The use of stock to create sauces: Part 1 Demi-Glace
Intro: Most people that enjoy French food are familiar with the term Demi-Glace and understand that it is a thick liquid that is often used in many French sauces. Their assessment is correct, but Demi-Glace is much more than that: it is the most versatile of all French beef-based sauces and you can build the character of your entire entrée by just adding a few ingredients to it.
What is Demi-Glace?
Demi-Glace is simply a veal stock that is boiled down to a thickened state. The thickening of the stock occurs because the gelatin located in the bones becomes thicker as the water boils out of the stock. That's it! The only downside to veal stock is that it can take up 13 hours of total time to prepare from the beginning of the stock (the roasting of the bones) to the final reduction of the demi.
MakingDemi-Glace in three steps:
1) Roast your bones and remove the residue. First roast your bones and at the halfway point coat the bones with tomato paste. When the bones are brown you will take the bones out of the pan, add red wine to the pan, and scrape that awesome residue from the bottom. Now put the bones, wine, mirepoix and residue into a large pot.
Roasted bones, red wine, and mirepoix (mix of celery, onions, and carrots).
2) Now make veal stock. Cover the pot with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer the stock for about eight hours.
Veal stock at about the half-way point
3) Reduce the veal stock to make Demi-Glace. Carefully strain the stock, add red wine, and reduce the stock on a medium flame until it is about a fifth of its original volume. The stock should take on a darker and darker color as it reduces and becomes the color of caramel. The best way to tell if your demi is done is to check it after it has been refrigerated for 4 hours or so. It should be very dark brown in color, and it should have a solid form that resembles brown Jell-O.
Cold demi-portioned and ready to refrigerate or freeze
T-bone with Madeira demi-glace
Terms related to stocks:
Mirepoix- Mix of celery, onions, and carrots added sauces and soups to give them a flavor boost. The mix is always removed from stock at the end of the cooking process and discarded. Residue- Bits of protein left on the bottom of pots/pans. Simmering- To cook gently beneath the boiling point. Stock- Bones and/or vegetables covered with water which are simmered for a varying degree of time. They are sometimes accompanied by herbs.
The purpose of these blogs: The ultimate purpose of these blogs is to help you to successfully prepare French cuisine so that you can eventually plan and serve a multi course-meal.
Next week: Stocks Part Three: The use of stock to create sauces: Part 2 Fumet