Beef consommé (consommé) is a full-flavored soup that is made from concentrated beef stock or broth. It’s a traditional delicacy that is well known from medieval Europe and is still popular today – and it’s loved for its taste.
It has fine, distinctive beef texture and flavorings – and can be part of a dish or served individually as soup for an appetizer. You can make consommé from almost any animal, including fish, chicken, veal, duck, etc.
There’s also a homemade beef consommé that will serve the same purpose, but what if you’re not up for it and want to use something else, is there a good beef consommé substitute?
Yes! Some of the best Substitutes for Beef Consomme include Beef broth, Bone broth, Beef stock, Au Jus, Vegetable broth, Bouillon Cubes, Browning sauce, Mushroom consomme, and Soy Sauce.
What is Beef Consommé?
Most people see beef consomme as a clarified beef broth or beef stock, but it’s actually more than that. The word ‘consommé’ means ‘completed’ or ‘concentrated’ in French.
This means that a consomme is a strong, concentrated broth or stock. In fact, in classical French dishes, a stock just has to be concentrated to be called a consommé.
Originally made by reducing stock to create a rich, flavorful broth, beef consommé is traditionally served as an appetizer.
Now that you know what beef consommé is let’s quickly look at some of the best substitutes for beef consommé that can always go with your cuisines.
Best Substitutes For Beef Consomme
While it may be somewhat difficult to replace beef consomme in some dishes, you will certainly find a suitable replacement from the list below.
Whether you’re looking for meaty based alternatives to beef consommé or you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t want to use meat in your meals, there’s something for everyone here.
Let’s look at them!
1. Beef Stock
Beef stock is arguably one of the best beef consommé alternatives. The good thing about beef stock is that even if you cannot or do not have time to make it at home yourself, you can find it as beef bullion cubes.
There are lots of excellent beef stock recipes that you can use to replace beef consommé. It takes about 2 pounds of beef bone and about 30 minutes roasting to prepare homemade beef stock – and some people prefer the homemade beef stocks to store-bought options.
2. Beef broth
Beef broth is another suitable alternative to be used instead of beef consommé – and it’s cooked for a shorter period than beef stock.
Simmer it on low heat until you achieve your desired intensity (usually for about 15-30 mins) if you want the taste and texture to be like that of beef consomme.
3. Mushroom consommé
If you are a vegetarian and want to avoid meat, you should go for a plant-based beef consommé alternative – and mushroom consommé is the perfect option. It will give you that same tasty umami flavor that comes from beef.
Sadly, it can be relatively challenging to find a premade mushroom consommé, but you can also prepare a homemade mushroom consomme. There’s a great post from NYTimes that explains how to do it using porcini mushrooms.
4. Bone broth
Bone broth can be used as the base in soups, gravies, and sauces, and it’s loaded with a healthy dose of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and collagen. While it does not necessarily have the same texture, it can still replace beef consommé.
It’s worth mentioning that bone broth does not thicken up when cooled like other broths, so you get to enjoy all that delicious liquid gold.
With your own kitchen utensils, you can easily make this insanely delicious and nutritious broth!
5. Bouillon cubes
Another way to replace beef consomme in your diet is to use the packed bouillon cubes. You can use them in most of the recipes as a substitute since they are basically stock that is made into cubes. When kept properly, bouillon cubes can last for months.
One bouillon cube can be used in place of one cup of beef consomme. Before using the cube in your recipe, you will want to dissolve it into boiled water.
6. Browning sauce
The browning sauce can also be an ideal replacement for beef consommé. It is essentially a mix of seasoning and caramel color with vegetable concentration.
You can use browning sauce when making cuisines that include meat so you can add deeper flavor and texture, as well as to stews or soups.
7. Au Jus
Au Jus is a fantastic option if you wish to replace beef consommé with a rich liquid. But it’s worth noting that Au Jus is not considered an actual diet compared to beef consommé, but rather just its juices.
You can use this juice to prepare meat dishes to make them juicy and soft – and when combined with roasted chicken or ribs, it also makes for an excellent dipping sauce.
8. Wine or Beer
Wine and Beer can serve as a good replacement for beef consommé too. They can also make some differences in your meal in the cooking process, apart from using them as beverages.
Although their texture is slightly different, they are often used in stews, gravy, or chilli. Half wine or beer with water can be used in place of beef consomme in your dishes. But you will need to cook it properly as the alcohol must be processed thoroughly.
You also want to be mindful of the heat you are cooking on to avoid causing any incidents with the alcohol.
