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Demi Glace - The Topic


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is it a good idea to make a good batch of veal stock then go make sauce base reductions (ie: without the veal stock) then go ahead and add the veal stock and reduce that for your sauces ?

just trying to eliminate some steps (which is forbidden right?)

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is it a good idea to make a good batch of veal stock then go make sauce base reductions (ie: without the veal stock) then go ahead and add the veal stock and reduce that for your sauces ?

just trying to eliminate some steps (which is forbidden right?)

I would recommend not doing that in that you will not get the proper flavor and richness from the aromatics and spirits. It needs to simmer together for a certain amount of time to develop a good flavor and consistency.

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is it a good idea to make a good batch of veal stock then go make sauce base reductions (ie: without the veal stock) then go ahead and add the veal stock and reduce that for your sauces ?

just trying to eliminate some steps (which is forbidden right?)

I would recommend not doing that in that you will not get the proper flavor and richness from the aromatics and spirits. It needs to simmer together for a certain amount of time to develop a good flavor and consistency.

Completely agree -- in the past, I have made (and have on the stove right now), 20 quarts of stock. From that, I could separate it into four parts to make four different sauces, Sauce Espagnole, Sauce Robert, Sauce Perigueux, and Demi Glace.

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  • 1 month later...

My recipe calls for veal stock - can I dilute veal demi-glace and use that? What proportions? Thanks so much

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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You can. Stock is highly versatile in that you can reduce and expand it as needed.

If what you have on hand is true restaurant-caliber demi-glace, you will want to dilute it by something in the neighborhood of 20:1. If it's a less rigorous demi-glace, it may be more like 10:1. But really, you'll have to judge for yourself by taste, because demi-glace (and stock in general) is a variable product.

I'm also wondering what the recipe is. A sauce? A braise? A soup? Depending on specifics, I might handle this situation in different ways.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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The recipe is "Magrets de Canard aux Poires" (duck breast with pears) and it calls for 8 oz. of veal stock. The recipe is here:

http://www.ibiblio.org/expo/restaurant/menu17/magrets.html

What I have in my freezer is a frozen veal demi-glace that I bought at Wegmans. "CulinArte Bonewerks Demi-Glace de Veau". The label on that one says to dilute 4 to 1.

I also have "Aromont Roasted Veal Demiglace" which comes in a jar. No directions on that one for reducing.

Has anyone else used Aromont? I looked at the store for "better than bullion" but they did not have a veal version.

Thanks much!

*****

"Did you see what Julia Child did to that chicken?" ... Howard Borden on "Bob Newhart"

*****

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I have used the Aromont vegetarian glace. It's okay but nothing outstanding. No experience with the veal version, sorry. I never turned it into a stock since it was so thick and viscous--I just added a smidge to soups and sauces occasionally. (This was back in the days when I was a vegetarian.)

I sampled the CulinArte product at a Sysco trade show recently. I was impressed--it really is pretty close to what I could produce at home. (Some of their products are salted, though, which is a little annoying.) I'd be inclined to use this product instead of the Aromont becuase I know the guys at CulinArte are hewing fairly closely to classical stockmaking techniques. 4 to 1 sounds about right for dilution of the CulinArte.

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Demi-glace and jus lie seem to be used interchangably these days.....

Demi is a 50/50 mix of brown sauce (sauce Espagnole) and stock, reduced 2:1.

Jus lie is straight brown stock, reduced down to about the same consistancy.

If what you've got is reduced stock, no problem to water it down to stock. But if you've got classic demi-glace, remember the Espagnole is roux-thickened and it may not water down with the same result. Look at the label - if it's got flour, it's not simply concentrated stock, it's also roux-thickened. It sounds like the frozen version you have would be fine. Best (as always) is to make your own.... Fat Guy's eGCI class is a good one.

That recipe is good, I do a similar presentation using spiced cherries. Just make sure you crisscross and cook the heck out of the fatty side so it crisps up nicely. You may want to finish the second side in the oven so you can do the sauce in the pan while the duck stays warm.

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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...true restaurant-caliber demi-glace...

I regularly make a veal stock using directions from your EGCI course. Would getting something like a true demi-glace be just a matter of reducing it a lot more than a 3x reduction (20x)? Or would this entail a product with sauce espagnole and roux?

Thanks.

