~ Totally Undeserving of the James Beard Award

~ Completely Undeserving of the James Beard Award ~

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Demi Glace...

In the early 1950's, Demi Glace was a struggling actress, attempting to break into movies much the same way Sonja Henie did in the 1930's and 1940's. 

However, unlike Sonja, who used her 10 world titles and 3 Olympic titles as an ice skater to launch her movie career, Demi's attempt proved to be more difficult. She did take the Rapid City Rabble-Rousers to the Roller Derby mid-west regionals twice and was featured in a little known B-Movie: "The Day the Combine Tractors Ate Scranton".

Needless to say, her acting career never materialized. This was due to either a lack of any real acting talent or...when movie producers said "no", Demi put them in a headlock and slammed them into a credenza.

Later, she settled on to be the spokesperson for "Lube-n-Roll", a roller skate ball bearing lubrication product. Today, she lives a quiet retirement life in Vero Beach, Florida with her two dachshunds "Snooty" and "Wiggles", enjoys singing in the senior center choir "The Silver Tones" and making owl macramé toaster cozies in the Sit-n-Knit class at Pearl's Yarns a-Plenty store. 

(if you believe that I have some ocean front property in Winnemucca I would like to sell you)

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

~ Demi Glace ~


Glace...(pronounced "gloss"), "glaze".

A rich and concentrated French "mother" sauce made from roasted veal bones and vegetables...simmered and reduced perhaps by a factor of 10.

(and no, you do not need to reduce 40 cows for the sauce as Northern Exposure featured one season)

A finished demi glace can be added to stocks and sauces or is used as is for a rich, flavorful sauce. Demi glace can be thickened to it's concentrated state with a roux or reduced and thickened over time.

I apologize if I may skip a detail or two or over simplify the procedure...there are 100's of articles on the making of this sauce, historical references (the classic French chef Escoffier), philosophies, etc.

The cooking magazine Saveur has a good article on making demi glace as well as a review of store bought versions.

I have a few leftover beef bones from a rib roast, so I thought I would give this a whirl. To add to the bones I picked up some veal bones at the butcher. If I only use beef bones it technically would be be "demi-glace au boeuf" (of beef).

This is maybe 6 pounds of bones in a roasting pan, dry...no oil or water. Pop it in a high temp oven, 450º - 500º for an hour or so.

Meanwhile, roughly chop an onion, 2 carrots and the white-er portion of a leek...

Good Job!

Save 2 outer green leaves of the leek, 5-6 stems (not leaves) of parsley, 2-3 twigs of thyme and a bay leaf and...

...sandwich the herbs between the two leek leaves, roll it up and secure it with butchers string. This is a classic French "bouquet garni"

After the hour or so the bones are becoming nicely browned

Now add your chopped veggies and roast that off for another 45 minutes or so...but watch it as it could become charred quickly.

Now it is all browned...this will help in flavor and defines the rich dark color.

Everybody in the swimming pool...

...add a cup or so of water, scrape off all the yummies from the bottom of the pan called "fond", literally foundation which also helps develop the rich color and flavor...drain off these pan juices...

...let it settle and drain away the fat...

...add the pan juices to the pot along with your bouquet garni and 6oz of tomato paste...

...and a bunch more (6-8 cups) cold water...cold water help bring impurities in larger pieces to the surface to skim away...heat slowly on low heat. Having it on low...like a bubble every second...helps keep the impurities from being churned back in. You will want to simmer this for at least 6-8 hours...longer the better. Classic French chefs will let this go up to 24 hours!

There they are!...those sneaky impurities, hiding as foam...skim away as much of that as you can

When all said and done, I got 2/3 cup of the gunk out.

Remove the bones, bouquet garni and veggies...

...and strain into a large bowl. I strained using my "Chinese Cap" first then a fine mesh sieve.

I decided to save 3 cups of the stock without reducing. I add mine to large muffin tin and freeze on a level surface and toss them in a zip bag when frozen solid. I then have pre-portioned 1 cup homemade beef stock at the ready!

I poured the filtered stock...this is 8 cups...in my saucier and set it on low heat and let it reduce...

...and reduce...

  ...and reduce...

Fini!...I ended up with 1-2/3 cups of rich, beefy, thick goodness...

...so thick...

...it coats the back of a spoon

Similar to the stock, I froze mine in 1 tablespoon amounts in an ice tray. Think of it as super powerful beef stock.

This was an all day procedure, so plan accordingly if attempting.


1 comment:

  1. Swimming....yes Father, lets all jump in the pool of beef fat.... :)