Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update
  Re: (...)
There has been quite a bit of talk about demi-glace and difficulty buying a product. Thought I would post a couple of ideas for making it and/or sauce which can be used successfully in place of.

Demi-Glace is half brown sauce and half brown stock which is reduced by half.


Recipe By :The American Culinary Federation
1 quart Brown Veal Stock
1 quart Espagnole (Brown) Sauce

Combine the stock and the espagnole sauce in a heavy-gauge pot and simmer over low to moderate heat until reduced by half.

Skim the sauce frequently as it simmers. Strain the sauce. The sauce is ready to serve now, or it may be cooled and stored for later use.

Demi-Glace - Braune Kraftsoe

1/2 pound unsalted butter -- (2 sticks)
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup sliced white button mushrooms
3 Roma tomatoes -- coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 cups full-bodied red wine -- such as Burgundy
7 cups beef stock
1/2 cup chopped leek
2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the shallots and saut until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Toss in the mushrooms and tomatoes and saut until any liquid they release has evaporated.

Stir in the tomato paste, then add 1 cup of the wine to deglaze, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Simmer until almost dry, then deglaze with 1 more cup of the wine. Simmer until almost dry again.

Add the remaining cup of wine, stock, leek and thyme and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes.

In a medium bowl, knead together the flour and remaining butter to form a paste (beurre mani). Whisk this paste into the demi-glace and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until the sauce is smooth and velvety.

Strain through a fine mesh sieve and cool the demi-glace in an ice bath. Pour into a jar or plastic container and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Makes 7 cups

Demi-glace is another French sauce that every self-respecting restaurant keeps on hand. As an apprentice, I prepared it thousands of times for use in a variety of other sauces and dishes.

Also called brown sauce, demi-glace is traditionally prepared with what the French refer to as espagnole sauce (a mixture of brown stock, vegetables, brown roux and tomatoes), brown stock and Madeira or sherry. I have simplified this method to create a flavorful sauce you can keep on hand to add intense flavor to a number of dishes.

And here is a sauce which can be used in place of a demi-glace for ease. It’s from Gourmet Magazine – 1996 – this whole dish for a filet is great, but you can also just make the sauce.


6 thick filet mignon -- (1 1/4")
~2 cups Merlot Sauce
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsps red-wine vinegar
1 cup finely chopped onion -- (~1 med.)
3 Tbsps unsalted butter
2 cup Merlot or other dry red wine
2 cup rich veal stock or demi-glace

MERLOT SAUCE: In a small heavy saucepan bring water w/sugar to a boil, stirring till sugar is dissolved.
Boil syrup, w/out stirring, till a golden caramel.

Remove pan from heat & carefully add vinegar down the side of pan (caramel will steam & harden). Cook caramel over mod. heat, stirring, till dissolved, ~3 min. & remove pan from heat.

In a heavy saucepan cook onion in butter over moderate heat, stirring, till golden, ~5 min.
Stir in wine & boil till mixture is reduced to ~1 cup., ~ 15 min.
Stir in stock or demi-glace & boil til, mixture is reduced to ~2 cups, ~10 min.
Remove pan from heat & stir in caramel.
Pour sauce thru a sieve into a bowl. Sauce may be made 2 days ahead, cooled completely, & chilled, covered. Reheat sauce before serving.

Pat filets dry and season w/salt & pepper.
In a large heavy skillet heat 2 T. oil (or clarified butter if you have) over moderately high heat till hot but not smoking & brown filets on both sides, w/out crowding, ~5 min. total.
Transfer filets to a shallow baking pan & roast in middle of 425° oven for ~10 min. for med-rare.


Here’s a ‘tutorial’ I posted a number of years ago about Mother Sauces which might be interesting to refresh our memories of them. (it’s a long bugger! )

While I did a search for Mother Sauces, I ran across this thread – Denise, what a past 5 years you have had!!!!
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by cjs (There has been quite...)
Thanks, Jean. I'm copying this one!
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by Gourmet_Mom (Thanks, Jean. I'm c...)
You're welcome - I got hooked reading it over too - been a long time since I've planned a dish around a sauce, but I think in January I'll have some fun with these.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by cjs (There has been quite...)
CI has one they use for Steak Diane that is one of my favorite meals ever. I double it and freeze some for next time.


This recipe yields a sauce base that is an excellent facsimile of a demi-glace, a very labor-intensive and time-consuming classic French sauce base. Because the sauce base is very concentrated, make sure to use low-sodium chicken and beef broths; otherwise, the base may be unpalatably salty. The sauce base can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to three days or frozen.

Yield: makes 1¼ cups

Preparation Time: 30 minutes Cooking Time:1 hour Total Time:1hour and 30 minutes

2 TBS. Vegetable oil
4 tsps. Tomato paste
2 small onions, (about 1⅓ cups)
1 medium carrot, (about ½ cup)
4 cloves garlic, peeled
¼ cup Water
4 tsps. Unbleached all-purpose flour
1½ cups Dry red wine
3½ cups Low-sodium beef broth
1¾ cups Low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsps. Black peppercorns
8 Sprigs fresh thyme
2 Bay leaves

Chop onion and carrot to a medium dice.

