Secret to Great Sauces Is Demi Glace

September 14, 2012 18 Comments

Secret to Great Sauces is Demi Glace

The Secret to Great Sauces is Great Ingredients

If you ask my daughters what is their favorite meal and they will tell you, “Daddy’s steak with sauce!”

I love that my little girls enjoy a good cut of beef like New York strip steak or a filet Mignon served with a rich brown sauce made with crushed peppercorns or wild mushroom and a rich base to make it restaurant quality.  Served with a starch and a side vegetable dish, we can put together in less than 30 minutes and I know my wife and kids will be happy.

So What Is the Secret to Making Restaurant Quality Sauces at Home? –>> Demi Glace

What is Demi Glace?

Demi Glace is a rich brown sauce prepared by combining brown sauce and Espagnole sauce, one of the four mother sauces designated by the great 19th century chef Antonin Carême’s. It is essentially the nucleus of all the great classic brown sauces and is used around the world in restaurants to prepare sauces.

The problem for home cooks is it takes lots of bones, lots of attention and lots of time to prepare demi-glace properly and most home cooks, including myself, don’t have the time to prepare it from scratch. Lucky for us there are now some great demi glace products on the market including those listed below available through Amazon.

How to Elevate Your Own Sauces at Home

I would say if there is one ingredient that elevated the way I cook, it is this demi glace. I can’t tell you how many meals I’ve cooked for friends and family and they can’t believe how great the sauce is. Doesn’t matter if you spend hours working on all the other parts of the meal, the comments are always about the sauce and how did I make it and can I make this at home in my kitchen too.

The fact is, anyone with a little practice can grill or saute up a steak or a chicken breast. The real challenge to me is making an incredible home made sauce that is good as one I may be served in a high end restaurant. If I can do that, the meal is a success. The problem for most home cooks is they don’t have the right ingredients like demi glace because they are hard to find and even harder to make yourself.

Commercial Restaurant Quality Demi Glace Products Are Now Available to Home Cooks

Below you will find some of the best commercial demi glace products on the market in my opinion.  Most of the ones listed are available with Amazon Prime so if you are a member, you can get them delivered in two days, some overnight for free delivery. Some of these are packaged for home consumers but a couple of them are most often sold to restaurants and catering business.

The ingredients vary as do the prices. I highly recommend you read through the different products and find one or two that meets you ingredient requirements and fits your budget. Give them a try and compare them with other products on the market to determine which one is best for you.

You may also be interested in my article, Making Sauces at Home that describes my 5 Step Method for Preparing Professional Quality Brown Sauces.

How to Make a Simple but Delicious Sauce for Steak That Even Your Kids Will Eat?

Simple Wine Sauce with Demi Glace

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 8 ounces

Simple Wine Sauce with Demi Glace


1 shallot, minced

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup red wine or Port

Freshly Ground Pepper

8 oz. Demi Glace

How To Prepare At Home

Heat a small sauce pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the butter. When the butter is hot but not burning, add the minced shallot.

Saute the shallot until translucent, about 2 minutes depending on the pan and your stove.

What I mean by this is everybody uses different quality pans and different types of stove tops. Both factors will can have a great effect on how quickly something will cook so it is very difficult to give exact times.

Remove the pan from the stove and add the wine or Port. Return the pan to the stove and add some freshly ground pepper. How much you add will depend on your individual tastes.

Reduce the wine until there is just an essence left, practically nothing. If you are worried that I am giving alcohol to my girls, don't. It all burns off while you are reducing it. Most of it anyway.

When the wine is reduced, add the demi glace to the pan.

Simmer on low heat until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon or to a consistency you prefer. Some people have told me they like it less thick.

To finish the sauce and give it extra sheen and flavor, add the remaining tablespoon of butter. If you are watching your calories, you may want to skip this step.

Taste and adjust seasonings with salt & pepper.

Serve over your favorite steaks.

That’s it, that simple and you won’t believe how great it is. It is a sure winner and I know you will be pleased.



Last modified on Mon 4 December 2017 8:41 am

Filed in: Sauce Recipes

Comments (18)

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  1. Joyce Austin says:

    I can’t wait to try this out at home on my own. You mention the reduction of the wine, but how is is reduced? The longer it’s simmering? Please help with that answer and also is Demi glacé sold in all supermarkets?

