What’s the Difference between Broth, Bone Broth, Stock and Consommé?
The terms are a little confusing, aren’t they? Broth, Bone Broth, Stock, and Consomme. Although used interchangeably, they are technically all different. Let’s define each.
Broth is different from stock because it is made with the meat, not generally the bones. It is cooked for the shortest amount of time. A version of this is what your mom or grandma probably taught you. Put the meat, vegetables, and seasonings in a pot, add water to cover. Cook for an hour or two and serve. This is the easiest and quickest way to make a broth-based soup.
Stock is a little more robust than broth and the purpose is also different. It is a base, not a soup in itself. Generally, when you make stock, you put the bones in the pot with the sautéed aromatics or “mirepoix” (This is a mix of onions (50% by weight), carrots (25%) and celery (25%). This is added at the same time as the bones. These vegetables are roughly cut as they will be discarded when the meat is pulled).
The bones may or may not be roasted. Beef is almost always roasted, chicken may or may not be roasted – sometimes bones from your Thanksgiving turkey or a roasted chicken will be used. Fish is never roasted. Beef stock is usually simmered about 8-12 hours, less if you roasted the bones. Chicken is usually simmered about 4-6 hours. Fish is done in 90 minutes.
As with the broth above, each family has their own recipe for any additions. Salt is not usually added as this is a base for another recipe. The salt should be included in the recipe itself, not in the stock. Generally, whole peppercorns are added. Most people add parsley. Other herbs may be included depending on the protein source used.
Bone broth is a method of making a stock (not broth) with the purpose of drawing out the most nutrients. It is the most healing form of stock. Most often it is chicken. Women of old were onto something when they said to eat chicken soup when you’re sick and for better health. Chicken bone broth actually does have healing properties. Tomorrow I will be posting a recipe for bone broth.
Consommé is a clarified stock. First bring stock to a light boil. Then add ground veal and beaten egg whites. It will form a “raft” on the top of the stock. Punch a hole in the center, added some seasoning that is tied in cheesecloth and let it lightly boil for a bit. What happens is all the little bits – the impurities – in the stock come up the sides of the pot and try to bubble over the raft. The raft catches the impurities. When done the raft is discarded and the soup is beautifully clear. Consommé is generally served clear at the beginning of a meal.
So those are the terms. Remember, tomorrow I will be posting a recipe for Bone Broth.