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Demi-Glace
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  • Demi-Glace

    Post #1 - February 28th, 2005, 10:46 am
    Post #1 - February 28th, 2005, 10:46 am Post #1 - February 28th, 2005, 10:46 am
    Is there such a thing as beef-demi glace? I've never used demi-glace and am not sure what "flavors" it comes in. I made a batch of beef stew yesterday that I want to have for dinner tonight. It turned out very well, but I would like the gravy to be a little more assertive and beefy. I'm thinking the addition of some demi glace would do the trick.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #2 - February 28th, 2005, 12:37 pm
    Post #2 - February 28th, 2005, 12:37 pm Post #2 - February 28th, 2005, 12:37 pm
    HI,

    There are such products as beef demi-glace.

    I don't usually have demi-glace on my shelf, I do keep things like pulverized dried mushrooms as well as from Costco they have these one pound tubs of chicken and beef base for approximately $3.50. Don't loose your cookies over that idea. It is not a dried up boullion cube, but they're kissing cousins from my point of view, rather a soft mixture where you can take as little or as much as you want. Sometimes if I don't have time to reduce the liquid to concentrate the flavors, then a little nob here and there will brighten up the flavor.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #3 - February 28th, 2005, 1:04 pm
    Post #3 - February 28th, 2005, 1:04 pm Post #3 - February 28th, 2005, 1:04 pm
    Cathy,

    Are you recommending using soup base rather than demi glace for my needs?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - February 28th, 2005, 2:49 pm
    Post #4 - February 28th, 2005, 2:49 pm Post #4 - February 28th, 2005, 2:49 pm
    Hi,

    It is just an option, one of many. I do look forward to your report about using the demi-glace.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - February 28th, 2005, 3:26 pm
    Post #5 - February 28th, 2005, 3:26 pm Post #5 - February 28th, 2005, 3:26 pm
    In a sauce I recommend using the real thing, not a base. A demiglace is just a heavily reduced stock, whether it be chicken, beef, seafood, etc. Generally, any stock reduced in half will render a demiglace. When refrigerated, the demiglace becomes jello. It freezes very well.
  • Post #6 - February 28th, 2005, 3:50 pm
    Post #6 - February 28th, 2005, 3:50 pm Post #6 - February 28th, 2005, 3:50 pm
    I generally have some of this stuff on hand. It is not the equivalent of a homemade product, but my efforts in the kitchen don't always demand/justify the extra effort.

    Good Luck, stevez.

    Erik M.
  • Post #7 - February 28th, 2005, 3:52 pm
    Post #7 - February 28th, 2005, 3:52 pm Post #7 - February 28th, 2005, 3:52 pm
    I stopped by Treasure Island on the way home this afternoon and picked up a 1.5 oz container of More Than Gourmet Classic French Demi-Glace (made with veal & beef stock). I have added it to the stew (which has been in the fridge overnight) and have put it back in the oven to reheat for a couple of hours. I'll report later, but judging by the taste while cold, the demi-glace did the trick. Once the stew reheats, I think I will make a roux and thicken it up a bit and that should complete the dish. It's a perfect day for a hearty meal like beef stew and I'm really looking forward to putting some logs on the fire and enjoying this tonight.

    P.S. Erik, the stuff I bought looked very similar to the stuff in the link you posted bugt it was a different brand. They had that exact brand at T.I., but not in beef flavor.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - February 28th, 2005, 4:09 pm
    Post #8 - February 28th, 2005, 4:09 pm Post #8 - February 28th, 2005, 4:09 pm
    The brand sold at the spice house is the More Than Gourmet brand. It's pretty much ubiquitous in fancier foods stores.

    It's a good product, but a little off tasting sometimes to me, since it's actually more reduced than demi glace, and you're diluting it to make demi. I think the extra reduction may have a negative impact..

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #9 - February 28th, 2005, 5:13 pm
    Post #9 - February 28th, 2005, 5:13 pm Post #9 - February 28th, 2005, 5:13 pm
    On occasion, I have used Minor's Demi-Glace which is produced in Cleveland. I have not seen it in Chicago at this point.

