The one sauce you absolutely must make

The one sauce you absolutely must make

I believe in the pan sauces. You don’t have to make them all the time, but they absolutely enhance the dining experience. A perfectly cooked steak or chicken is always delicious. But serving it with a pan sauce, takes it to the whole new level!

I have a great peppercorn sauce recipe here, if you’d like to try. But if you have some extra time, this demi-glace is the mother of all sauces!

Look at the shine of this beautiful sauce!

This rich, smooth, velvety, silky, glossy sauce is bursting with the intense meaty flavour. It’s absolutely not greasy, not over-salted – two things that unfortunately tend to happen with some pan sauces. It’s absolutely perfect. I can guarantee your guests will be pleasantly surprised and asking you for a recipe.

Demi-glace is a rich brown sauce in the French Cuisine. It’s made by long-simmer process of veal bones which extracts so much flavour and pumps the sauce with gelatin, that thickens it into its rich luscious texture.

Unfortunately, making demi glace at home is nearly impossible. Veal bones are expensive and virtually impossible to get. You can’t just pick them up at your local grocery store and your local butcher already likely has a contract with some neighbouring restaurant and sells all the veal bones to them. Replacing veal bones with beef bones is not an option. Veal is very mild in flavour, while beef is not – and simmering beef bones for a long time will likely result in a very unpleasant unappetizing taste. So what’s the solution?

Chicken! Chicken bones are mild in flavour, very similar to veal bones. Mild in flavour yet filled with gelatin!

Technically this is not a true demi glace, as that term implies it’s made with veal. But let’s call it “chicken demi-glace.”

A good thing about this sauce is that once it’s made, it can be portioned out and frozen for a long time! Then all you need to do is heat it up, reduce it slightly or add it as a base of your pan sauce – and there you have it! You could whip it up in minutes at that point!

Look at how the sauce looks after chilling in the fridge. Gelatin-rich and flavourful, this sauce will melt into the most smooth and unbelievably-tasting goodness.

You can use it as a pan sauce, add to your pan sauce or add it to any dish to significantly increase the flavour.

BUT, there’s a drawback. It takes forever to make this sauce. It’s not hard. Not at all. But it takes literally FOREVER. Please also consider turning your kitchen fan on and opening the windows as due to a lengthy simmer process, your house will smell like chicken (the smell will be incredible.)

But hopefully my pictures and my descriptions of this unbelievably rich, velvety and delicious sauce will have you convinced to make it.

Once you make it, I’m pretty sure you will be making it again and again and again!

This sauce brings big Umami flavour to any dish! Hope you give it a try!

CategoryDifficultyIntermediate

I believe in the pan sauces. You don’t have to make them all the time, but they absolutely enhance the dining experience. A perfectly cooked steak or chicken is always delicious. But serving it with a pan sauce, takes it to the whole new level!

filet mignon

Yields20 Servings

 5 ribs of celery, choped into 1" chunks
 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
 3 onions, quartered (leave some of onion skins in for colour, they will be strained out later)
 5 tbsp tomato paste
 2 tbsp oil
 7 ½ lbs chicken wings (whole chicken wings)
 8 ½ qts water (1 quart equals 4 cups of liquid)
 2 bay leaves
 1 tsp whole peppercorns, optional

1

Preheat the oven to 450.

2

Line aluminum foil in a large roasting pan. Add vegetables and drizzle with oil and tomato paste; rub tomato paste into the vegetables with your hands.

3

Gently place chicken wings on another baking sheet (also lined with aluminum foil.) Drizzle with some oil.

4

Bake everything for 2-3 hours. You are looking for browning (Maillard reaction) and caramelization to occur. I've attached some pictures that demonstrate what you are looking for to get the depth of flavour and colour into your sauce.

5

Place everything into a very large stock pot. Add about 8.5 quarts of cold water. Bring everything to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Do not worry about skimming the fat from the pot, it will be later strained a couple of times. Simmer the pot uncovered for 16 hours. Do not leave the pot unattended. See note.

6

After the 16-hour simmer, strain the sauce into another large pot. Take care to press down your vegetables and chicken to extract as much of the sauce as possible. Discard the vegetables and chicken. Increase the heat to medium high and bring your sauce to boil. You are looking to reduce everything by half to about 4 quarts. If you reduce it less, don't worry, it can always be thickened later.

