Some of the best beef consomme substitutes include beef stock, beef broth, vegetable broth, mushroom consomme, bouillon cubes, and liquid aminos.
What Is Beef Consomme?
Beef consomme is the concentrated clear soup made from beef bones, water, and egg whites, adds depth, flavor, and thickness to many dishes. While it originated in France and is served as an appetizer, beef consomme is an ingredient in many recipes as it enhances casseroles, side dishes, and other soups.
When you use one of these beef consomme replacements in a recipe, use the same measurements as you would for the beef consomme.
Recommended Beef Consomme Substitute
1. Beef Stock or Broth as a Beef Consomme Replacement
Beef stock is the base of beef consomme and, therefore, the most similar in taste and is the best substitute for beef consomme in most recipes. Beef broth is a close second replacement.
Beef stock is a thick and rich soup that contains all the fat and impurities which is missing from beef consomme.
You can make beef stock or buy it ready-made. To make beef stock:
- Roast two pounds of beef bones in the oven for approximately half an hour.
- Add the bones to a large pot of water with onions, carrots, celery, and your choice of herbs.
- Simmer the bones and water for six to ten hours. The bones will release their collagen and form a thick soup.
- Remove the vegetables, herbs, and bones and use the stock as a replacement for the beef consomme.
You can buy concentrated beef stock in the supermarket in cans or in powder form. Use the beef stock as you would have used the beef consomme in any recipe, using the same measurements.
If you’re making a recipe from scratch, the advantage of making beef broth over beef stock or consomme is that it will take less time. Beef broth is similar to beef stock but has a less intense flavor since it’s not cooked for as long as the stock or consomme.
To make beef broth, simmer cuts of beef, usually shank or ribs, in a pot of water with onions, carrots, celery, rosemary, thyme, and your choice herbs for about an hour. The broth will have a light meaty flavor. Strain the broth and use it in place of the consomme in your soups, gravies, or casserole recipes.
You can also buy ready-made beef broth in a can or container, ready to use, which will save even more time.
Although you can substitute beef broth for consomme in any recipe, keep in mind that it is lighter in flavor but thinner, so don’t try to make up for its flavor by adding more broth.
Since it is thinner than consomme, the texture of the dish might be a little different. You can use it in sauces, soup bases, casseroles, gravy, and stir fry dishes.
Can’t find beef broth? See recommended beef broth alternatives.
2. Mushroom Consomme
Mushrooms have a deep umami flavor which makes them a good substitute for beef consomme in many recipes. For vegetarians, mushroom consomme is an ideal replacement for beef consomme.
You can find mushroom consomme in supermarkets, use a mushroom bouillon cube, or can make it at home. It will take less time to cook than the beef consomme.
To make a mushroom consomme:
- Beat three egg whites until they are foamy and set aside.
- Simmer for half an hour one quart of water or chicken stock, two chopped garlic cloves, and one half of an ounce of dried mushrooms such as porcini and salt and pepper to taste.
- Gently add the egg whites to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Strain the broth through a cheesecloth and use it as a beef broth substitute.
To use the mushroom consomme as a substitute for beef consomme in recipes, use the same measurements and proportions.
3. Vegetable Stock
Another vegetarian replacement for beef consomme is vegetable stock. Although vegetable stock doesn’t have the same intense, rich flavor, it takes less time to make than beef consomme and is a great option for those who don’t eat meat.
You can buy ready-made vegetable stock or use a powder or bouillon cube and dissolve it in water for a short-on-time beef consomme replacement. Use the same measurements as you would with the beef consomme, keeping in mind that the consistency might be a little lighter than the consomme.
The vegetable stock will work well in casseroles, sauces, or as a base for a soup.
4. Liquid Aminos
Liquid aminos is made from fermented soybeans or coconut and has a rich umami flavor that makes it an excellent substitute for beef in recipes.
It is another vegetarian substitute and has the bonus of health benefits too. You can usually find liquid aminos in health food or specialty stores.
You can’t eat liquid aminos plain, as with beef consomme, but it is a delicious substitute in stews, sauces, and casseroles.
5. Bouillon Cubes
If your recipe is using beef consomme as the liquid, you can substitute another flavored liquid to give it a similar consistency and taste. Bouillon cubes, made from dehydrated beef, chicken, or vegetables, can be dissolved in water or liquid to make an easy and flavorful broth.
To use a bouillon cube, dissolve it in the recommended amount of water and mix it well. Substitute an equal amount for the beef consomme.
The bouillon cubes work well in bases for soups, sauces, and gravies.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you looking for more information about beef consomme or using it in recipes? Here are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.
Beef consomme is a thicker, darker, and more concentrated liquid than beef broth, which is lighter and has a milder flavor.
Beef consomme is made by simmering beef stock, ground beef, vegetables, and egg whites. Beef broth, by comparison, is made by simmering beef shank and vegetables.
The beef consomme is a clarified version of the beef stock. Beef stock is made by simmering meat bones for many hours, which releases the collagen and forms a thick soup.
Beef consomme uses the beef stock as a base and clears it out. When you simmer the mixture of egg whites in the beef stock to make a consomme, the egg whites will draw out the floating fat in the stock and make it clear.
Beef stock is, therefore, thicker than beef consomme.
Beef consomme is intended to be eaten as an appetizer soup. It is thick, rich, and bursting with flavor and is considered a delicacy. Because of its deep flavor, it is also used in recipes for other dishes to boost its flavor.
Beef consomme is used in many soup recipes such as cabbage soup, french onion soup, and barley soup. These recipes take advantage of the full-bodied flavor of the beef and build on it. If you don’t have beef consomme, you can use one of the substitutes instead.
Recipes for stews, gravies, casseroles also use beef consomme as a base for its flavor and consistency. You can also use beef consomme, or one of its substitutes, instead of water in other soup or gravy recipes. Substitute one cup of consomme for a cup of water to ramp up the flavor of your dish.
You can make your own beef consomme with this recipe:
¾ pound ground beef
6 cups beef stock
4 egg whites
4 stalks of celery
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
Rosemary and thyme
-Whisk the egg whites and pepper until they are light and foaming.
-Use a food processor to blend together the tomatoes, ground beef, and celery.
-Add all the ingredients to a medium pot.
-Stir the pot while it comes to a boil.
-Once it starts to bubble, lower the heat to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
-Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth and use it as a soup or as an ingredient in a recipe.
Yes, you can find beef consomme in a supermarket, but not all stores carry it. Store-bought beef consomme may also not have the same quality or taste as homemade consomme.
It is time-consuming to make beef consomme, and it makes a large quantity. You can keep it in the fridge for a few days or freeze the liquid in airtight containers in the freezer for a few months.
Beef consomme is full of collagen, the protein released by cooking the beef bones. Collagen is very beneficial to the health of your skin, bones, and nails and keeps them strong and healthy.