    The Knorr-Swiss version is also not bad BUT I have only seen that in the large food service package.
  • Post #10 - February 28th, 2005, 5:30 pm
    Post #10 - February 28th, 2005, 5:30 pm Post #10 - February 28th, 2005, 5:30 pm
    HI,

    Last year, when I was at Charlie Trotter's kitchen table. We toured the kitchen where they were in full demi glace (or stock) production. The vat was the size of a personal sized hot tub with substantial quantites of bones, meat and vegetables quietly simmering. This had been started that afternoon and wasn't expected to be finished for perhaps 24 hours. From this vast vessel, they would obtain a gallon (maybe a bit more) of glace.

    There is a lot invested in time and materials if you choose to do it right.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #11 - February 28th, 2005, 5:58 pm
    Post #11 - February 28th, 2005, 5:58 pm Post #11 - February 28th, 2005, 5:58 pm
    A glace is what gives a sauce that incredible silkiness you usually find at Haut French cuisine restaurants. It's a lot of work because you boil stock or demiglace down to a syrup. For instance, it takes about 2 cups of stock to yield about 2 tablespoons of glace.
  • Post #12 - February 28th, 2005, 6:02 pm
    Post #12 - February 28th, 2005, 6:02 pm Post #12 - February 28th, 2005, 6:02 pm
    RevrendAndy wrote:A glace is what gives a sauce that incredible silkiness you usually find at Haut French cuisine restaurants. It's a lot of work because you boil stock or demiglace down to a syrup. For instance, it takes about 2 cups of stock to yield about 2 tablespoons of glace.


    That's what the stuff I bought is like. It's almost a sludge-like consistency.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - February 28th, 2005, 6:57 pm
    Post #13 - February 28th, 2005, 6:57 pm Post #13 - February 28th, 2005, 6:57 pm
    A demi-glace is stock reduced by at least half, but not as much as a glace, which is essentially just a goo. Despite the name, I think what you guys bought is technically closer to glace than demi-glace.

    fwiw, I make all my own stocks and always reduce them to a demi-glace, usually reducing them to about 1/4th or 1/8th. You can always add more water if you want a stock. But I primarily use stocks/demi-glace for sauces. Ultra-intense, highly reduced sauces have become the norm in upscale restaurants. Thickeners have been put on the metaphorical back-burner. That requires cooking down a stock to even less than 1/8th and then finishing usually with something like butter or reduced wine to get the right consistency.

    Many people will take their demi-glaces and put them in ice trays and cover with plastic wrap. Then you can just pop out a couple tablespoons at a time anytime you need them. I usually just leave them in the frig since I use them fast enough cooking two meals a day. I leave the fat in the stock as I reduce it and it separates and seals the top. (But I also put a airtight lid on to keep the fat from taking on flavors.) Then I use that fat for cooking.

    If you're not using it quick enough, you can microwave it every few days to keep it safe.

    I highly recommend having at least chicken demi-glace at all times. It can be used in anything. If you want to enrichen its flavor, use some duck in the stock, too. I always have several carcasses in my freezer at any time. I think you're better off with veal demi-glace than beef demi-glace, but it's more of a pain for most people to get the ingredients. Cook's Illustrated had some interesting comments on their "quick" beef stock about how beef actually imparts less flavor than chicken when making a stock and requires a lot more meat to bone.
  • Post #14 - February 28th, 2005, 7:53 pm
    Post #14 - February 28th, 2005, 7:53 pm Post #14 - February 28th, 2005, 7:53 pm
    jlawrence01 wrote:On occasion, I have used Minor's Demi-Glace which is produced in Cleveland. I have not seen it in Chicago at this point.

    The Knorr-Swiss version is also not bad BUT I have only seen that in the large food service package.


    I used to buy that Minor's beef stuff. I really liked it that it came in low-sodium too.

    I'll have to try the stuff sold at Spice House.
  • Post #15 - February 28th, 2005, 8:45 pm
    Post #15 - February 28th, 2005, 8:45 pm Post #15 - February 28th, 2005, 8:45 pm
    The demi glace worked great. I think extramsg was correct in saying that this stuff is really more of a glace than a demi glace. In any event, it added the rich beefy flavor I was looking for and along with the roux, thickened it up just enough.

    This turned out to be a perfect meal for a snowy night like tonight. The fire is still blazing and I've got a warm belly.

