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Old 10-26-2006, 10:30 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, 10:35 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, 01:23 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, 03:47 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, 04:46 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, 06:29 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, 07:12 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, 11:14 AM   #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, 01:08 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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Old 11-15-2006, 03:46 AM   #11
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I made brown stock (Espagnole sauce) yesterday and it is reducing as I type.
It is one of those jobs that I seem to put of because of the time constraints, and yet once I put my mind to it I am in seventh heaven. It is often referred to as liquid gold.
I am not sure if it can be bought in the UK as a concentrate, but for anybody contemplating making classic sauces it is invaluable and worth the effort .
Good thread.
Thank you
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Old 11-15-2006, 03:55 PM   #12
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Demi-Glace is one of my ultimate staples too. I buy the 1/2-C ziplock containers and fill-away.

When I first started making veal/beef demi, I made it the traditional way with sauce espagnole and more stock reduced by half with aromatics, but now I do a shortcut version that tastes 95%+ as good.

First off, my stock is rich to begin with. I use 10lbs bones per gallon of water (along with the aromatics, tomato paste, sachet, etc). For veal demi, I buy 20lbs of split knuckles and make 2gal of brown veal stock. Then I freeze 2qt, and make demi with the remaining 6qts (yielding 2qts).

1 large onion, 1 carrot, 1 stalk celery are browned in a pot. Then I add half a cup of flour and enough oil to bring it to the "wet sand" consistency. Cook until I get a dark peanut-butter/brown coloration, and then I add my 6qts of stock. This is then simmered/reduced by 2/3 to 2qts. About an hour before it finishes I add a couple cloves of crushed garlic, a couple bay leaves, a few sprigs of parsley & thyme, and a teaspoon of black peppercorns. Then it's all strained.

Funny thing, I just picked up 20lbs this morning for a batch this Saturday.

Definetly a staple in any western kitchen. What hits my supply hard are some of the braises I do where I use it by the pint. Can't beat it for pan sauces either. Nothing like a simple Sauce Robert with perfect boneless pork rib chops, or a mushroom sauce on a piece of sirloin. The stock takes forever to make. If I had a house with space for an extra freezer, I would most likely make it in 10gal batches. Right now with my single freezer I can only fit a gallon or so of four different stock along with marinara sauce and a few quarts of demi. Have to make it 3 times a year to stay ahead.
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