Edited by fiftydollars (log)
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...true restaurant-caliber demi-glace...

I regularly make a veal stock using directions from your EGCI course. Would getting something like a true demi-glace be just a matter of reducing it a lot more than a 3x reduction (20x)? Or would this entail a product with sauce espagnole and roux?

Thanks.

A demi-glace according to Escoffier, would entail making the stock, taking some of that and making a roux thickened Espagnole Sauce, combining equal amounts of the stock and Espagnole sauce, and reducing down 50%.

A stock that is reduced 90% would be a glace de viande, and is much much thicker than a classic demi-glace. (Note: Demi- means "half", so a demi-glace is a half-glace, whereas a glace de viande is a "whole" glalce).

doc

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We'd really need to bring in an authority at the level of a James Peterson to get to the bottom of this, but what I've been observing and deducing is that the classical Escoffier demi-glace method is no longer in wide use in contemporary haute-cuisine restaurants (almost all of which have been heavily influenced by nouvelle cuisine), at least not in the English-speaking world and I think probably not in France either. These days one is much more likely to see a demi-glace made by straight reduction, and indeed one is unlikely to see roux used in anything at the top level of kitchens. To my palate -- and I think this is predictable if you consider roux as both a shortcut and an emblem of an era when people wanted sauces that could hold a spoon upright -- a demi-glace made by straight reduction simply tastes better and is better than a roux-thickened one. Of course when you make a demi-glace by straight reduction you have to reduce it more than one thickened with roux to get anywhere near the same consistency (which you'll never really get, and that's okay). As for the 4:1 recommendation, I have a lot of trouble buying it -- I have to think that's a dilution ratio calculated to produce not only an extremely rich stock but also increased sales volume of the demi-glace product. If these products are reduced and made the way I've seen them done in top New York restaurant kitchens, I'd see it as more like 10:1 for turning technically correct straight-reduction demi-glace into an average-weight stock, and something up near 20:1 for real glace or what a lot of people call demi-glace in restaurants even though the designation is incorrect. I'm sure a real chef-instructor type could shed a lot more light on the situation, though.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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....As for the 4:1 recommendation, I have a lot of trouble buying it -- I have to think that's a dilution ratio calculated to produce not only an extremely rich stock but also increased sales volume of the demi-glace product. If these products are reduced and made the way I've seen them done in top New York restaurant kitchens, I'd see it as more like 10:1 for turning technically correct straight-reduction demi-glace into an average-weight stock, and something up near 20:1 for real glace or what a lot of people call demi-glace in restaurants even though the designation is incorrect....

The products I sampled from the company Mrsadm is talking about are not as reduced as the straight-reduction demi I learned to make in culinary school and have seen in restaurant kitchens. (I thought that was their primary failing when I tasted them, actually!) 4:1 may be off, but I doubt you'd want to dilute the CulinArte products more than 6:1 or so.

Taste is always the key though.

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We'd really need to bring in an authority at the level of a James Peterson to get to the bottom of this, but what I've been observing and deducing is that the classical Escoffier demi-glace method is no longer in wide use in contemporary haute-cuisine restaurants (almost all of which have been heavily influenced by nouvelle cuisine), at least not in the English-speaking world and I think probably not in France either. These days one is much more likely to see a demi-glace made by straight reduction, and indeed one is unlikely to see roux used in anything at the top level of kitchens. ..........  I'm sure a real chef-instructor type could shed a lot more light on the situation, though.

For a 'chef-instructor' perspective, the 2003 edition of Labensky's excellent 'On Cooking' - a textbook used by many culinary schools in the USA, written by a chef-instructor - specifies the Espagnole-thickened recipe for demi. It does say that a straight reduction can usually be substituted, but calls that reduction a jus lie, not a demi. I don't have a copy of the CIA textbook here, but if I recall correctly it says much the same thing (can someone check?).

I agree that demi is on the way out in favour straight reductions, and I welcome that - and use reductions rather than demi myself. But there are already names for reductions (jus lie, or if reduced further, glace de viande), so it seems logical to use those names rather than calling them demi-glace. There are still many old-skool restaurants in the world using roux...

Hong Kong Dave

O que nao mata engorda.

