According to Last Dinner on the Titanic: “A woman named Olga may have inspired an actual chef; more likely hers was a generic Russian name used to indicate that this dish has a Russian flavor. The ingredient that that originally distinguished this soup from ordinary beef consommé was vésiga, the dried spinal marrow of a sturgeon. However, vésiga is very difficult to find today, even at the best gourmet shops. On the Titanic, it would have been soaked in water for up to five hours, boiled in bouillon for another three until it resembled gelatin, then sliced and floated in the piping hot consommé. We have substituted sea scallops, which are similar in texture and considerably more flavorful.”
- 7 cups beef stock
- 1 carrot
- 1 leek
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/2 tomato
- 1 tbs chopped parsley stems
- 1/4 lb lean ground beef
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 3 egg whites
- 1/4 cup port
- 6 large sea scallops
- 1/2 head of celery
- 1/2 English cucumber
In a crock pot, heat stock until body temperature.
Meanwhile, finely chop carrot, leek, tomatoes, and parsley stems. Stir together with meat until well combined, add salt and pepper, then fold in egg whites.
Whisk heated stock into egg and meat mixture, return to crock pot and allow to come to a boil. Whisk occasionally until mixture begins to look frothy, stop stirring so egg mixture can solidify and rise to the top. Lower heat to low. Simmer consommé gently for 30 minutes.
While consommé simmers, blanch and julienne celery head. Seed and julienne cucumbers.
Carefully push the raft of egg/meat mixture down with the back of a ladle. Ladle clarified consommé through a sieve into a clean pot. Heat until very hot, then stir on port.
Slice each scallop crosswise into 3 pieces, then place 1 scallop (3 pieces) into bottom of each of 6 warmed bowls. Pour hot consommé over scallops. Arrange celery and cucumber decoratively in each bowl. Serve immediately.