February 9, 2020

Demi-glace

Recipe: demi-glace

Prep Time 30 minutes | Cooking Time: About two days

Ingredients

  • 5 pounds of chicken or veal bones (veal is more classic and yields a better result, although difficult to find)
  • If using chicken bones, at 1 or 2 pounds of chicken feet
  • 1/2 cup of tomato paste
  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 2 onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 celery stalks

Instructions

  1. Wash bones in running water.
  2. We are now going to blanch the bones: place them in a large stock pot and fill with water until just covered.
  3. Bring the water to a simmer slowly over low heat. Once the water is simmering turn off the fire and remove the bones to a large bowl. Discard the water.
  4. Wash the bones again. Do this quickly before the bones have a chance to cool down. This will prevent the impurities to stick.
  5. Wash the stock pot and return the bones. Add fresh water to cover them and again bring to a simmer slowly.
  6. Skim the surface frequently getting rid of impurities.
  7. About 2 hours into the process add the tomato paste, the tomatoes and the aromatics.
  8. Keep simmering for at least 2 hours more.
  9. Strain the stock into a bowl and cool down quickly in an ice water bath.
  10. Return the bones to the pot, will again with fresh water and repeat the simmering process.
  11. Place the now cooled stock in the refrigerator overnight or for several hours. If there is any fat in the stock it will rise to the top as the stock cools. Remove and either save for other uses or discard.
  12. The stock will be thick and very gelatinous. This is a good thing and it is precisely what you are looking for.
  13. Repeat this process with the second batch of stock.
  14. Combine both stocks and return to a clean pot. If you have a very with pot this will help the process move along more quickly: the goal here is to reduce the stock to 10% of its original volume.
  15. Cool down quickly and place in the fridge. This process will yield a very thick substance that we can now use to thicken and enrich sauces.

Notes

Demi-glace is a fundamental ingredient in French cooking. Although it is really time consuming, using demi-glace for your saucing can really elevate your cooking.

To obtain the purest possible results we wash the bones, then blanch them to get rid of as many impurities as possible.

This recipe is inspired by Thomas Keller. Traditionally the bones are roasted prior to making the stock. At the French Laundry they skip this step, coloring the stock instead by using tomatoes and tomato paste.

To cool things quickly use a large and a medium metal bowl. Put water and ice in the large bowl and the ingredients you are trying to cool down in the medium size bowl. Move the medium size bowl around while stirring your ingredient. There will be a heat exchange between the ice water, the sides of the medium bowl and your ingredient.


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