Classic Demi Glace Recipe

September 21, 2015 0 Comments

Classic Demi Glace Recipe

What is Demi Glace?

I am a huge fan of demi-glace for preparing classic sauces like mushroom or peppercorn sauce but I have to warn you, it is a huge process to make classic demi glace at home.  It is not for the faint of heart but well worth the effort – at least once.

Demi-glace is a richly concentrated brown stock that is carefully reduced until it forms a deep meaty flavored glaze. You start by roasting a lot of meat bones (veal & beef) to make a basic brown stock that takes hours and hours to simmer and reduce. And you have to make a lot of it because you need a bunch of it to prepare a classic Espagnole sauce but then some more to make the demi glace. Confusing right?

A classic demi glace is a combination of Espagnole sauce with brown stock that is slowly reduced by half.  You must take your time reducing the demi glace to prevent burning which would ruin the sauce and you would have to start over.

Making demi glace at home, in culinary school or a high end restaurant is arduous and extremely time consuming but when done right, the backbone of most of the world’s greatest sauces. It is one of the first lessons taught at some culinary schools because it teaches students about ingredients, reductions, detail and patience.  As a culinary student or home cook, you’re likely to spend many hours preparing this important ingredient.

 How to Make Demi Glace at Home

Over time, there have been many variations for preparing demi-glace until Auguste Escoffier standardized it in his Le Guide Culinaire, but I think this recipe adapted from The Food Network is a good one for anyone preparing it at home.

Classic Demi Glace Recipe

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 7 hours

Total Time: 7 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 1 gallion

Classic Demi Glace Recipe


For the Brown Stock

8 pounds veal marrow bones sawed into 2-inch pieces

6 pounds beef marrow bones sawed into 2-inch pieces

16 ounces tomato paste

4 cups chopped onions

2 cups chopped carrot

2 cups chopped celery

4 cups dry red wine

1 bouquet garni

Salt and pepper

16 quarts of water

For the Espagnole Sauce

1 gallon brown stock, hot

1 1/2 cups brown roux

1/4 cup bacon fat

2 cups chopped onions

1 cup chopped carrots

1 cup chopped celery


Freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup tomato puree

1 bouquet garni

For the Demi Glace

1 gallon Espagnole sauce, hot

1 gallon brown stock, hot

1 bouquet garni

How To Prepare At Home

Steak with Demi Glace Sauce

To Make the Brown Stock

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour. Remove the bones from the oven and brush with the tomato paste.

In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, carrots, and celery together. Lay the vegetables over the bones and return to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat.

Place the roasting pan on the stove and deglaze the pan with the red wine, using a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Put everything into a large stockpot. Add the bouquet garni and season with salt.

Add the water. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stock for 4 hours, skimming regularly. Remove from the heat and strain through a China cap or tightly meshed strainer.

Yield: about 2 gallons

To Make the Espagnole Sauce

In a stock pot, whisk the hot stock into the roux. In a large sauté pan, heat the bacon fat. Add the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until wilted, about 5 minutes. Stir the tomato puree into the vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes.

Add the tomato/vegetable mixture to the stock/roux mixture. Add the bouquet garni and continue to simmer, skimming as needed. Season with salt and pepper.

Simmer the sauce for about 45 minutes. Strain the sauce through a China cap or tightly meshed strainer.

Yield: 1 gallon

To Make the Demi Glace

In a stock pot, combine the Espagnole sauce, brown stock and bouquet garni, together, over medium-high heat.

Bring up to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and a simmer until the liquid reduces by half, about 1 1/2 hours. Skim the liquid occasionally, for impurities. Season with salt and pepper.

Strain through a China Cap or tightly meshed strainer.


What If You Don’t Want To Prepare It From Scratch?

Lucky for us, we don’t have to make our own demi glace at home even if you don’t have a friend who is a professional chef and willing to part with some of this brown gold. You can find commercial products that are good, not as good as making it yourself, but really good.

I have been using a commercial demi glace product for years from a company called More Than Gourmet. Their Demi-Glace Gold is all natural and as close as I think you can get to homemade tasting. There are also some other products on the market that are much cheaper than Demi-Glace Gold using other than all natural products that have received good reviews from other sources.

I’m not making classic French sauces every day, so I don’t mind paying a little extra for the Demi-Glace Gold and the rest of More Than Gourmet’s product line including Glace de Poulet Gold. You may also be interested in my article, Making Sauces at Home that describes my 5 Step Method for Preparing Professional Quality Brown Sauces.

Demi Glace Gold does not have to be refrigerated until it is opened and then has a 6 month to 1 year shelf life. I can prepare about 16 sauces out of each pound unless I’m cooking for friends. 1 ounce Demi Glace Gold reconstitutes into about 5 ounces of demi-glace which is perfect for making a sauce for my wife and I and two daughters.

More Than Gourmet’s Demi Glace Gold

x demi glace gold

Demi-glace Gold®
French Demi-glace
16-Ounce Unit


More Affordable Demi Glace Products

Demi Glace Gold is our favorite commercial product but it may be too expensive for everyone. So we have been finding alternative demi products that are less expensive but still very good quality. These include:

More Affordable Alternative

x custom culinary demi glace

Master’s Touch Custom Culinary
Demi-Glace Sauce Concentrate
13.6-Ounce Jars (Pack of 6)



Last modified on Tue 29 September 2015 12:49 pm

Filed in: Sauce Recipes

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