Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pork Consommé with Sliced Mushrooms

Stirring soup stock is a compulsion for me - but not for pros or for smart home chefs. I like to dig my spoon deep into the pot, bringing the vegetables at the bottom to the top while transporting those on top straight to the bottom. But that only means extra work: Smart soup chefs allow broth to simmer and bubble so that the scum rises to the top and clings to the sides of the pot, producing broth that is clearer than broth that is vigorously stirred. I compensate for my compulsion with many screenings - first, through a wide-holed colander; next, through a fine-meshed sieve; and last (if I’m being ultra-fussy), through a layer or two of cheesecloth. This and ensuring that almost all the fat is skimmed away usually produces a very clear and delicious stock - definitely superior to stock that is factory-produced.

Preparing homemade stock takes time - but this simple, nutritious, low-fat soup takes only a few moments.  Remember the thin strips of meat I carved from the pork leg in yesterday’s post? A couple of those would make an excellent addition to this soup! This quantity serves 4.

Pork Consommé with Sliced Mushrooms:

4 c. pork broth, well skimmed of fat
8 very thin raw pork strips (optional)
1/2 tsp. sesame oil (found in the ethnic foods section of your supermarket)
1 c. hot, sliced, fried mushrooms, blotted dry of fat
2 green onions, angle-cut in 1-in. pieces

In a medium pot, heat broth until almost boiling. Remove from heat, stirring in pork strips and sesame oil (The heat of the broth will cook the pork). Ladle equally into bowls. Divide mushrooms and green onions equally among four bowls. Serve at once.

Et voilà!


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