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.