The magic of consommé is that although it is crystal clear, it is incredibly flavorful, the result of concentrating a stock and then clarifying it with egg whites. This cooking innovation, a simple scientific technique, was harnessed centuries ago and first codified in François Pierre de la Varenne's 1651 cookbook, Le Cuisinier François. It starts with a "raft"—egg whites mixed with minced meat and vegetables. The raft has a dual purpose: to clarify the liquid and to boost its flavor. As the stock heats up, the egg white proteins coagulate, forming a web that catches particles as they bubble to the top. It's important not to boil it too rapidly, as the fat will emulsify and combine with the liquid, muddying the pot. When the steps are done properly, the result is sparkling.