Heat oil and tomato paste in Dutch oven over medium-high heat; cook, stirring constantly, until paste begins to brown, about 3 minutes. Add onions, carrot, and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until mixture is reddish brown, about 2 minutes. Add 2 TBS. water and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is well browned, about 3 minutes, adding remaining water when needed to prevent scorching. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and, using a heatproof rubber spatula, scrape up browned bits on bottom and sides of pot; bring to boil, stirring occasionally (mixture will thicken slightly). Add beef and chicken broths, peppercorns, thyme, and bay; bring to boil and cook, uncovered, occasionally scraping bottom and sides of pot with spatula, until reduced to 2½ cups, 35 to 40 minutes.

Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible; you should have about 1 ¼ cups.

Make the sauce base and freeze it for another use.

After straining the sauce base, portion the sauce into plastic ice cube trays and freeze. When the sauce has frozen, empty the trays into a zipper-lock bag for easy storage. Use these cubes to create a quick sauce for grilled, broiled, or pan-seared steaks or chops.

To make a very potent sauce for two people, melt two demi-glace cubes in a small skillet and finish by whisking in ½ TBS. unsalted butter. For a less rich sauce that can serve four, melt two demi-glace cubes with 2 TBS. water and then finish with ½ TBS. butter. Either way, the sauce base already has highly concentrated flavors, so you will probably not need to season this quick sauce with salt and pepper.

If you prefer not to make the sauce base, mix ½ cup glace de viande with ¾ cup water and ¼ cup red wine and use this mixture in place of the base in step 4. For this recipe, use a traditional skillet. The steaks leave behind more fond (browned bits) than they do in a nonstick skillet and more fond means a richer, more flavorful sauce. A superb embellishment for Steak Diane is a drizzle of white truffle oil just before serving. If you do not wish to flambé, simmer the cognac in step 2 for 10 to 15 seconds for a slightly less sweet flavor profile.

Recipe Type: Carrots, Cook's Illustrated, Fresh Thyme, Make-Ahead, Onions, Sauces

Source: Cook's Illustrated 5/2004
Web Page:


Sauce base which takes about 90 minutes, needs to be made first and be ready to be used by the time the steaks are go in the pan. The sauce base can be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen.

Servings: 4 Yield: Serves 4 to 6

Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 15 minutes Total Time: 30 minutes

2 TBS. sunflower oil
4 New York Steaks (about 12 oz. each)
kosher salt
ground black pepper
1 TBS. sunflower oil
1 Small shallot, minced (about 2 TBS.)
¼ cup Cognac
1¼ cups Sauce Base
2 tsps. Dijon mustard
2 TBS. Unsalted butter (cold)
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 TBS. Minced fresh chives


Trim excess fat from steaks and pound to even ½" thickness

Heat 1 TBS. oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed SS skillet over medium-high heat until smoking. Meanwhile, season steaks with salt and pepper. Place 2 steaks in skillet and cook until well browned, about 1½ minutes.

Turn steaks over and rotate 90 degrees to ensure that entire pan surface will be covered with food.

Place heavy Dutch oven or skillet on top of steaks and continue cooking until well browned, about 1½ minutes longer. Transfer steaks to large platter and tent with foil. Add 1 TBS. oil to now-empty skillet and repeat with remaining steaks; transfer second batch of steaks to platter.


Off heat, add 1 TBS. oil and shallots to now-empty skillet; using skillet's residual heat, cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are slightly softened and browned, about 45 seconds. Add cognac; let stand until cognac warms slightly, about 10 seconds, then set skillet over high heat. Using chimney match, ignite cognac; shake skillet until flames subside, then simmer cognac until reduced to about 1 TBS. about 10 seconds. Add sauce base and mustard; simmer until slightly thickened and reduced to 1 cup, 2 to 3 minutes. Whisk in butter; off heat, add Worcestershire sauce, any accumulated juices from steaks, and 1 TBS. chives. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Set steaks on individual dinner plates, spoon 2 TBS. sauce over each steak, sprinkle with chives, and serve immediately, passing remaining sauce separately. Drizzle of white truffle oil just before serving.

Recipe Type: Beef, Cook's Illustrated, Fresh Chives, Main Dish, Meat, Shallots, Steak

Source: Cook's Illustrated 5/2004
Web Page:
  Re: Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by Cubangirl (CI has one they use ...)

CI has one they use for Steak Diane that is one of my favorite meals ever. I double it and freeze some for next time.

I couldn't agree more!! That is an amazing recipe. I also freeze and food saver the sauce. It is so nice to have on hand.
  Re: Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by karyn ([blockquote]Quote:[h...)
I'll check that out after Christmas. Today, I found a Knorr product that is concentrated beef stock. So I'm going to use that.
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by Gourmet_Mom (I'll check that out ...)
I'm making the sauce for the filets today up to, but not including the butter step. The directions for the condensed stock says to add 3 /2 cups boiling water to make classic stock. Do I'm guessing half that amount for the Demi glacé substitute?
Keep your mind wide open.
  Re: Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by Gourmet_Mom (I'm making the sauce...)
Daphne, I think I've done this sometime in past years. I used to buy that Knorr's product. Good luck. One note - I wouldn't add any salt until it's done to see if concentrating it down adds to much sodium.
Retired and having fun writing cookbooks, tasting wine and sharing recipes with all my friends.
  Re: Re: Demi-Glace and Mother Sauces Update by cjs (Daphne, I think I've...)
Thanks, Jean! Will do!
Keep your mind wide open.

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