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Anyone ever eat the egg raft after clarifying stock?

The egg raft is supposed to collect all the "impurities" but isn't that just code for "flavor"?

Wouldn't that make the egg raft rather, um, tasty?

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  1. I suspect it'd the about the same as egg drop soup at the local Chinese restaurant.
    Could we call it "cloudiness" rather than "impurities"? Something about the word "impurities", when associated with food, leaves me cold.

    1. Have I ever eaten the egg shell crust used to clarify consommé, no. Never even thought about it.

      Can you eat it... Sure you could, if you like egg shell mixed with overcooked egg white and dish towel. All the albumin really pulls from the stock are food particals to fine to be strained out.

      6 Replies
      1. re: Demented

        I don't think the shell and dish cloth are obligatory. Or have I been doing it wrong all this time?

        1. re: DeppityDawg

          I don't use egg shells when making consumme.

          But I know alot of people that do, some also add things like tomatoes (or other acidic ingredients).

          I just like to keep my raft simple -- just egg whites.

          1. re: DeppityDawg

            I know of two ways to clarify stock.

            Per quart of stock.

            Whisk an egg white into cold, degreased stock, heat it to just below a simmer for 10 to15 minutes, allow to cool. Use a slotted spoon to hold the raft while pouring the stock into a clean container.

            Whisk an egg white and one egg shell into cold degreased stock, heat it to just below a simmer for 10 to15 minutes, allow to cool. Dampen a clean dish cloth with cold water, place it in a sieve and strain the stock through this into a clean container.

            The second method has always worked best for me.

            1. re: Demented

              Similar to what I learned, though I got chewed out for actually pouring the stock, given that it's supposed to be ultra-crystal clear and pouring roils up sediment. I was sternly and emphatically instructed to ladle it out with utmost gentleness.

              And yes, the chef had probably been a drill sergeant in a previous lifetime.

              1. re: Louise

                I've never had any of the sediment get past the damp dish towel while pouring the stock.

                1. re: Demented

                  Do a side by side - there are small particles that do escape. Not enough to ruin a dish or even that most people would detect - but still there.

        2. I think you should try it and report back.

          I've only done this once (and did use shells) with a beef stock but the raft looked disgusting. Really disgusting. Kind of a grayish brownish curdled thing.

          But perhaps . . . ..

          1. I'm sure someone's dog has eaten it before… If only someone's dog were here on Chowhound, reading and posting messages…

            1. NO,now here is the yeah but.I haven't even tried,egg whites are lost on me,rubbery etc.I have 3 dogs that love the raft shell(crushed)and all.Zero fat,protein and calcium.About the taste,the 3 cats won't even give it a "full" sniff.They will do almost ANYTHING naughty or nasty to the dogs where ?food is concerned.?telling

              1. I can't believe this on today! Only on Saturday I had my Cooking Club and we clarified pheasant stock. Someone asked me exactly that question. It really grosses me out to think of eating that. I'll report back all your comments! ...lol....

                1. Only if the line cooks decided to serve it for staff meal : )

                  Actually, I don't think they ever did, just joked about it. Potato Scraps Three ways was always a winner - scraps from turned potatoes fried, boiled, and mashed, such a balanced meal!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: babette feasts

                    Great recipe! I'll add the raft for protein and it will be balanced! Just add some hot sauce and it's perfect.

                  2. Um, eeeeeew! Congealed animal fats, bits of egg shells, no seasoning... don't think so.

                    1. This is far after the fact, but I just made a beautiful pork consomme (leftovers from an eighty-pound suckling roast that we did; a whole other saga) and used more ground pork, mirepoix and herbs for the raft (no eggshells). After reading this thread, I decided to taste the raft... and it was DELICIOUS. Tender, porky, light in texture, and very little fat. I didn't strain the consomme as many below describe, but ladled it out through a hole in the raft into a china cap, so the raft never touched dish towel of any kind.

                      So I was left with a big pile of cooked, seasoned ground pork mixed with vegetables, herbs and egg whites. After much internet searching, I decided to make perogies. I added a little bit of bread crumb and some egg yolks and additional seasoning to the pork (most of the salt stayed behind in the consomme). The scratch dough, to which I added fresh thyme, was easy to make, and with the filling, made about eighty perogies. I still had some filling left, which I used to make small, tender pork meatballs.

                      Put it all back together and what do you have? Delicious pork soup with dumplings and meatballs. Mad, mad genius.

