Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Demi-Glace: Part 1 – Feel the Veal

If you saw the post from earlier today, you know this video has been delayed do to mysterious, and near catastrophic audio problems, but finally we have the first “demi” of the recipe, and I hope it was worth the wait.

This is my technique for veal demi-glace, and there’s not much to it. I’m going for a pure veal stock reduction, fortified with nothing more than mirepoix and tomato. I don’t do the classic roux-based “espagnole” sauce, which is traditionally mixed with veal stock and reduced by half.

Modern versions like this forgo the flour, and simply reduce the stock until the natural gelatin from the bones thickens things up. You get a much more intensely flavored sauce, with a wonderfully luxurious mouthfeel. I also usually make a pure version of the stock without the traditional “bouquet garni,” which is a very classic bundle of herbs and spices, usually wrapped and tied in a piece of leek.

It looks pretty, but I can add any or all of those flavors anytime I want, and we’re also always going to use this as a base for other sauces and applications, all of which bring their own herb and spice blends. Basically, like to keep my options open.

Stay tuned for part two, where I’ll show you what to do with this life-changing liquid, as well as how to portion and store it for many months of brown sauce nirvana. I hope you call your butcher and order some veal bones soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 3-4 quarts of Demi-Glace:
10 lbs veal bones, joints and marrow bones
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 carrots, cut in 2-inch pieces
3 onions, cut in eighths (I did without thinking, but you don’t have to peel the onions)
4 ribs celery, cut in 2-inch pieces
1 (6-oz) can tomato paste
*10 quarts water

*While the stock simmers very, very gently for 18 hours, the level will drop a few inches in the pot, which is fine, but if it seems like the liquid level is getting low, add a few cups of water in.

52 comments:

Shaz Green said...

Ok that looks so freaking good! I'm going to run out and buy veal bones as soon as I see part 2!

Gerry Mandering said...

Can you use a pressure cooker to reduce the time to cook and then reduce afterwards?

Nicholas Archer said...

When I reduce a stock I use a tiny fan to blow air across the top. This allows you to turn up the heat to super high and evaporate as fast as possible without boiling it :)

arwiv said...

Could you achieve close to the same thing with just beef bones or would it be too totally different to call it demi-glace?

Jason C said...

How much are we missing out on, if we forego the veal for beef? I don't do veal because I'm not a monster of a human being. ;-)

Warren said...

Chef, you're awesome. I can't wait to use the term "slappin' that glace" in the kitchen...

Paul said...

Mmm, luxardo cherries.

Chef John said...

The bones of any animal will work similarly, but veal has significantly more collagen, which makes it work much, much better! I can't comment on whether it's worth doing with other bones or not, since that's a subjective opinion!

Chef John said...

Sorry I'm not a pressure cooker guy, so I have no idea, although you couldn't make very much!

Walter H said...

Hello Chef: when do you expect to post part 2? Can't wait.

Chris K. said...

Good luck finding a pressure cooker that can handle 10 lbs. of veal bones. I'm just sayin'.

Can't wait for part 2. Thanks Chef!

Unknown said...

I've totally gotten yelled at by a large chef for not deglazing the roasting pan..

Aaron said...

At exactly what age of the cow does one go from a monster to a regular consumer, when consuming its parts?

Furthermore, does consuming veal of a humanely raised, healthy animal affect monster status?

Ath Laurelian said...

Man, if the scene of you slapping that block of demi glace in the end isnt considered food p0rn then i dont want to know what is...

irksome1 said...

Your "preview" of Part 2 showcases the gelatinized Demi-glacé. How is it different from an aspic?

bdwilcox said...

The end there was like "50 Shades of Demi-Glace". You should have put a blind-fold around it.

Jhex said...

Already ordered the veal bones!!!! I hope part two comes quickly enough hehehehe

Fuzzy said...

"... but I'm saving the ice cubes for my Manhattans."Yeah, I saw the Luxardo Cherries in the fridge there :-)

I guess my question is what liquor do you use for your Manhattans?

