What is Demi-Glace and How to Make It
There are two secrets every professional chef uses to take their food from ordinary to extraordinary: butter and demi-glace – the rich, flavorful sauce that’s been elevating dishes around the world for decades.
Demi-glace has roots in classical French cooking and is still used in many of the top restaurants. The reason? Demi-glace packs a powerful punch of savory flavor and pairs well with most any meat. It can, however, be labor intensive to make, but the results are well worth it.
Read on to learn more about how demi-glace is made and what to cook with it:
What is Demi-Glace?
Demi-glace is an incredibly rich, thick sauce that’s made from reducing brown (veal or beef, traditionally) stock and red wine or Espagnole sauce down to an almost syrup consistency.
It’s commonly used as a stand-alone sauce in classic dishes or as a base for other sauces. Because it packs such a powerful punch of flavor, chefs love using it to bring a rich depth to their dishes and soups. It’s an incredibly versatile tool to have in a chef’s arsenal.
Is Demi-Glace the same as gravy?
The simple answer is no. Gravy is made by thickening stock with a roux and requires a generous amount of seasoning to get rid of the flavor the flour leaves. Demi-glace is essentially concentrated stock that thickens by reducing out the water and amplifying the meaty flavor naturally.
How is Demi-Glace Made?
Making demi-glace is a lengthy process. To begin, you need to make homemade stock using roasted bones and aromatic vegetables. After letting that stock simmer for up to 24 hours and straining it, the stock then needs to be reduced by up to 75%, up to 2-4 hours.
Demi-glace can be intimidating to make for some home cooks as it’s very labor- and time-intensive. If you want to enjoy the incredible flavor demi-glace offers without spending days in the kitchen, More Than Gourmet’s demi-glace options are the perfect pantry staple for you.
The biggest benefit of store-bought demi-glace (aside from saving time) is the variety of flavors you can find. While classic French demi-glace is made from veal and beef, you can find chicken, turkey and even vegetable demi-glace available.
Shop delicious demi-glace today at More Than Gourmet!
As our culinary lesson above demonstrates, making demi-glace is a labor of love. Home chefs who crave that unmistakable savoriness often wonder, “What can be substituted for demi-glace?” Read on to learn about the common substitutes for demi-glace and how they stack up to the real thing.
How it compares: Both gravy and demi-glace have a savory, meaty flavor, and their base ingredient is stock. Gravy is thickened with flour or cornstarch.
Why it falls short: Is demi-glace the same as gravy? As discussed before, the answer is no. Demi-glace is a reduction that you can add to sauces like gravy to make them richer. Gravy is not as versatile and can only really be used as a sauce. Plus, it can have a heavy, pasty consistency and requires a lot of seasoning.
How it compares: Both bouillon cubes and demi-glace are made from stock, but bouillon cubes are dehydrated and intended to flavor larger amounts of liquid.
Why it falls short: Bouillon cubes can be incredibly salty. Low sodium alternatives exist, but like all bouillon cubes, they don’t offer the true rich flavor that demi-glace does.
How it compares: People sometimes suggest thickening stock with corn starch to make a demi-glace substitute.
Why it falls short: While this speeds up the process, the addition of corn starch can add an off-putting gluey texture.
Enjoy Delightful Demi-Glace Without the Time Commitment
There really isn’t a good shortcut to making demi-glace at home. It takes time to make the real thing. The good news is More Than Gourmet has taken the time to handcraft high-quality demi-glace options in a variety of delicious flavors. From single-use options to multi-packs, you can enjoy all of the benefits of homemade demi-glace without the time-consuming process of making it at home.
Explore all of their delicious, homemade stocks and sauces here.