    Winter Beef Stew
    Image
    Sorry about the quality of the picture. I was in such a hurry to eat, I didn't bother to get one in focus.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #16 - February 28th, 2005, 11:10 pm
    Post #16 - February 28th, 2005, 11:10 pm Post #16 - February 28th, 2005, 11:10 pm
    Interesting discussion tonight. For what it's worth, here are a few hints and observations from someone with literally thousands of batches of veal stock/demi under his size 54 belt. I've seen first hand, every way in which to possibly destroy a 200 pound batch of veal stock, and along the way, figured out the right way to get the job done. Chefs Cantu and GEB or anyone else out there, I'd love to hear if your thoughts differ from mine. I'm strictly an old timer. :P

    Steve: I've never heard of beef demi glace or seen a recipe for it anywhere. Your government issue demi is made from veal bones.

    Cathy: my guess is that the first person in at Trotters the next morning strains and reduces that brown veal stock. There is nothing like cooking a stock too long to ensure a bitter end result. The CIA teaches 10 to 12 hours and I agree with that.

    jlawrence: I agree that Minor's, Knorr, or any of the big names make decent bases, which, when used as an enhancement to, rather than a replacement for a fresh stock, are economical and tasty products, and there is a place for them in today's commercial or even home kitchen. Manny's coffee shop couldn't turn out such great short ribs, smothered steak, or stews, without a little hit of beef base, and maybe a drop of kitchen bouquet too. I guarantee they aren't buying demi glace gold. FYI: I worked in the kitchen of the historic Hotel Adolphus in Dallas in the eighties, where Jean Banchet was our consulting chef to the hotel's French Room, and I've seen him using Minor's lobster base along with plenty of lobster bodies, to enhance his lobster bisque.

    Ed: The amount of reduction used for the demi glace gold product, produces no negative taste whatsoever. It is simply more concentrated. I can see where using too much of it could be pretty disgusting, but used with restraint, I see no problem.

    For the club's demi, I buy veal shank end bones from Provimi (at a premium). These are the ends from their portion controlled osso buco which have more meat and cartilage than your standard leg or shoulder bones. We do this once and sometimes twice a week, every week of the year. For a 200 lb. batch of bones, we use 50 lbs of mirepoix and cover with chicken stock rather than water. The 200 pounds of bones and 40 gallons or so of chicken stock yields about eight gallons of demi at a cost of about a buck an ounce (for product alone). I use chicken stock for all of my stocks, fish and lobster included.

    Ive been taught that the use of too many onion skins and or celery leaves will produce a bitter stock and I agree.

    Skim constantly for the first few hours, and often for the remaining of the cooking time, for a clearer end result.

    By the way Steve, that stew looks superb! I needed something comforting tonight also, and made turkey and dumplin's.

    :twisted:
    Last edited by Evil Ronnie on February 28th, 2005, 11:40 pm, edited 6 times in total.
  • Post #17 - February 28th, 2005, 11:24 pm
    Post #17 - February 28th, 2005, 11:24 pm Post #17 - February 28th, 2005, 11:24 pm
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Cathy: my guess is that the first person in at Trotters the next morning strains and reduces that brown veal stock. There is nothing like cooking a stock too long to ensure a bitter end result. The CIA teaches 10 to 12 hours and I agree with that.


    You know my memory of the exact details were fuzzy, I had the feeling I was overstating the time. What also impressed me with their stock pot set-up, and probably you have the same, they had a dispenser at the bottom to collect the stock when it was cooked.

    I'm sure somewhere extramsg has pictures of that stock pot.

    INteresting about the onion skins, I know some people who recommend leaving them in to add natural color to the stock. So celery leaves are bitter, do you endorse leaving them out altogether or just limiting the amount?

    Thanks, as always, for your insight.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - February 28th, 2005, 11:29 pm
    Post #18 - February 28th, 2005, 11:29 pm Post #18 - February 28th, 2005, 11:29 pm
    Ronnie,

    Thanks so much for the great post. And I'm glad to know I'm not missing out by using the heavily reduced base.

    It's even a good deal, based on your reported costs: a $5 1.5oz tub of MTG's glace makes one cup of demi glace. A 1lb tub costs $33.

    For what it's worth, their demi glace is made with both veal and beef bones and they claim it is "in the tradition of Escoffier". All the demi glace recipes I've seen have called for "brown stock," which I believe escoffier always makes with only veal bones, no?

