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Old 10-26-2006, 11:30 PM   #1
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Demi-glace from scratch

So I went the whole nine yards and made me a very nice brown beef stock for the first time. I roasted plenty of beef shank bones and meat and simmered them with mirepoix. Many hours afterwards, I produced a nice brown stock which I combined with a brown roux and again simmered with mirepoix and other things. After many hours of simmering and reduction, this became my Sauce Espagnole. I froze the whole caboodle into just thirty ice cubes. Next time I have a special event, I'll use this by the cube with some of the brown stock I reserved to make a rich Demi-glace sauce for stuff like pan-fried duck breast or lamb or steak. The whole exercise took over 36 hours of roasting, simmering, freezing, defatting, reducing. Most of the time was passive cooking, where I do the gentle simmering overnight while I sleep or while I'm doing other things.

So I made Demi-glace last night with pan-fried duck breast. Heaven. I was transported back to eating at a very fine French restaurant if I may humbly say so.... I'm just happy to share this with you.

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Old 10-26-2006, 11:35 PM   #2
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Congrats! There are few things more self satisfying then a good 'ol demi.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:23 AM   #3
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I need to learn how to make stocks and demi-glace. They do it at the restaurant but I'm not in charge of making those, so I never really get to see how its done. I do know that some of those pots gets simmered for close to a week though.

EDIT:

By the way, what's mirepoix?
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Old 10-27-2006, 04:47 AM   #4
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I understand that many restaurants nowadays use commercially bought Sauce Espagnole or Demi-glace base instead of making it from scratch. That's why I tried making my own to compare.

College cook, mirepoix is the French term for aromatic vegetables that are used as the flavor base of stocks. Traditionally, mirepoix is made up of onion:celery:carrots using a 2:1:1 ratio. It is also sometimes referred to as 'the holy trinity'.
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Old 10-27-2006, 05:46 AM   #5
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Chopstix, About how many pounds of shanks do you think you used?
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Old 10-27-2006, 07:29 AM   #6
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Chopstix I love to make beef stock and demi from scratch. But it sure does take a long time, so I don't do it often.

Now sometimes avoid the espagnole step and just concentrate the stuff, have been told that is how many restaurants do it.

Not only is the final product great but the house smells so good while it is being made.

Take care.
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Old 10-27-2006, 08:12 AM   #7
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doesn't holy trinity call for bell peppers in place of celery????
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Old 10-27-2006, 12:14 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjs
doesn't holy trinity call for bell peppers in place of celery????

According to the deep south, yes, Trinity has got the peppers.
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Old 10-27-2006, 02:08 PM   #9
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I teach that in my basic "Professional Techniques for the Home Cook" series. I think it's good to know how to do demi from stock, even if on down the pike you take advantage of the great demis that are now available not only to the trade but also to the home cook...
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Old 10-29-2006, 03:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skilletlicker
Chopstix, About how many pounds of shanks do you think you used?
Skillet, you can use at least 1 pound of bones-with-meat for every 2 quarts of the size of your stockpot. For example, if you have a 16 quart stockpot, you should use at least 8 pounds of bones-with-meat. More certainly will not hurt. Less will result in a weaker stock.
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