Thursday, October 11, 2012

Demi-Glace

Three or four months ago I made demi-glace for the first time. It did not come out the way that I wanted it to, and I made it a point to perfect this sauce over the past months. Looking back on the whole experience, I've learned that this sauce starts with good ingredients and promptly ends with technique. If you have both of these things, you can make a great demi-glace even on your first attempt. So with this all said, lets get down to the nitty-gritty.

I seriously recommend buying More Than Gourmet's Glace de Viande. This makes about 10 liters of high-quality stock, and if you shop around for it online this is actually cheaper than the store bought stuff. (Seriously I can't live without this in my kitchen at this point.) Once you have that you're basically good to go as demi-glace requires basic ingredients. I must stress that the meat glaze/stock is the most important part of this sauce! Once you have your stock situation taken care of we can talk about technique. This was the hardest part for me to learn. I looked to many resources to get the right color and taste, and it seemed that nothing worked out for me. After awhile though, I kind of came up with the way I like to do it with a little inspiration from Escoffier. I think if you follow my directions explicitly, you'll have no problem with the technique side of things.

Sauce Demi-Glace:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 slices of unsmoked bacon, cut into strips
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
1/4 cup tomato purèe, preferably fresh
1 bayleaf
1/4 cup glace de viande
4 1/2 cups water

1. Add the glaze and the water in a medium sized pot and bring to a simmer while you work the roux and vegetables.
2. Add the bacon to a pan and cook over medium-high heat to render the fat. Once the majority of the fat is rendered, remove the bacon but leave the fat in the pan. Cook the carrot and onion in the fat until golden brown. (Let it cook while you make the roux.)
3. Melt the butter in another medium sized pot over medium heat. Once it is completely melted, add the flour a little at a time and whisk vigorously to remove lumps.
4. Once all the flour is added, continue to cook the roux over medium heat until it takes on a color a few shades darker than cardboard. (Whisk it once in a while to distribute the heat as well.)
5. When the roux is ready, add the vegetables while being careful not to transfer the excess bacon fat. Stir the roux and vegetables together and let them cook about 5 minutes longer over the medium heat.
6. Make sure that your stock is at a bare simmer, then slowly add it to the roux base a cup or so at a time. As always, whisk after each addition to remove lumps.
7. Once the sauce is uniform, add the celery, tomato purèe, and bay leaf to the sauce and mix. Bring this to a bare simmer and let it reduce for about 45 minutes to an hour. (You should be able to easily create a thick coat on the back of a spoon with this sauce, so keep reducing if needed.)
8. Strain off the vegetables, return the sauce to a clean pot, and bring it back to a bear simmer. Once this is achieved, quickly remove the sauce from the heat and serve accordingly.

1 comment:

  1. I used to add hot liquid to a hot roux and fight lumps. Adding room temperature stock works better for me. I think I picked that up from an old Emeril show. He recommended keeping either the Roux or stock cooler, but not adding hot to hot.

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