    -ed
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #19 - March 1st, 2005, 12:07 am
    Post #19 - March 1st, 2005, 12:07 am Post #19 - March 1st, 2005, 12:07 am
    Ed,

    I'm not sure about Escoffier's version, however, there was an abundance of bones of all types back in his day, when all meats came from whole carcasses. as opposed to today's primal cuts only for the most part. I wouldn't be surprised at his using combinations of bones.

    Pepin in La Methode calls for veal, beef and chicken.

    And by my use of chicken stock as an enrichment, I suppose I am using veal and chicken.

    Cathy,

    I don't use onion skins at all, though some cooks do add them for color. Onion brulee is a classic French technique for stock making. I like to use some celery leaves, just not too many. And yes, our steam jacket kettles have spouts at the bottoms. Some of them are also mounted so that the contents can be poured out.

    The spouts are great for cooking and straining consommes.

    :twisted:
  • Post #20 - March 1st, 2005, 1:20 am
    Post #20 - March 1st, 2005, 1:20 am Post #20 - March 1st, 2005, 1:20 am
    Here's something you can appreciate. On Saturday, I made pot roast -- ie, beef stew -- for 50+ homeless. I made 45 pounds of beef, plus 30 lbs of mashed potatoes, and 12 pounds of glazed green beans and carrots, and they ate it all. The night before, I made 12 quarts of beef stock and 6 quarts of chicken stock to help in the braising process (along with cabernet sauvignon) and gravy. It was fun to work in a commercial kitchen again. Man I need myself a huge-ass convection oven.
  • Post #21 - March 1st, 2005, 1:45 am
    Post #21 - March 1st, 2005, 1:45 am Post #21 - March 1st, 2005, 1:45 am
    Here's the vat at Trotter's. Not the best pic. There's one more up there as well. Should have gotten better context.

    This one gives a little more context for size:

    Image

    I don't remember how long they let it go.

    In my experience, as long as you don't let the stock simmer at too high a temp, it takes a hell of a long time for it to get noticeably bitter. But at some point it's just not worth letting it sit because it's not getting any more flavor. Generally I don't use wine, celery, carrots, or herbs in my meat stocks, though. I do think these can have odd effects over a long time (and I think celery can be overpowering). Typically, I just make a stock at night and let it simmer overnight, then strain and reduce it the next day. I even do the supposed no-no of cooking it with the lid on so I don't have to add liquid.
    Last edited by extramsg on March 1st, 2005, 6:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #22 - March 1st, 2005, 3:24 am
    Post #22 - March 1st, 2005, 3:24 am Post #22 - March 1st, 2005, 3:24 am
    Evil Ronnie wrote:Steve: I've never heard of beef demi glace or seen a recipe for it anywhere. Your government issue demi is made from veal bones.


    According to the MTG package, they claim to use beef & veal bones. In any event, this was my first use of glace (or demi glace) and it won't be my last. Someday I'd like to make my own from scratch, but until I get a bigger kitchen, $5 is not that bad of an investment to make for a quick bit of glace.

    Ronnie, in the situation of making a stew, would you recommend using beef base rather than the demi glace to enhance the "gravy" (made with fresh stock)?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - March 1st, 2005, 9:42 am
    Post #23 - March 1st, 2005, 9:42 am Post #23 - March 1st, 2005, 9:42 am
    Hi,

    On another website, there is a tutorial on stocks, simmering stocks to straining, defatting and reducing.

    Presently, they are presenting a class on braising. Pretty darn cool conducting this over the internet. A list of past classes to access.

    A nod to ErikM who referred me to this sometime ago.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #24 - March 1st, 2005, 3:46 pm
    Post #24 - March 1st, 2005, 3:46 pm Post #24 - March 1st, 2005, 3:46 pm
    I did the salsa class there. But since a certain couple people in charge are total Ashcrofts (not political, just a new pop-culture reference, see here), my participation has waned. But it is nice that they've renewed it. They've had many problems in the past. I was set to do a class on masa antojitos when they decided to cancel the rest of last season. Several of us were pissed we put in so much time for nothing.
  • Post #25 - March 2nd, 2005, 1:05 am
    Post #25 - March 2nd, 2005, 1:05 am Post #25 - March 2nd, 2005, 1:05 am
    Steve,

    Good question. I guess my answer is that it's a matter of taste, practicality, and economics. For instance, I've seen a recipe on this board for veal or lamb shanks which directs the cook to braise the shanks in demi, which I guess is ok if one can afford it, but why?