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I think a jus lie is still a thickened sauce, just one thickened with a slurry rather than with a roux. If I remember correctly from reading Peterson on sauces, Escoffier's demi-glace was a shortcut replacement for coulis (made through successive re-moistenings rather than through reduction; coulis is preferable, flavor-wise, to a straight reduction, but is a pain to make). I don't know if the term demi-glace was in use at the time and Escoffier coopted it, or if Escoffier actually invented the term. Either way, the thing is, while it is certainly not correct from the perspective of Escoffier's vocabulary, the glace --> demi-glace progression as an expression of degree of reduction is one that appeals to common sense and linguistic sense, is easy for cooks to understand and reflects the primary base components for much of contemporary saucemaking, which generally rejects liaisons and thickeners.

Just looking around for some real-world usage, I came back to the CulinArte site. They actually have two products that are relevant to the definition, both called Demi-Glace de Veau. One, however, is labeled "Classique" and the other "Elite." The descriptions given are:

Demi-Glace de Veau (Classique)

An "escoffier" method of half reductions and blends with espagnole and further reduced with a liason of starch for thickening combined with red wine, herbs and spices for an economical as well as classical blend. Ideal for banquets, catering conveniently packaged in 16 lb. buckets, heat and serve.

Demi-Glace de Veau (Elite)

True excellence of Demi-Glace', truly "old world" cuisine. Our "elite" Demi-Glace' relies totally on reductions without any roux or liason for thickening, taking over 24 hours of roasting, simmerings and reductions, truly for the "elite" levels of cuisine. Packaged in 5 lb tubs.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Most demi used anymore is not espangol based, but it depends on the application. If I am making a plated tenderloin, I will generaly use a reduction. This is often mounted with butter. If I am making the same dish for 100 people, and the sauce will be in chaffer, I will use something similar to escoffier's demi. If I am making pork or chicken, or even fish, I will use a lightly reduced veal stock with a slurry.

The beauty of having a moderate slurry demi, is that it is neatral enough to use on many dishes, yet if you need to, you can recuce it by half in a pan sauce to bring out the meaty flavor.

Part of what you want out of your stock is the gellatine. My reduced demi could be used to make a flack jacket. Has anybody played around with using gellatine as a thickener for stocks?

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Has anybody played around with using gellatine as a thickener for stocks?

Adding gelatin to stocks is a trick frequently used in restaurants. It is one way to save time and allows for a gelatinous stock from left over meats. It does not add to quality.

Tim

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  • 2 years later...

I baked about 50 loaves of bread yesterday, and I was worried about the temperature in the room, so I put a pot of chicken stock on to cook overnight (worked wonders on the temperature), about 26 quarts. I chilled it overnight, removed the fat, and decided to reduce it to a demi. Problem is that I've never made it before. For my stocks, I put it in 1, 2, and 4 cup quantities, and freeze in vacuum pouches which works great. A cup of demi would seem to be overkill though..... So I was wondering how you store your demi. Does it have a good shelf life in the fridge? If I freeze in 1 cup quantities, will the defrosted cup last a month or two in the fridge? Other suggestions?

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I don't really know how long your particular demi will last, the less water the longer it lasts is the answer you probably weren't looking for. I would say a typical demi has a fridge shelf life of three or four weeks maybe slightly longer. For defrosting purposes, I would melt it on the stove and then pour it in a storage container when cool to store in the fridge (to limit the exposed surface).

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Well, I guess I'm not up on the proportions.... I'd say I have about 2 -3 quarts at this point.... so that's a 10 - 1 reduction I guess.... Is the glace down to about 20 - 1?

BTW, can you reconstitute and use demi and/or glace anywhere you would use stock? I realize there are uses for these where stock would not work, but what about visa-versa?

Edited by UnConundrum (log)
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Well, I guess I'm not up on the proportions....  I'd say I have about 2 -3 quarts at this point.... so that's a 10 - 1 reduction I guess....  Is the glace down to about 20 - 1?

BTW, can you reconstitute and use demi and/or glace anywhere you would use stock?  I realize there are uses for these where stock would not work, but what about visa-versa?

yes. many of us with small houses and no room for chest freezers always reduce stock quite a bit so it will fit in our regular freezers, and reconstitute as needed. i find you just have to be kind of careful, because when you get down to near-glace status, things can take on a more roasted/caramelized/... ok let's say you risk getting an almost burned flavor. so be careful, and reduce slowly once it gets real low.

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