Jhex said...

I have already decreed at my house (with the permission of my wife, of course) that this will be a yearly spring tradition!...

We'll make Demi-Glace every spring to last us through the summer and fall... Spring because you can open the windows and air the kitchen and grilling/BBQ season is about to start which is when our meat consumption goes high!

Thanks Chef John!!!! awesome as always

Susan Keener said...

New to your website, awesome, hooked already, lookin' for part 2 demi-glace, and I love your piano playing background music..do you play? great sense of humor and I will 'enjoy' your stuff!

Eirik Dahl said...

Can i use Ox tails?

pat b said...

Would making a half recipe require a significant change in timing or the treatment of the demi-glace? I don't have a large enough stock pot for the 10 pounds of veal bones. I truly enjoy watching your videos and eagerly awaiting each new episode.

Chef John said...

Other than keeping an eye on your liquid level, the size of the pot does not change the technique at all. Enjoy!

TruePerception said...

How much should I expect to pay for veal bones?

Chef John said...

I usually pay about $4 per pound.

TruePerception said...

Too pricey for my budget, unfortunately. Will chicken bones cause they broth to congeal in the same fashion?

TruePerception said...

And, do the bones have to be fresh, or will it work fine if I freeze them as I collect them over time?

Chef John said...

Yes frozen bones work fine once thawed.

Jeanne M said...

I don't usually leave comments but I have to express how much I love your videos and recipes. I want to thank you for introducing new food to my life. I cooked things I've never heard of before and fell in love with them! I'm never satisfied with common homemade comfort food recipes any more. And I also like that you teach some food science in the videos, which help me adjust the recipe as I like. Please post more!! Thanks!

PJ said...

I did this in the turkey fryer pot. It was big enough and when it came time to boil for reduction the hot as hell gas fire on the fryer worked much better than my wimpy electric stove.

LaeHM said...

Could you add wine to the water to get it an even richer flavor? I will do that over easter!

Greg Miranda said...

This post was the best and the worst thing that has ever happened to me. I've been sifting through the miasma of confusing demi glacé techniques online, and then this appears. Best thing ever! BUT: apparently in this tiny burg (~500k population) veal bones are a figment of my imagination. Nothing but the stink-eye when I ask for them. Chef John: can I make this out of Brontosaurus bones? Apparently those are easier to come by here...

Eric said...

Here is my first attempt at making demi glace. I was inspired by Chef John after he published a couple YouTube videos with instructions. Check them out at https://youtu.be/aFaqxBXIM3E and https://youtu.be/EZe8WvC7gDo. It was quite the three day adventure but the result was amazingly good. I captioned each picture describing what I was doing. H/T to Chef John for the idea to "slappa, slappa" the demi glace. :)

Eric said...

Ah, I forgot the link to my photo/video album! Here it is for anybody interested... http://goo.gl/qQ1YEX

Chef John said...

looks perfect!

Unknown said...

Here in Northern Virginia it is incredibly difficult to find veal bones -- even from butchers.

The local grocery stores carry beef neck & marrow bones for $1.99 so I'm thinking of going with that. After all, what is beef but older veal?

After seeing your comment above about the collagen being greater in veal, I'll compensate by adding 2-3 more pounds of beef bones. Any hints as to the ratio of neck to marrow bones?

Internet searches say neck may have more collagen than marrow bones, so maybe 60% neck and 40% marrow?

What do you think?

Chef John said...

Hi. Sorry, but Chef John is on vacation this week.

Danny said...

Chef John, is a Demi glacé the same thing as a meat glacé or glacé de viande?

Also, James Peterson says in his book Sauces that a Demi glacé can be made by reducing an already made stock; therefore, was what you made a stock? Or was it a stock up until you past 8-10 hours of simmering and went into an 18-24 hour simmer?

etherdog said...

Chef John, I have followed you technique assiduously. 10# of veal bones from the best butcher in 6 counties and I have 2 quarts of fat and 6 (or more) quarts of essences. It all simmered for 24 hours, so I will let it set overnight. It probably did not have enough heat under it, so this is 0.90, Thanks for being inspiritorial.

etherdog said...

