The word “consommé” finds its origins in French, where it is a pun on “consume” (as in, “to eat”) and “consummate” (as in “to make complete”). The very fact that consommé kept its French name after coming to the United States should indicate something to you, as most foods have their names Americanized here.
Beef consommé is called beef consommé because it suggests the “complete” flavor of beef. It is usually used in beef stew to enrich the flavor, but it can be used to give other soups a savory tone as well. It is the most common consommé for this reason. But what if you do not want a beef flavor? Are there alternatives?
If you wish to substitute beef consommé with something else, then consider mushroom consommé, vegetable broth, or even wine mixed with beef broth. The end goal is a savory soup, but beef consommé is not the only pathway to get to that goal. You can use many different kinds of substitutes.
There are many reasons you might want to replace your beef consommé with something else. Maybe you are out of beef consommé, maybe you are vegan, maybe you just want something with a little more kick. Whatever your reasons, there is a solution for you.
Options That Taste The Same
The most common reason for replacing beef consommé is being out of beef consommé. For that reason, people often seek to substitute it with something that is as similar as possible. If that is your goal, then look no further than mushroom consommé. It does not take much for it to taste the same as beef consommé.
If you want to be certain that it tastes just like it, then mix it with beef broth or egg white. Most of the “eggy” flavor of eggs comes from the yolk. The whites, however, can be quite savory. Once the egg white mixes with the mushroom consommé, you will hardly be able to tell the difference between it and beef consommé.
Surprisingly, vegetable broth can be just as good for mimicking meat as mushroom consommé or even beef broth. This is partly because most vegetables have flavors that are easily overridden. This means that if you use vegetable broth in a beef stew, it will end up tasting a lot more like the beef than the vegetable broth. You can re-heat the left-over beef stew without losing the taste.
These are by no means your only options. But these are a few of the ways you can mimic the flavor of beef consommé without needing to hunt down the last can of it.
Options That Taste Different
But what if you do not want to mimic the taste of beef consommé? After all, some people really do enjoy the texture of it; they know what it feels like, they know how to cook with it, they just do not like the flavor.
Well, strange as that preference is, there is a solution for that too! In that case what you will want to do is replace all instances and measurements of beef consommé in your recipes with equal measurements of wine.
Depending on your preference towards beefy flavors, you can then either water the wine down or thicken it with beef broth or vegetable broth. If you are feeling really adventurous and want a thick stew, mix in some sugar with it as well. The sweetness will not dominate the dish, but it will thicken it and sweeten it slightly.
Which Beef Consommé Substitute Is The Healthiest?
Due to the way consommés are manufactured, using wine might be the healthier option of the ones listed here. Vegetable broth and mushroom consommé are both healthier than your average store-bought food, but even those two contain preservatives to give them a substantial shelf life.
These preservatives are not game changing in how they affect the construction of the consommé substitutes. To draw an analogy: Consider orange juice. Most orange juice, even the most naturally manufactured orange juice, is artificially flavored. This is because it loses its flavor rather quickly in storage.
As a result, what most people recognize as “orange flavored” is really just the artificial flavor given to orange juice to make it taste good (and at least somewhat, but never completely, like oranges).
There is nothing so compromising lurking inside your broths or consommé. There does not need to be. Nothing about these things fades away in short order except for their molecular integrity. That is what the preservatives preserve. For the most part, they are harmless. But if you wish to avoid them, use the wine method.