Sunday, March 15, 2009

Home Cookin'...Veal Demi Glace

Hello out there...welcome to another chapter of Home Cooking.
Saturday morning, the weather is not so wonderful, what do you do? I decided to head down to Balducci's with some coupons and pick up 15 lbs. of veal bones. They were @ 2.99/lb. I then went to the Giant, where people who work for a living shop, and picked up some white onions, carrots, and celery.The ratio on the veggies for this should be 50% onion, 25% carrot and 25% celery. No more than about 1/4 of the total volume of the mix should be veggies. You want mostly veal.
So, after washing the bones, I mixed about 4 oz. of tomato paste with 1/2 cup of flour and rubbed that all over the bones. Place them in oiled baking pans no more than two layers high (it's better to use more pans in single layers if you've got the oven capacity.) Roast at 350.
While they're in the oven, wash/peel the veggies, then coarsley chop and put in another oiled roasting pan. Mix these up about every 1/2 hour. You want everything a nice, uniform brown. Don't burn any of it or it will taste bitter.
I roasted everything for about 4 hours.
After that's done, put the bones and vegetables in the biggest stock pot you have. Skim the scum and any oil that comes to the top. Do that as long as you can stand it. After a while you'll give up, but that's ok. You can get it later.
Big-ass stock pot.

Add some bay leaves, black peppercorns, and a couple of sprigs of thyme. Add cold water just about to the top, and bring almost to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10-12 hours. I let mine go overnight.
So, 12 hours later: use a slotted spoon to remove the bones, fat, veggies from the pot. Strain into another pot using a chinoi or mesh strainer or whatever you have handy. You'll want to do this a couple of times.
Put it back on the flame and keep it at a simmer.
In another pot put a bottle of red and bring to a full boil...slice a few shallots and throw them in the wine. Reduce by half, then throw in the simmering pot with the veal stock.

This is when it starts to look like something you'd recognize as demi glace.

Keep it on the flame for another two or three hours. Keep skimming the scum and fat.

Strain this through cheesecloth and you've got yourself some nice home-made demi.
At this point you should cool it quickly. I do this by putting a few icepacks in a ziplock and throw them directly in the pot.
When it's cool enough to work with load it into whatever will fit in your freezer. I did three tupperware containers of about 1.5 cups each, three ice cube trays, and six Pyrex ramekins that hold about 1 cup.
Notice how smooth and shiny this looks?
With what you have here you can make great finishing sauces for steaks, risotto, and most meat dishes when it's reduced a little more. You can use this straight anywhere you'd use beef broth, but it will taste a ton better. If you're doing lamb or something like that throw some of the juices from the roast into the pot with a cup of the demi, let it simmer for a few minutes, and you're good to go. Remember, don't boil it! If you're going for something thicker just let it simmer down.

Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did....

Until next time.


Michael Palmer said...

great post David!!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post to illustrate that great stock/demi glace takes a lot of time but the actual effort is spread out far.

I don't eat meat and I've spent far too much time in my life straining stocks in restaurants for me to be able to ever want to do the same at home. but I'm sure it beats canned.

You seemed to have gotten a lot of demi glace for $45 worth of bones. how long will it last you?

One nitpick: when you say to add "bay leaves, black peppercorns, and a couple of sprigs of thyme," in the photo it looks like rosemary.


David Smelson said...

MK, you're right on the rosemary. I grabbed what was still half-alive from my porch. It should have been thyme. As far as how long will it last? Depends on what the appetites of my friends/family are over the next few months. Hopefully a while as it was hassle and kind of stunk up the house for a few days. I don't mind, but my wife doesn't appreciate the eau de beouf permeating everything.
Thanks for your comment Matt.

David Smelson said...

Mr. Palmer, whenever you're ready, give me a shout and we'll work some magic with a couple of steaks while the kids are playing. Looking forward to a good summer.

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