. Immediately turn off the heat and allow the marmite to cool to 71°C (160°F).
  2. Combine the ground meat, egg white, and aromatics in a large, heatproof mixing bowl.
  3. Pour the warm marmite over the meat mixture and stir together. The stock should not be hot or it will cook the egg whites and destroy their capacity to clarify.
  4. Pour the mixture back into the stockpot. Place over medium–high heat and, stirring frequently, bring to a simmer.
  5. Once the mixture comes to a gentle simmer, immediately lower the heat. Do not stir and do not boil or the mixture will not clarify.
  6. The albumins in the egg whites and the blood in the meat will attract the impurities in the marmite and bring them to the surface. A solid raft will form that should not be broken.
  7. Gently simmer for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until the mixture has a deep flavor and is quite clear.
  8. Periodically during the cooking process, carefully make a small hole in the center of the raft with a small ladle and moisten the raft with stock, ladling it over the raft so that the raft does not dry out.
  9. When the cooking is complete, let the consommé rest for 15 minutes, then, using a ladle, lift it through the hole in the center of the raft and remove the liquid from the pot.
  10. Pass the consommé through a chinois lined with cheesecloth or a damp napkin.
  11. If using immediately, remove any fat with strips of parchment paper as directed.
  12. Season the strained consommé with salt to taste.
  13. If not using the consommé immediately, cool it in an ice-water bath, cover, and refrigerate.
  14. When cool, remove any congealed fat that has risen to the top.