I've used consomme, but I'm looking for a less expensive substitute. I've tried substituting beef broth, but it's just not the same. Consomme seems to be thicker, like maybe having gelatin in it. Has anyone successfully substituted something in place of consomme in recipes?
There is really no substitute for consomme. It is made with roasted bones that give it that deep flavor and velvety taste.
As Scott E. says, there is no substitute. However, you can make your own consomme. Every time you cook meat or fowl. save the skin, bones, and gristle in a baggie or container in the freezer. When you've got a couple of good full bags, toss their contents into a stock pot and add salt, pepper, and whatever herbs you enjoy. It also helps to toss in vegetable parts, such as the tip-ends of carrots or turnips, the stems of mushrooms, shavings from bell peppers -- anything that you'd normally throw out, keep it, unless it's rotten or has worm-eaten places.
Bring the pot to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer for a couple of hours with the lid on. Strain with a cheesecloth in a sieve. Freeze the consomme in plastic containers or -- stroke of genius on my mother's part -- in an ice cube tray if you think you may want only a little of the flavor at a time.
Before you make your own consomme, roast the bones in the oven until they are a nice brown color.
Then throw it all in a pot to continue making your broth.
Believe me, you won't regret the extra step.
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