Demi-glace has to be one of the most delicious sauces experienced. In this article, learn how to make it, its history, health information and more.
Demi-glace, pronounced (de-mE-gloss), is as precious as gold in the culinary community. It’s loved for its rich meaty taste and usefulness for many dishes.
The traditional method of making demi-glace is a long process and is usually only made by high-end restaurants, culinary experts and the daring home chef.
How to Prepare Demi-Glace
Demi-glace is made by combining beef stock, brown stock (called espagnole sauce) and a bundle of herbs (called bouquet garni). Simmer everything until it has been reduced by half, strain and refrigerate. Once cooled, it has a dark brown color and a jelly-like consistency. When you’re ready to use it, warm it up and it will melt and give a delicious beefy flavor.
- 2 cups beef stock
- 2 cups espagnole sauce
- 1 bouquet garni
- Combine the beef stock, espagnole sauce and the bouquet garni and simmer until you’ve reached a syrup-like consistency. Refrigerate overnight, if done correctly.
The final result will be a delicious dark sauce, and after it’s chilled, it will have the consistency of gelatin. Just pull some out to use as a base for other sauces or use alone on meats or to garnish other dishes.
Don’t have the above ingredients? Not a problem, below learn how to make beef stock, espagnole sauce and the bouquet garni from scratch.
How to Make Beef Stock
Beef stock is a base ingredient for a wide range of sauces, gravies, soups and so much more. It is made by combining mirepoix (carrots, celery and onions), veal and beef marrow bones, deglazed beef bits (fond) and water. The ingredients are then simmered for 8 to 48 hours.
- 4 lb. veal bones
- 4 qt. cool water
- ½ cup onions
- ¼ cup carrots
- ¼ cup celery
- Fond (bits left on the pan after roasting)
- 1 oz. tomato paste
- Bouquet garni
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 bundle parsley
- 1 bundle thyme
- 2 oz. red wine or sherry
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Put the bones in the oven for 1 hour.
- Coat the mirepoix with tomato paste.
- Add the mirepoix to the oven for 30 minutes.
- Add the bones and mirepoix to a pot of simmering water.
- Deglaze the roasting pan with sherry or red wine (scrape everything out and add it to the simmering water).
- Continue to simmer for a minimum of 8 hours.
- Strain and you’re done!
How to Make Espagnole Sauce
Espagnole sauce is considered one of the five mother sauces in French cuisine. To prepare espagnole sauce, you will need beef stock, mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onions), roux and spices. The ingredients are simmered until the liquid has been reduced by half, usually 1 to 2 hours.
- 2 qt. beef stock
- ½ cup onions
- ¼ cup carrots
- ¼ cup celery
- 2 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. flour
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Begin simmering the beef stock.
- Add the mirepoix.
- Make the roux.
- In a separate pan, melt the butter on low heat.
- Once the butter is melted and starts to bubble, add the flour and stir until it browns.
- Add the roux to the beef stock.
- Continue to simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
How to Make a Bouquet Garni
Bouquet garni is a bundle of fresh herbs (thyme, bay leaf, parsley, basil, rosemary, savory and tarragon) tied together with a string.
Get fresh herbs, wash them and tie them together with kitchen twine.
The History of Demi-Glace
Demi-glace was developed/perfected around the 19th century by the French Chef Marie Antoine-Carême. If you know much about French cuisine, then you might understand their obsession with butter and sauces. Marie Antoine-Carême was a celebrity chef in his day, kind of like Gordon Ramsey is today.
The 19th century has the first written account of demi-glace. However, bone broth or brown stock has been part of our diet since our ancestors discovered fire. They would use every part of an animal and soon found that heat broke down the bones, making it easier to access all of the nutrients inside.
To make this recipe is no small feat. To make it from scratch takes between 24 to 48 hours of preparation and cooking time.
Deep Dive into Demi-Glace Ingredients
Knowing the culinary science behind demi-glace ingredients makes it easier to substitute. The reason veal bones are used is because of the high concentration of collagen. Chicken bones are also very high in collagen, therefore, some chefs will use a mixture of beef and chicken bones rather than veal.
When making brown stock, don’t skip baking the bones or adding tomato paste to the mirepoix. Heat opens up the pores of the bones and allows more nutrients out. Tomato paste is an acid and simmering will also assist pulling out collagen, aminos and minerals. The tomato paste could be substituted with a vinegar, citus or another type of acid.
Health Benefits of Demi-Glace
In my research, not much was written about the health benefits of demi-glace. However, demi-glace is at its core a highly concentrated bone broth.
Maybe you’ve heard the recent studies about bone broth? If not, let’s go over why nutritionists are so excited about it. Bone broth is full of nutrients such as minerals, collagen and gelatin. (Gelatin being one reason for demi-glace’s consistency.) Interested in reading more? Then check out this article from Medical News Today. Or this article from Medical Daily.
Nutrients in bone broth:
- Amino Acids
Studies show bone broth is good for your health:
- Strengthens bones and joints
- Reduces inflammation
- Heals the gut
- Aides in sleep
- Supports weight loss
- Boosts immunity
- Improves hydration
- Great for skin, hair and nails
Summit Hill Foods Demi-Glace
It’s a lot of work and time consuming, but worth it! However, there is an easy solution which is to buy premade demi-glace. The super simple solution of letting someone else prepare it saves time and labor costs. Here at Summit Hill Foods, our experts have been making demi-glace for years. Summit Hill Foods caters to restaurants, industrial manufacturers and food industry experts around the nation.