Demi-glace, meaning ‘half glaze’, is a rich brown sauce in French cuisine used by itself or as a base for other sauces. The basic recipe for demi-glace is provided by the French chef Auguste Escoffier, who is often considered to have established the method of French cooking as well as codified many of the standard French recipes. It is traditionally made by combining equal parts of veal stock and espagnole sauce.
Because there is considerable effort involved in making traditional demi-glace, it is common for chefs to substitute and create a simulated version, which American cookbook author Julia Child referred to as a ‘semi-demi–glace sauce’. However, even today, many chefs who prepare French haute cuisine use a demi-glace prepared in their own kitchen.
 The term ‘demi-glace‘ by itself implies that it is made with the traditional veal stock. Veal bones have more collagen than beef bones. Simmering the bones transforms the collagen into gelatin, which makes for a thicker, richer stock. Beef and chicken are also used for the brown stock and are called beef demi-glace (demi-glace au boeuf) and chicken demi-glace (demi-glace au poulet).
 Espagnole is a classic brown sauce, typically made from brown stock. Although Espagnole is the French word for ‘Spanish’, the sauce connection with Spanish cuisine is argued by French cooks. Espagnole has a strong taste and is rarely used directly on food. It is one of the five mother sauces of classical French cuisine, and the mixture is then simmered and reduced by half.
 Brown stock (in French, Fond brun or Estouffade) is one of the basic stocks in French cuisine. It can contain marrow bones, beef and/or poultry carcasses, carrots, turnips, leeks, celery, parsnips, and onion and is simmered and skimmed for several hours, producing a dark brown liquid which is the basis for many other sauces, soups and stews. It is the basis of espagnole sauce and demi-glace.
Rich and concentrated, demi-glace is well worth the time it takes to make it. Browning bones and vegetables in a roasting pan in the oven before combining them in a pot with water gives this stock a more pronounced flavor and deeper color. At many French restaurants, celery is left out of the stocks, as they believe the flavor to be too assertive.
Although it took 8 ~ 10 hours to make this ‘semi’-demi–glace sauce, it is an easier version which can be made in home kitchens and be used in many dishes as base flavor, or as sauce poured over meat dishes. For this recipe, I added more vegetable to meat ratio. And, I did not add any seasoning (other than bay-leaves), so to season the sauce at the time used, to complement depending on the dish.
This sauce goes well with meats such as tenderloin stakes, prime ribs, meatballs, Salisbury steaks, pastas, and especially for me, with Japanese Hamburg stakes!
Recipe by: Fae’s Twist & Tango (fae-magazine.com)
I did not add any seasoning (other than bay-leaves), so to season the sauce at the time used, to complement depending on the dish.
• vegetable oil
• 700 g/ 1.5 lbs stew meat, cut in chunks
• 1.7 liters/ 7 cups boiling water
• 2 bay leaves
• 350 g / 13 oz/ 4 ~ 5 medium ripe Roma tomatoes after skinned and de-seeded
• 15 g/ 1 Tbsp butter
• 300 g/ 12 oz/ 1 medium onion, sliced
• 300 g/ 12 oz/ 2 medium carrots, sliced
• 3 cloves garlic, minced
• 700 ml/ 3 cups boiling water
◊ In a large, deep non-stick pot, add 1 tsp oil and heat on medium-high. Add meat pieces in two batches to have them in one layer in the pot (add another 1 tsp oil if needed for the second batch). Brown all sides thoroughly. This is crucial to obtain a rich flavor for the sauce. Add back the first batch browned meat into the pot, add 7 cups boiling water, bay-leaves and bring to a full boil. Scoop out any foam on the top. Lower the heat to a tad lower than medium-low and let it simmer for 5 hours or longer to have no more than 2 cups of liquid left. Add boiling water if needed not to burn the meat.
◊ In another large, non-stick pot, add 2 Tbsp oil and heat on medium-high. Add onion and fry until edges brown. Scoop out to a plate leaving the oil in the pot. Add carrots. Fry until edges brown. Add garlic and stir for 10 seconds. Add back fried onion, 3 cups boiling water and bring to a full boil. Scoop any scum off the top. Lower heat to a tad lower than medium-low and simmer for 2 hours or longer to have no more than ½ cups of liquid left. Add boiling water if needed not to burn the vegetables. When done, set it to cool.
◊ Fill a large, non-stick saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow, X on the smooth top of each tomato. Immerse tomatoes in the boiling water. Cook for 1 minute or until the tomato skins split open. Turn off the heat, drain and shock tomatoes in a bowl with cool/cold water. Peel the skins off, cut the tomatoes in half and push out the seeds into a different bowl. Chop the tomatoes and put them back into the saucepan. Strain the juice of the seeds into the saucepan and discard the seeds. Add 1 Tbsp butter and cook tomatoes on medium-low until all liquids have evaporated. Carefully tend to it and let the tomato pieces fry in oil from the butter until they start to brown (not burn). Set aside to cool.
◊ When the meat is ready, strain the liquid into a bowl. Use the drained meat for another dish or freeze for later use. Return the clear/strained liquid back to the pot.
◊ Add cooked carrot/onion/garlic mix and browned tomatoes into a blender. Purée until no lumps remain. Empty the purée into the pot with liquid from the meat. Stir, place a splatter screen and put on ‘low’ heat. Slowly let it cook and evaporate all liquids. Using a silicon spatula, stir and scrape down side of the pot every 5 minutes to start with, and more frequently as liquid evaporates and turns into thick consistency. This may take up to or more than
3 hours. The sauce turns into a brown, thick paste, as seen in the photo. Set aside to cool.
◊ To store, divide the roux into 10 ~ 20 packets of 14 ~ 28 g (½ ~1 oz) each for ease of use. Double wrap in plastic-wrap and place in a bottle with air-tight lid and store in freezer.
◊ When ready to use, dissolve each 28 g/1 oz paste starting with ¼ cup hot water and add little more hot water at a time until consistency desired. Add salt, pepper and/or seasoning depending on the dish using for.
~ Bon Appétit! ~
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