7

When reduced by about half, strain the liquid once more into a large container. Preferably a square or a rectangle container. Allow it to come to room temperature then place into the fridge and chill for 24 hours.

8

After chilling, all of the fat should have risen to the top. With a butter knife, gently remove all of the fat. Underneath you will be left with what is by now thick gelatinous demi-glace.

9

Grab about 16 sandwich ziplock bags and either scoop the sauce into each bag or invert the pan into a large cutting board and gently slice your demiglace into squares. It will all depend on how well the demiglace is reduced and your version may be slightly more or less runny than mine; the sauce will still be rich and full of velvety gelatin, but if not reduced enough, scooping it may be a better option as it may not be easily sliced.

10

Reserve some to be used within a week and place the rest into the freezer (it will keep in the freezer for quite a while.)

11

When ready to make the sauce, take one of the portions (pre-portioned for 2.) You can use it in your favourite pan sauce or add to your favourite dishes. You can deglaze a pan after cooking steak or chicken with it. It will only take a minute or two for demi glace to reduce in a hot pan; when reduced to desired consistency, add a teaspoon of butter to emulsify and thicken it even further; season to taste with salt and pepper. Dig in and enjoy this restaurant quality sauce.

Ingredients

 5 ribs of celery, choped into 1" chunks
 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
 3 onions, quartered (leave some of onion skins in for colour, they will be strained out later)
 5 tbsp tomato paste
 2 tbsp oil
 7 ½ lbs chicken wings (whole chicken wings)
 8 ½ qts water (1 quart equals 4 cups of liquid)
 2 bay leaves
 1 tsp whole peppercorns, optional

Directions

1

Preheat the oven to 450.

2

Line aluminum foil in a large roasting pan. Add vegetables and drizzle with oil and tomato paste; rub tomato paste into the vegetables with your hands.

3

Gently place chicken wings on another baking sheet (also lined with aluminum foil.) Drizzle with some oil.

4

Bake everything for 2-3 hours. You are looking for browning (Maillard reaction) and caramelization to occur. I've attached some pictures that demonstrate what you are looking for to get the depth of flavour and colour into your sauce.

5

Place everything into a very large stock pot. Add about 8.5 quarts of cold water. Bring everything to boil. Reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Do not worry about skimming the fat from the pot, it will be later strained a couple of times. Simmer the pot uncovered for 16 hours. Do not leave the pot unattended. See note.

6

After the 16-hour simmer, strain the sauce into another large pot. Take care to press down your vegetables and chicken to extract as much of the sauce as possible. Discard the vegetables and chicken. Increase the heat to medium high and bring your sauce to boil. You are looking to reduce everything by half to about 4 quarts. If you reduce it less, don't worry, it can always be thickened later.

7

When reduced by about half, strain the liquid once more into a large container. Preferably a square or a rectangle container. Allow it to come to room temperature then place into the fridge and chill for 24 hours.

8

After chilling, all of the fat should have risen to the top. With a butter knife, gently remove all of the fat. Underneath you will be left with what is by now thick gelatinous demi-glace.

9

Grab about 16 sandwich ziplock bags and either scoop the sauce into each bag or invert the pan into a large cutting board and gently slice your demiglace into squares. It will all depend on how well the demiglace is reduced and your version may be slightly more or less runny than mine; the sauce will still be rich and full of velvety gelatin, but if not reduced enough, scooping it may be a better option as it may not be easily sliced.

10

Reserve some to be used within a week and place the rest into the freezer (it will keep in the freezer for quite a while.)

11

When ready to make the sauce, take one of the portions (pre-portioned for 2.) You can use it in your favourite pan sauce or add to your favourite dishes. You can deglaze a pan after cooking steak or chicken with it. It will only take a minute or two for demi glace to reduce in a hot pan; when reduced to desired consistency, add a teaspoon of butter to emulsify and thicken it even further; season to taste with salt and pepper. Dig in and enjoy this restaurant quality sauce.

Demi-Glace

Note: Please do not leave the sauce cooking unattended. Food 400 is not responsible for any accidents, fires, damaged pots, etc. and unsafe kitchen practices.

Happens to be Paleo.

Happens to be Dairy-Free. Just be sure not to use any butter or cream when you make a pan sauce out of prepared demi-glace.

Happens to be Gluten-Free: as with all gluten-free recipes, ensure all your ingredients are gluten free and not cross-contaminated.

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