    I can just see some Italian peasant putting together an osso buco and reaching for the demi (not). With any luck he/she might have a little broth or stock or leftover gravy. If not it's water all the way and with proper browning, deglazing, some root vegetables, and a little TLC, they'll turn out a fine dish. Hell, why not grind up some Kobe strip loin and make meat loaf?

    So, my answer to your question is to let your taste buds decide for you. Paulina sells Minor's bases for about $4 a jar. Play around a bit.

    Ed,

    That magical elixer which most of us refer to as demi glace, demi, or demiglaze, is in actuality, more of a glace de viand. Pure reduced stock.

    According to Escoffier, demi glace is made by taking Sauce Espagnole (he made his with brown roux, brown stock, salt pork, carrot, onion, thyme, bay leaf, tomato puree, and white wine), more stock, and carefully simmering and skimming, and finishing with meat glaze, then fortifying it with madiera, port, or sherry.

    Although it's not a new technique, the usage of a pure reductions of stock came into popularity with the "nouvelle cuisine", and it's rejection of starches, thickeners, and the like. As a result, thousands of professional cooks , myself included, would be hard pressed to prepare a true demi, according to Escoffier, without the recipe in front of us.

    :twisted:
  • Post #26 - March 2nd, 2005, 10:01 am
    Post #26 - March 2nd, 2005, 10:01 am Post #26 - March 2nd, 2005, 10:01 am
    Evil Ronnie wrote:According to Escoffier, demi glace is made by taking Sauce Espagnole (he made his with brown roux, brown stock, salt pork, carrot, onion, thyme, bay leaf, tomato puree, and white wine), more stock, and carefully simmering and skimming, and finishing with meat glaze, then fortifying it with madiera, port, or sherry.


    Mm, salt pork in a stock. Sounds good to me!
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #27 - March 3rd, 2005, 1:19 pm
    Post #27 - March 3rd, 2005, 1:19 pm Post #27 - March 3rd, 2005, 1:19 pm
    Evil,

    Thanks for the great post and answering quite a few questions.

    Anywhoooo....my question is: why veal? In particular, why are you buying premium veal bones?


    pd
    Last edited by pdaane on March 3rd, 2005, 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #28 - March 3rd, 2005, 2:06 pm
    Post #28 - March 3rd, 2005, 2:06 pm Post #28 - March 3rd, 2005, 2:06 pm
    Peter,

    The reason that we purchase the "premium" veal shank ends is simple: they're really meaty and the shanks also have more cartilage which translates to a richer and more gelatinous product. The normal veal leg and shoulder bones come in so clean that you can't hardly find a speck of meat. Years ago, I worked for a Swiss guy, who would add 60# of pigs feet to a 400# batch of veal bones for the same reason. Something tells me not to do this at The Standard Club :twisted: :oops: :wink:

    But even those clean as a whistle veal bones produce a richer stock than beef bones. The immature veal bones give off a lot more collagen, etc...

    A very particular Frenchman taught me not to roast the bones when making a brown beef stock. He was right. You get a beautiful, dark in color product with non-roasted bones.

    :twisted:
  • Post #29 - March 3rd, 2005, 2:07 pm
    Post #29 - March 3rd, 2005, 2:07 pm Post #29 - March 3rd, 2005, 2:07 pm
    I was worried this thread would go haywire from the start,


    A range of ideas, sources and experiences were submitted. In fact, Evil Ronnie supported the notion that places such as Manny's do use beef or chicken base. SteveZ conducted the experiment and reported back his glowing success. Haywire? I'd suggest a group learning experience.
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #30 - March 3rd, 2005, 4:10 pm
    Post #30 - March 3rd, 2005, 4:10 pm Post #30 - March 3rd, 2005, 4:10 pm
    I went to a lunch/cooking demo at Lovells in lake forest last saturday, and they have the same stock pot as trotters. Jay Lovell said that they use veal stock as the base of all their sauces and demi-glaces, adding whatever else is needed to it and reducing.
    -Will

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