The Demi-glace of classic French cuisine was made from one-part espangole and one-part roasted veal or beef stock which was then carefully reduced in volume by half. A revolution in cooking in the 1960’s saw the development of ‘ Nouvelle Cuisine ‘ with lighter style sauces, and less reliance on the traditional flour-based béchamel, velouté, and espangole. In the case of many of the sauces to accompany red meats and game they were made using a demi-glace.
In the modern kitchen, chefs rely on heavily reduced stock bases as a Master Sauce base to make their derivative sauces. The gelatine in the stock, formed from the breakdown of connective tissue, thickens the sauce and the reduction creates a deep, intense flavour. A beef or brown veal stock may be reduced by between fifty and eighty percent to form a rich viscous glaze. However, too much reduction can result in a loss of flavour and a resulting bitter finish. If you have made a good stock with plenty of bones and maybe a pigs trotter a fifty percent reduction will be ideal.
The following recipes are for a 500 ml of reduced stock or demi-glace;
Bordelaise Simmer 50 gr finely chopped Shallots in 150 ml of good Red Wine along with a Bay leaf, a sprig of Thyme and a generous pinch of freshly ground Black Pepper and reduce by half. Add reduced stock and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain through a chinois and then finish with 50 gr Unsalted Butter.
Sauce Robert Sauté 50 gr of diced White Onion in 30 gr Unsalted Butter until soft . Deglaze with 150 ml of quality dry White Wine and reduce by half. Add demi-glace and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain sauce through a chinois and finish with 2 teaspoons of fresh English Mustard, a pinch of Sugar, and squeeze in the juice of half a Lemon.
Chasseur Sauté 50 gr sliced Mushrooms and 2 finely diced shallots in 30 gr Unsalted Butter. Deglaze with 150 ml of quality dry White Wine and reduce by half. Add demi-glace and simmer for twenty minutes. Finish with 50 gr of fresh Tomato concassé.
Chateaubriand Sauté 50 gr of finely diced Shallot in 30 gr Unsalted Butter until soft. Deglaze with 150 ml of quality dry White Wine and reduce by half. Add demi-glace and simmer for twenty minutes. Strain sauce through a chinois and finish with ¼ teaspoon Cayenne pepper, a few drops of Lemon juice and a teaspoon of finely chopped fresh Tarragon.
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