In medieval Europe, consommé was just a cooking method. But since then, it has evolved into a liquid dish rich in taste and texture. Beef consommé is one of its many types, made from beef stock or beef broth. But if you can’t get beef consommé, or are looking for a vegetarian alternative, we’ve got you covered. Here are some vegetarian and non-vegetarian beef consommé substitutes.
Best Alternatives For Beef Consommé
Beef consommé is viscous and rich in flavor. When added to recipes, it adds a salty flavor and dense consistency. Replace it with these alternatives for similar results.
1. Beef Stock: Best Overall Alternative To Beef Consommé
Since beef comsommé is made from beef stock, it is the first alternative that comes to mind.
You can get beef stock in the supermarket as concentrated bouillon cubes or prepare it at home. Take 2 pounds of beef bones and roast them for 30 minutes. Then add some vegetables and water and let it simmer for 8 hours. This allows the stock to attain a gelatinous texture due to the collagen from the bones.
This stock has a strong beef flavor and rich texture. However, it is milder in taste and consistency than beef comsommé. If you want more intensity, simmer it for a longer time.
People often confuse beef stock with beef consommé, but the two are very distinct. Beef stock is made by simmering beef bones with veggies and water. However, consommé is made from beef stock or broth. So, it has a more intense flavor and a thicker texture than stock. It also has fewer fats and impurities.
2. Mushroom Consommé: Best Vegetarian Beef Consommé Substitute
Among vegetarian alternatives, mushroom consomme comes closest in taste and texture.
Mushrooms have an earthy and meaty texture that is very similar to beef. Also, their flavor can easily replace the saltiness of beef consommé in soups, gravies, or sauces.
Mushroom consommé recipe is very similar to beef consomme. Use porcini and white mushrooms, or shiitake, swiss brown, and chestnut mushrooms. The consommé made with these varieties has the same richness and flavor.
3. Beef Broth: Mild Alternative
If the rich and intense flavor of beef consommé is too much for your recipe, try using beef broth. It contains similar ingredients but has a mild flavor and lighter consistency. Also, it takes considerably less time to prepare.
Beef broth is made by simmering beef bones and meat. If you prefer, add roasted veggies to it. You can cook it until it attains the consistency you want. This broth is useful for soups, gravies, stews, and casserole.
If you want a mild beef flavor in your dish, use the broth in equal measure as beef consommé. But if you want a similar taste, let the broth simmer until you get the desired consistency. You can also add egg white and ground meat and cook it for half an hour. The resultant won’t be beef comsommé but taste very similar to it.
4. Vegetable Broth: A Delicious And Healthy Alternative
Vegetable broth is a vegetarian substitute. Although it doesn’t have the beef taste, you can mold it into any flavor you want.
Prepare the broth with vegetables of your choice. This could include carrots, peas, broccoli, beans, cabbage, and capsicum. For extra flavor, add seasonings of your choice. Rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, pepper, and chopped garlic or garlic paste are among the many options.
Cook the vegetable broth until you get the desired consistency. You can add salt and other herbs or seasonings as the recipe requires. This broth can replace beef consommé in casseroles, stews, soups, and sauces.
5. Bouillon Cubes: Condensed Substitute
If you want a quick fix replacement, go for bouillon cubes. You can choose beef bouillon cubes, chicken bouillon cubes, or some vegetarian variety. Also, if stored properly, they can last up to 4 to 5 months.
Beef bouillon is condensed beef stock or beef broth shaped into cubes, or sometimes, granules. You can check this particular information on the packet label. The same goes for its other varieties.
Bouillon cubes taste very similar to their respective stocks or broths. However, you could tell the difference if you eat it separately. To make up for it, you can add seasonings and herbs of your choice.
It can replace beef consommé in all recipes including soups, casseroles, stews, sauce, and gravies.
Use one cube of beef bouillon in place of one cup of beef consommé. Boil water in a vessel and add the cube to it. The cube will dissolve and the water will thicken into stock or broth. Simmer the solution till it attains the consistency your recipe requires.
6. Chicken Consommé: Best No-Beef Alternative
Do you avoid beef in your meals? Chicken consommé is the solution.
Being one of the most popular meat varieties, it is way cheaper than beef. Also, you’ll get a similar rich meaty flavor and thick consistency. Only, the beef flavor will be replaced by an equally delicious chicken flavor.
You can also serve chicken consommé as an appetizer or starter. It can also be used as a base for soups, stews, casseroles, and similar recipes. It works wonders with savory jelly aspic.
Chicken consommé is made in a similar way as beef comsommé. Use it in equal quantities and the same manner.
7. Au Jus: Best Flavoring Substitute
As the name suggests, au jus is a French ingredient. Its name means “with juice” and it is mostly used as a flavoring agent.
Au jus is the liquid released from beef or some other meat while it is cooked. So it is rich in the beef or meaty and savory flavor we need. But unlike consommé, it cannot be consumed on its own. You can, however, employ it as a base for preparing soups, sauce, stews, or casseroles. It can also be added to noodles or dip dishes for sandwiches.
When added to meat recipes, it softens it and adds a juicy texture to the food.
Au jus has a lighter consistency. You can use it directly in some recipes. But if you need a thick texture, mix some cornstarch, flour, or another thickening agent. For a more intense flavor, add a little beef broth, garlic, onions, and soy sauce to it.
Your Guide To Preparing Beef Consommé At Home
Beef consommé tastes best when properly made at home. The process takes a little practice and lots of patience. But in the end, the lengthy process is worth the rich, savory taste. When stored in a refrigerator, the consommé can last up to 6 to 7 months.
- Minced beef
- Black pepper powder
- Other seasonings you prefer, if any
- Take egg whites, black pepper powder, and other spices of your choice in a big bowl. Remember not to make it too spicy. Whisk the mixture until it gets frothy.
- Put the minced beef, celery, and rosemary in a processor and process it for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Transfer all the ingredients to a pan and cook it on a low flame for 40 to 50 minutes.
- Filter the solution through a mesh sieve and let it cool. Then serve it as an appetizer or use it in different recipes.
Our Tips On Choosing The Right Alternative
We discussed 7 vegetarian and non-vegetarian alternatives in this article. Beef stock and broth are the best alternatives but you can choose chicken consommé if you don’t like beef. Vegetable broth and mushroom cosommé are vegetarian options. Bouillon cubes provide both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options if you’re running low on time. And au jus works best as the base for soups and gravies.
You can choose which beef consommé substitute works best for you based on your preference and recipe requirements.