I made demi glace from your recipe this past weekend. Very easy. I can send pics of the old slappa-slappa if you want proof!

Stephen Haitch said...

In order to control/maintain the level of liquid, couldn't one just leave a lid on the pot, then take it off when it's time to reduce?
Also, I don't have room for a 20+ qt pot, only about a 12. Can I still use the same quantities and just reduce the amount of water, or should I portion everything down to accommodate for the smaller pot?

RodneyD said...

Leave the lid off. - you want the evaporation. Besides, using a lid will increase the internal temperature, making a simmer difficult to maintain.

Divide the ingredients in half and use 2 pots. Doing this doubles the surface evaporation area so you MAY need to add water periodically to maintain a water level above the bones.

- Rodney

conan teng said...

Chef John, my demi glade did not gel up. Do you have any advice or tips? thank you. My butcher cut an entire beef bone into 2in piece. so there were only 2 joints. So is it possible there was not enough joints to provide more collagen?

Chef John said...

Yes, that was the problem. You need lots of joints.

Dagda said...

I used regular beef bones, no joints. Not to worry; after studying this recipe I realised it wasn't much more than beef jell-o so I added two packets of gelatin. It firmed up nicely. For those who don't have a giant pot to simmer in; relax: just put all the bones in your biggest pot, then add the water until it's full, you'll have to determine the "full" point. Simmer and concentrate your demi, when the water gets low, add more water until you've added all of Chef John's required liquid. The main thing is: simmer, reduce and add water until all the water has been added, then when you're at the lovely 8 quart point, add your two packets of gelatin and reap the rewards.

MR Long said...

I gave this a try yesterday and it came out damn near perfect. Had no choice but to use beef bones but made sure most were joint parts. It produced a lot more fat than I expected but that was easy to scrape off after it had coagulated. It had a deep red color and a nice firm body that jiggled when I gave it the old slappa slappa.
Now I just need a great recipe to use it with. Not going to use this stuff on hamburgers, thats to much time and effort to waste on something simple. Any suggestions?

Stayla Chuiro said...

U didn't use a Bouquette Garni , and that sounds strange for me

Rebecca M said...

That looks amazing! Can I add red wine to it? I love red in almost all my sauces.

miket29 said...

One suggestion to improve this that adds even more time... In the video the stock is reduced at a boil after the solids are removed. The fat is still present, and boiling will emulsify the fat into the liquid. Some will later rise to the top when you let the reduction cool, as shown in the next video, but some of the fat is permanently in the demi glace.

An improvement is to take the stock and cool it after straining. Once cool, put in the fridge for several hours or overnite. The fat will rise to the top, but now you can remove it before any gets emulsified into the demi. Then proceed to boil and reduce.

david said...

Chef,
This is buried at the bottom but you never mentioned any recipes for this sauce, other than add it to another sauce. So I hope you don't mind if
I share a recipe centered around this that worked - very, very well.
I took some chicken thighs and seared them with some garlic, and then cut into pieces. I removed chicken and put in 4 cloves of garlic, careful not to overcook, and then 5 ice cubes of your demi glaze. After a few minutes it got that lovely sheen, Some salt, and I let it go low for 10 minutes. To finish, I added 1/4 cup heavy cream & 1/4 cup red wine vinegar.
Really, really, good.

MrBernard said...

Hey Chef, I made some more demi-glace but this time, added some red wine to the process. Sorta did a southern french/Mediterranean thing by adding red wine, garlic, thyme and rosemary to my mirepois. You gotta try it if you haven't already. Love your videos man. So inspiring.

efrat landau said...

Hello, thank you for your recepie. I have been looking online for this kind of recepie and have seen many versions of it. I have two questions:
1. In your recepie you do not use red wine like others. what is the reason?
2. Do you have to oil the bones before they get into the over?
Thank you so much for your answer
Effie