Demi-glace has long been known as the singular component that infuses sauces with intense, rich flavor and magnifies dishes to extraordinary culinary heights. In my kitchen, it’s irreplaceable.
What is demi-glace?
Demi-glace (a French term meaning half glaze) is simply the end result of slow reduction of meat or poultry stocks. When stock liquids are allowed to gradually evaporate over even heat, a rich, flavor-concentrated, thick demi-glace is made with every bit of the flavor and half the volume of the original stock. Demi-glace is the foundation for many classic sauces and is typically combined with other flavorful ingredients. Traditionally, demi-glace is made from veal stock. Commercially available preparations may also contain chicken, beef or vegetable stocks.
How do I use it?
Combine pan juices created from cooking meats with a little wine and demi-glace. Scrape pan and simmer until flavors are well-blended and mixture has slightly reduced. Add a bit of butter to round out the flavor. Voila! Perfect pan sauce!
Where do I get it?
If you don’t have 24-48 hours to make demi-glace yourself, check with your local butcher to see if he sells it ready-made. Look carefully as demi-glace is often sold in the freezer section. It keeps quite well, both refrigerated and frozen.
More Than Gourmet produces 1.5 ounce containers of demi-glace concentrate that you can reconstitute to your liking with water or add by the teaspoon to other sauces to boost flavor. These are shelf-stable but require refrigeration after opening. The consistency is almost like creamy fudge or peanut butter and the flavor is intensely brilliant. (See photo) For around $5, this product is a permanent fixture in my own pantry (and should be in yours as well). If your local retailer doesn’t carry it, please visit More Than Gourmet’s website for mail order delivered to your home.
Nationally, Whole Foods Market,Trader Joe’s and Williams-Sonoma carry several varieties of demi-glace, including liquid concentrates.