9. Soy Sauce
You can also use soy sauce as a perfect replacement for beef consommé. You will only need a tablespoon of soy sauce to imitate the taste of beef consomme.
You can also combine it with water and stir it properly before use. Note that 1 cup of soy sauce is usually equal to 1 cup of beef consomme.
10. Bouillon Granules
You can also use bouillon granules in place of beef consommé, especially if you don’t like the cubes.
Bouillon granules have different kinds of flavors, such as beef, chicken, vegetable, etc. Granules give meaty flavor, so it’s pretty one of the easiest ways to imitate meat immediately.
Interestingly, there’s also a healthier version of beef granules, which comes without salt – and it is called sodium-free.
Knorr and Maggi are the most popular brands, but they’re perhaps not the healthiest. HerbOx makes sodium-free beef granules.
Demi-glace is another type of sauce that can be used as a substitute for beef consommé. It is a sauce commonly used in French dishes.
It’s traditionally made from brown sauce and brown stock – and you can use it with stews, soups, or add it when preparing a recipe with meat.
12. Fish Stock
Fish stock can also be used as an alternative if you don’t have beef consommé, and it is pretty much easier and quicker to make at home than chicken or beef stock.
Fish flavor can change the entire dish taste completely, so it’s probably one of the best substitutes here. Fish stock can be used in soups, paella, or risotto.
13. Vegetable broth
Vegetable broth is another commonly used stock that can be used to substitute for beef consomme. You can use your favorite vegetables for this, which will add more taste and an inviting smell to your broth.
Add more seasoning will also bring an incredible touch to your broth. 1 cup of vegetable broth can be used in place of 1 cup of beef consomme.
Home-made Beef Consomme
Below is a simple recipe for making your own beef consommé at home. As we mentioned earlier, consider going for a homemade beef consommé instead of the store-bought stock, this will give you a better flavor.
Following the steps below, you will be able to make a nice and tasty consomme that can serve you in different recipes – and you can also stock it for further use.
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 4 egg whites
- 4 small tomatoes, such as Roma
- 4 celery stalks
- ¾ pound ground beef, premium sirloin
- 1 sprig rosemary
- 6 cups beef stock
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 1 sprig thyme
Add pepper and egg whites to a large bowl and whisk until you get a foamy texture.
Use a food processor to pulse the tomatoes, celery, and ground beef several times.
Put all the ingredients into a big stockpot and continue heating and frequently stirring until they start to boil. Reduce the heat a bit and let it cook for about 40 minutes, without stirring this time.
Remove from heat and pour the liquid carefully into a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheese cloth.
Season and serve the liquid steaming hot in a bowl or let it cool to be used later.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is beef broth and beef consomme the same thing?
No, beef broth and beef consommé are two different things. Beef broth has a mild but discernible beefy flavor, while beef consommé has a more powerful, rich, and concentrated beef flavor. But they can both be used to substitute for one another.
What can I use in place of beef consomme?
You can use beef broth, vegetable broth, bone broth, beef stock, mushroom consommé, and others in place of beef consommé.
Can you buy beef consomme?
Yes, you can easily buy beef consommé from Amazon!
Can you freeze beef consomme?
Yes, you can freeze beef consommé. In fact, cooked beef consomme will last for 3 to 4 days when properly stored in the refrigerator. Freeze your cooked beef consommé in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags to further extend the shelf life.
What’s the difference between Campbell’s beef broth and beef consomme?
The difference is that beef broth is just a liquid made by simmering vegetables and beef on low heat, while beef consommé is the purified version of beef broth. Beef consommé is richer in beef flavor and texture, and most importantly, it’s free of any impurities.
What is the difference between consomme and stock?
A consommé is a rich broth that has been fully clarified to eliminate impurities, while stock is made from a mixture of vegetables, bones, seasonings, and liquids.
What can I use instead of condensed beef broth?
Some of the different options you can use as a substitute for beef broth include vegetable broth, beef bouillon, browning sauce, chicken broth, red wine, or soy sauce. These alternatives will give you the same taste you are looking for.
Conclusion | Beef Consomme Substitutes
Beef consommé is a very wonderful and flavorful soup; however, it’s also not cheap. But you can use any of the best substitutes for beef consomme listed above if you want to enjoy a soup that has a similar taste and flavor without breaking your wallet.
Beef stock, beef broth, and bone broth are some of the best beef consomme alternatives out there.
And if you’re a vegetarian and want to go with something that does not involve meat, then mushroom consomme is also an incredible option.