    • The Reluctant Gourmet says:

      Hi Joyce, you reduce the wine by cooking it over medium heat. Demi Glace is hard to find in most supermarkets. I find the easiest place to find high end, all natural demi as well as highly regarded and less expensive demi glace online. This post offers a few ideas.

  2. Kalishia says:

    I hope I find more posts you’ve submitted. I loveeeeee to cook and know that is what I’m destined to do. I didn’t have the delight of going to cooking school but realized it was a strong passion after I already drained my financial I want to learn and teach myself and although I am an awesome cook I feel there is always more to learn and this really helped me..I love sauces and I make many but now I feel like I just stepped to a whole new level because I make an awesome brown sauce for my meats, but nowwwwwww I know they can be better..there’s a secret I always knew there was..thanks for helping me..I took notes and all..great site..I will be back..blessings:0))

  3. Liza says:

    Hi, you say that 1 ounce of DGG reconstitutes into 5 ounces of demi-glace. Do you mix the DGG with water or how does that work? Thanks.

    • Hi Liza, according to More Than Gourmet, the makers of Demi Glace Gold, the reconstitution is 4 ounces of water to 1 ounce of DGG. I have been reconstituting their 1 1/2 ounce pucks with 8 ounces of water which is about 5 to 1 ratio and finding it just as good. If I thought it was too thin, I can just reduce it down a little more.

  4. Cory says:

    I am not a chef but would love to cook a sirloin steak from the restaurant chain “Cactus Club Cafe” called “Peppercorn Sirloin – 9oz certified angus beef sirloin with pernod peppercorn demi-glace”.

    How would one make this happen?  It is amazingly good… I’m salivating like Pavlov’s dog just thinking about it!

  5. Leslie says:

    Can I make a Demi glacé at home? I seen recipies that call for a rue? Is that comparable?

  6. Mary says:

    Of the commercially-available demi glaces you’ve linked to on Amazon — which one would you use with fish (salmon, for instance)? It appears that they come as mainly either beef/veal-based or chicken-based, and wasn’t sure if either was appropriate with fish….

  7. Mark O'Brien says:

    Hi Stephen,
    Thanks so much for recommending the Demi-glace Gold. I’ve made both white (Keller) and brown veal stocks before and I’m not fazed by long, slow reductions. But as festive as my Beef Wellington (Ramsay’s recipe) will be for Christmas dinner, the thought of making, then reducing that much veal stock then making both brown and Espagnole sauces then the demi seems, well a bit overkill for one dinner.The product is obviously made to high standards and with Amazon prime It became a no-brainer. I will let you know how your Madeira sauce recipe is with the Welly and how it goes over with the family! I’m expecting fireworks.

  8. Bob Reid says:

    I can’t find the list of commercial demi glaces.

  9. Aires Reis says:

    Hi there, I tried your recipe for sauce Au Poivre using Demi Glace. While the taste was very good, the consistency of the sauce was very pasty! In reading the manufacturers recommendations, it list a ratio of 4:1, 4 parts water 1 part Demi Glace, you even mention a 5:1 ratio above. However, you’re recipe doesn’t mention anything about reconstituting before adding it to the butter/shallot/wine mixture.

    Please advise.


    • Hi Aires, great question. Years ago, I only used the Demi Glace Gold that needed to be reconstituted 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 as I like to but since then I have found several other commercial brands of demi glace. Some of them do need reconstituting, others do not. Therefore, my recipes now say use some amount of demi glace, not Demi Glace Gold or one of the other products. In this recipe, I suggest you use 8 ounces of demi glace. If you are using Demi Glace Gold, that would mean reconstituting a 1 1/2 ounce puck with 8 ounces of water but that may not be the same if you are using a alternative brand. Sorry for the confusion and I hope this helps.

      • Aires Reis says:

        Hello RG, unfortunately the only type I was able to find locally was the “Gold”, but it’s all good! You learn a great deal from making mistakes, and this is one of those times. Like I said, the sauce was very tasty just a little thick!

        I do like your recipe and will continue to use it as the basis For my Au Poivre sauce, watered down a little of course ;o) I now understand why it’s so freaking expensive, it makes 4 times the volume. Great stuff! Thank you!

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