“Demi-glace” means “halfway to a glace.” “Glace” implies glace de viande, which is what you get if you roast veal bones, make a stock with them, remove all the fat, and reduce it down a a jellylike solid. The flavor of demi-glace is the essence of a meat flavor, and when used in a sauce it adds a tremendous dimension of flavor. With red meats, the effect is thrilling. Making your own demi-glace is a real challenge. Not even many chefs do it routinely. After you prepare your first (and probably only) batch, you can consider yourself an accomplished cook. Patience is the main virtue to bring to bear on this recipe.

  • 10 lbs. veal bones
  • 2 onions
  • 4 ribs celery, or the tops (leaves and all) from one bunch
  • Stems from one bunch of parsley
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 28 oz. tomato puree
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • Bouquet garni:
  • 1 Tbs. black peppercorns
  • 1 tsp. marjoram
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 tsp. sage

1. Split the bones into good-sized chunks (you might ask the butcher to do this; if you’re lucky, maybe he will). Pile the bones into a big roasting pan and roast them in the broiler at 550 degrees until they brown almost to black. Scatter them around once or twice while this is going on to get a good overall browning. This will take about 20-30 minutes.

2. Chop all the vegetables coarsely. When bones have browned sufficiently, lower the heat to about 350 degrees. Sprinkle the chopped vegetables over them. Roast for another minute or two, then pour the tomato puree over the bones. Roast for another two minutes, then pour on the red wine. Roast for another five minutes, until the wine has boiled for a couple of minutes.

3. Load all the pan contents into a big heavy stockpot. Rinse the pan with some water and pour everything into the stockpot. Add one to two gallons of water to the pot and bring to a very low boil.

4. Collect all the bouquet garni ingredients into a cheesecloth bag or tea ball and drop into the stockpot. Maintain a modest boil for at least eight hours, adding a quart of water now and then if needed to keep things going. Skim the scum and fat from the surface now and then.

5. After the pot has boiled a good long time, strain through a fine sieve (or one lined with cheesecloth). Discard the solids. Put the stock into a clean container and refrigerate overnight.

6. The next day, most of the fat in the stock will have risen to the top and solidified, making it very easy to remove. After doing this, pour the stock into a clean saucepan and reduce over a low fire. Use the corners of paper towels to remove any droplets of fat that may rise to the surface. You can reduce the stock to the point that it becomes almost gelatinous. At minimum, it should be able to coat a spoon. (This is the concentration used in the recipes in this issue.)

This is demi-glace. You can refrigerate it or freeze it to use as needed. This recipe makes one to three cups., depending on how much you reduced it.

Makes one to three cups.
Recipe details. . .

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  1. Bill C on January 14, 2015


    Your correct, once 1 makes this. They can consider themselves an accomplished cook! But boy is it worth it! I do it for my wife & I, 2 – 3 times a year.

    If 1 has a good quality cut of beef, it’s worth doing the Demi.

    Really enjoying your site Thanks for sharing!

    Bill Algiers