Consommé was a bit long, but I wanted to get this in too. Instead of one monster post, two long posts.
Actually, let me discuss the finished product as if you’re a regular reader you won’t have to go through my wall of text. Ruby soup is a cold “soup”. The gelatinized absolutely clear beef stock is a deep red from the beet juices, and broken up in the bowl to form chunks – pea to grape sized chunks. Serve with a spoonful of yoghurt. The rubies will melt in your mouth if held, or if swallowed are a rich cool … It’s delicious.
First, let’s take a moment to look at the beef stock. If you made it as I suggested using bones and meats filled with connective tissue you are ahead of the game. If on the other hand your stock is still liquid when in the refrigerator, you’re going to need a little extra work. Your extra work is to pick up three or four oxtails. Simmer a quart and a half of stock and these oxtails together for 45 minutes to an hour before we go any further. Oh – you’ve probably lost some of the broth to evaporation and that’s OK.
Now you’ve got a rich stock. Let’s make our clearmeat. Well, not meat exactly…
As I said before we’ve got two options here, and this is where they come into play.
OPTION 1 (my favorite): You want a cup of the beet slaw you made while making fermented beet juice. You still need three egg whites. Chop the slaw fine and mix it with the eggwhites to form the clearmeat. For your acid you’re going to bring a cup (!) of the fermented beet juice.
OPTION 2 (a much sweeter taste): You want a cup of peeled and chopped beets which you will be combining with the eggwhites. For the acid you’re going to use a sweet or semi-sweet red wine – just a quarter cup here.
From here on out make a consommé. When you’ve clarified it, put it into a container, cover it, and put it in the refrigerator till it’s chilled and thickened. (Making this overnight and serving for lunch works great here.)
To serve, spoon out into bowls. Use a table knife or teaspoon to break up the gel into smaller pieces. Place a spoon of yoghurt (or sour cream or creme fraiche) on top.
It is a delight on a warm day regardless of whether you take the sweet or the sour. It is also a beautiful dish – the sort of dish that makes the recipient feel they are splurging just a bit.
By the way, I’d like to end this with the ‘fast’ version. It’s not quite as good, but it’s a lot less work and just as beautiful (and ‘not quite as good’ is still surprisingly tasty.)
Peel and cut up a beet and boil it in two cups of water for 15 minutes. Strain the water into a quart of clear beef stock. If the stock won’t gel on its own, pull out a cup of the mix and add a package of gelatin and let it bloom. Once it has done so, add this back into the mix and stir thoroughly. If you’re wanting sour, also add a half cup of red wine vinegar. If sweet add two tablespoons. Cool, dish, cut up, and serve.
Yep, made you go all this way to the easy one.