Demi-glace is a rich brown sauce from classic French cuisine, made by simmering bones, aromatics and wine for a long time to concentrate the flavors and thicken the sauce. Traditionally it is made of equal parts veal stock and sauce espagnole, which is one of the five mother sauces of French cuisine. The basic recipe for demi-glace comes from the father of French cooking Auguste Escoffier, who codified many of the standard French recipes in the early 1900s. The term “demi-glace” comes from the French word glace, which means icing or glaze. And “demi” because a 1:1 ratio is reduced in half.
At D’Artagnan, demi-glace is made with duck (of course!) and veal bones according to traditional methods, beginning with the bone stock. The duck and veal bone stock is slowly simmered until reduced by about half its volume. This takes 2-3 days and imparts great depth of flavor. The liquid is strained, then red wine is added, and again it’s reduced by half. Finally, a little tomato paste is stirred in, instead of sauce espagnole (which contains tomato). No additional gelatin is needed because the bones are rich in natural collagen. Nor is any salt or flour added. The result is a very concentrated stock that can be used as a base for other sauces, or by itself.
CookingJust a tablespoon or two of demi-glace will add richness and depth to a variety of dishes, from soups and stews to sauces and gravies. Add a tablespoon of demi-glace to the water when cooking rice, risotto, quinoa or other grains for a boost of flavor. After searing a duck magret, steak or pork chop, deglaze the pan with demi-glace and reduce to create a rich pan sauce. Demi-glace is an ingredient that every home kitchen should keep “in stock,” as professional kitchens do, since it elevates every dish it touches.
Store demi-glace in the freezer and use a hot spoon to remove the amount needed for a sauce or to spike a soup.
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