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How to Blanch Beef

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Beef soup with clear broth, beef braises cooked in translucent braising liquid and beef consomme free of cloudiness are a few dishes made possible by blanching beef.

When beef cooks, liquid proteins make their way to the surface of the meat then float to the surface of the cooking liquid and coagulate, creating the froth and scum you have to skim off. Blanching gets the coagulation out of the way before you add the beef to the dish, resulting in a clear, crisp broth.

 

How to Blanch Beef

Blanch Beef

Slice the beef into sizes indicated by the recipe. Soups typically call for 3/4- to 1-inch pieces.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the beef. Skim the water surface as needed with a spoon to remove scum and foam.

Blanch the meat for 1 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Blanch 1/4-inch-thick slices of beef for 1 to 2 minutes; blanch 3/4- to 1-inch cubes of beef for 8 to 10 minutes; blanch large pieces of beef, such as short ribs, for 15 minutes.

Remove the meat using tongs and transfer it to a large bowl of ice water. Chill the beef for as many minutes as you blanched it, pouring off water and replacing it with ice as needed.

Take the beef out of the cold water and transfer it to a plate lined with paper towels. Pat the beef with paper towels to lift the surface moisture.

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