In Association with Knorr Professional - Bouillon Base

What are Bouillons and how can they help pubs?

By The Morning Advertiser

- Last updated on GMT

The Bouillon Base: we demystify the category to find out how you can make the most of this stock cupboard staple
The Bouillon Base: we demystify the category to find out how you can make the most of this stock cupboard staple

Related tags: Food, Chef, Knorr

Speed, consistency and quality are often among the most important aspects of a pub kitchen.

But with chefs battling staff shortages, rising costs and supply issues, consistency can sometimes waver.

In light of this, we’ve delved into how pubs can produce those high-quality dishes, quickly and cohesively.

Using Bouillons can be a way to ensure cohesion by having a stock base ready for a myriad of meals.

We’ve also taken a deep dive into the history of Bouillons and spoken with operators who use them to find out how their menus and businesses have benefitted.

What are Bouillons?

First of all, we explore where Bouillons came from and how long they’ve been a kitchen staple for.

The French word for broth, the definition of Bouillon according to the Cambridge dictionary is a thin, clear soup made by boiling meat and vegetables in water.

According to World Food History​, American-born physicist Count Rumford invented and mass-produced a fully nutritious, solidified stock of bones, meat by products and other ingredients in the late 18th​ century and his invention was the precursor of the Bouillon cube.

Industrially produced Bouillon cubes based on meat extracts were then commercialised in the early 1900s.

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Today, Bouillons are a versatile store cupboard essential, which can be used as part of the stock for a dish, a flavour booster or even for seasoning meals.

It’s a simple yet effective way to infuse a myriad of dishes with ingredients such as meat, rice, bean and vegetable dishes with additional flavour.

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Operators’ view

Wadworth executive chef Andrew Scott, who has spent his entire cooking career in Michelin-starred kitchens, also had his say on how using Bouillon helps him create dishes for the pub estate.

Watch as Andrew puts together a pea, broad bean and pecorino risotto using the vegetable powder Bouillon, which he lauds the format for its simplicity when measuring and the speed at which it dissolves – crucial in a busy kitchen.

The stock also provides a light vegetable flavour, perfect for dishes like risottos as it doesn’t overpower the meal but enhances it.

The executive chef goes on to outline how he uses the products in his Thai-inspired king prawn noodle soup using Knorr Professional Clear Fish Paste.

Andrew outlines how he wanted to infuse the aromatic ingredients but with a background flavour of fish, meaning this Bouillon is the perfect product with its light flavour, clear finish and easy to measure characteristics.

Find out how to create the dish below.

See here for more recipes including a luxury salmon and prawn fish pie​ with the Clear Fish Bouillon, sausage and pearl barley casserole​ using Roast Bouillon.

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Thoughts from the brand leader

However, as mentioned previously, Bouillons can be utilised for more than stock. They can also be used as the last ingredient to be placed on when plating up and used to season dishes.

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Unilever Away from Home executive chef Alex Hall explains how: “Bouillons don’t have to mean bases – they make brilliant seasonings too.

“For example, I used Knorr Professional Beef Powder Bouillon to create this dish: with picanha steak, bouillon dusted fries, bearnaise, chimichurri oil and bone-marrow toasted breadcrumbs.”

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Trends

Research from insights experts CGA suggests consumers’ food preferences have shifted slightly since the start of the pandemic.

Looking back to 2019, British cuisine was the most widely consumed with the majority of diners (85%) choosing it when eating out, following by three quarters (75%) choosing Italian, a similar amount (73%) picking Chinese, 69% selected Indian and 65% opted for American.

However, in CGA’s Food Insights Report 2021​, which was put together as restrictions were lifting, the data specialists revealed while Italian food was the favourite non-British cuisine, Chinese had overtaken it as the most readily available.

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Bouillons can be used to tap into these dishes due to their versatility. Whether it’s using the powder format as a seasoning to add a twist on a classic fish and chips, a paste Bouillon in a stock for a Chinese chicken soup or a Bouillon cube in a pasta dish for that extra flavour.

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Sustainability

Furthermore, according to Lumina Intelligence​, one of the eight mega trends for 2022 is the continuation of sustainability.

It’s clear this focus isn’t going away any time soon with almost three quarters of consumers claiming it is an important factor when decided where to eat out, according to CGA.

While some consumers were happy with sustainability policies they find, two fifths (42%) thought venues didn’t do enough to inform them about the sustainability of their food options.

One way in which pubs can boost their sustainability credentials is to hone in on food waste.

A survey commissioned by anti-food waste app Too Good To Go found almost half of pub employees agreed the short life of products to be the main reason for food and drink waste in pubs.

Bouillon slots in here as the pre-prepared products mean chefs minimise food waste that could otherwise be produced when creating meals alongside a long shelf life.

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The fact chefs use only what they need, whether that’s a measured amount of a paste, jelly or powder or a cube, Bouillons can be utilised as and when they are needed and put back in the cupboard after use for next time.

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Formats

Bouillon is available in a number of different formats and flavours meaning it can benefit many dishes across menus, enabling chefs to get their creative juices flowing. Take a look at how each format is best utilised.

Jelly

Dissolving quickly, jelly Bouillon has been hailed as the closest you can get to a scratch-made bouillon and can help chefs thicken and enrich sauces or bases.

Available in vegetable, beef and chicken

Cube

Cubes are likely to be the most familiar format and pre-measured so chefs know exactly how much they are using when adding to dishes.

Available in vegetable, beef and chicken.

Paste

The paste can give a more intense flavour to a dish than other formats so are perfect for those meals that need a little extra taste.

Available in clear fish, clear vegetable, roast chicken, rich vegetable, chicken, roast beef (GF), lamb, ham, vegetable, mushroom and beef

Powder

This format also dissolves quickly, often faster than cubes and similarly to the powder, means chefs can add exactly the amount required. In addition, the format of the powder lends itself to using the bouillon as a seasoning as well as a base product.

Available in concentrated beef, concentrated chicken, concentrated vegetable, vegetable, chicken and beef

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