This week, as part of my stress relief regimen from work, I set about making Chef John’s demi-glace recipe. When he first published the video, I immediately knew it would be something I needed to do. If not for the end result, but to be able to do the Chef John “slappa-slappa” to it…

Demi-glace is that classic French sauce that can be solo, or used as the base for other sauces, such as Bordelaise. It’s a veal-based reduction that gels up, which you cube and freeze. When you want to use it, you grab a cube or two and use it to deglaze a pan of its frond, season it up, and there you have it. Luxurious, rich, sticky silk is how it’s described.

Finding the veal bones proved to be the most difficult part of this adventure. In San Francisco, I contacted four different butchers and struck out. Oddly enough, every one had the same excuse: they hadn’t yet found a purveyor of veal that satisfied their needs. I started to think that was “code” for “we don’t like what veal is, so we’re not going to carry it”. Fortunately for me, Chef John is also a San Francisco resident so a quick tweet to him got a response to try Cal-Mart. I popped in there on Wednesday afternoon and was able to grab 5lbs of veal bones for $22. Another $4 for the celery, onion, and carrots and I was on my way to making some demi-glace…

I’m not going into details on how it’s made – you can follow the link above for Chef John’s excellent tutorial – but I had no issue with the process. I was only able to make a half batch, since I don’t have a stock pot large enough for the 10lbs of bones needed, but ending up with a nice quart of demi-glace was enough for me to call it a success. Side note: the aroma this process put off for the 24hrs was just mouth-watering. I’m sure the whole 13th floor of my complex was wondering what I was cooking…

Tonight I’m sous-vide-ing some steaks to sear up at medium rare (if you go any more done than that, you’re doing it wrong) and trying out the results of the demi-glace – can’t wait!

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