                      The raft worked great, my consomme was crystal clear, and there was no waste. So my advice is leave off the egg shells, use good-quality ground meat for your raft (which will improve the quality of your stock anyway) and then come up with something even better than I did for the leftovers.

                      (See adorable "rafty" perogies below, waiting to be pan fried, boiled in soup, or, sweet heavens, deep fried to a golden brown.)

                       
                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Francoise

                        That sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing.

                        1. re: Francoise

                          Francoise, so that I can follow this advice, can I clarify (har - punny)? You used leftover roasted pork, combined with new, raw ground pork, right? What were the proportions of cooked to raw?

                          1. re: dmd_kc

                            No prob! It was a series of pork additions/subtraction in steps, over one day. Here was the process:

                            I had the remains of a whole roast pig from a previous party (hooray!), stripped of bones and larger pieces of connective tissue, etc. Simmered that all day with herbs, garlic and a couple of gallons of water to make a (very cloudy but delicious) broth.

                            Broke my pork down into yummy, tender shreds (have been making simple, but delicious, bbq pulled pork sandwiches with it this week -- soft onion bun, pork in vinegary sauce, slice of onion. Wow.)

                            Took resulting broth, and made raft (pound of lean ground pork, abt 1.5 c mirepoix, bay, sage, thyme, salt, pepper, 5 egg whites, fully combined -- NO shells) and added it to broth, brought it to simmer in the way explained better by others above. After a couple of hours, carefully broke a large(er) hole in the raft and ladled the clear consomme out. Reveled in self-satisfaction.

                            Took resulting raft, (no new raw pork) and mixed seasoning to taste, then about 1c neutral breadcrumbs and two beaten eggs. This should make a beautiful, soft, porky filling. Used this to fill the perogies. (It made at least 3+dozen, maybe a few more).

                            For the meatballs, I added a bit more egg and crumbs so they would hold together, but they were still very soft. I formed and placed these on a cookie sheet and popped them in the freezer, but you could lower them into gently simmering broth (maybe what you just made?) right away.

                            If you don't have a whole pig, this would be a fun way to do a nice big shoulder, which you could then shred for sandwiches, and go from there. Or, a la David Lebovitz' recipe, chunk it and then fry for carnitas. Good luck! :-)

                          2. re: Francoise

                            I would never eat a raft.....Disguesting.

                          3. When I was a culinary student, we were taught to never add egg shells to the raft, as they may not be totally clean. The raft mixture always contained some ground meat, poultry, fish of the same type that the stock was made of, as well as egg whites and finely chopped vegetables.

                            The very old-school chefs insisted that the leftover raft could be used to make great chili, though I've never tried that.

                            1. Yes when we make beef or game consomme the raft we feed to the staff as spaghetti bolognese it makes it very different though when we do fish consomme

                              :)

                              1. I tried it the first time I clarified a consomme for that very reason. Can't say I'll do it again. I do hear of people using it for things, and it's not entirely devoid of flavour, and if I was being mega-thrifty I'm sure I'd use it somehow... but then again, if I was being mega-thrifty I'm not sure what would possess me to make a consomme in the first place. ;)

                                The idea being, I guess, that the meat and veg and so forth in the raft are giving all their flavour to the stock, while gathering up all the foamy scum. Which is pretty accurately what the raft tasted like: funky beef Styrofoam with flavourless brunoise mirepoix confetti.

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: Whats_For_Dinner

                                  "funky beef Styrofoam with flavourless brunoise mirepoix confetti."

                                  The perfect definition, and why I don't eat the raft.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    ditto bushwickgirl.

                                    Although I *hate* this part of making stock and find it quite the drag so sometimes I'm just about egg whites, and I cut corners on that occasionally.

                                    So after all the fuss I'm starting to like the idea of ChefSterling... making an ersatz Bolognese sauce out of it. But that'd be a huge raft and a lotta stock...

                                2. I'm not sure why, but I find the idea of this completely nauseating. Every time I see this subject, I go "Ick."

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: roxlet

                                    To me, the raft is akin to the function of the human liver and I wouldn't care to eat it. (That being said, I have no such reluctance about eating animal liver. I do have my weird quirks, yes indeedy.) I have heard of chefs putting it into pasta dishes and shepard's pie for staff meal, and I find the practice appalling - gotta treat folks better than that.

                                  2. Gross. It's not exactly pretty (shown on my wife's blog (she's in culinary school) http://www.nibblinggypsy.com/2011/08/....

                                    Maybe on a dare, but it would have to be like a triple dog dare.