A new look at cooking and home decorating...with an attempt to add more greens to the plate, more vegetarian options & hopefully lots of new ideas to explore

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Veal Stock Part 3- The making of Demi Glaze

I took my chilled three cups of veal stock and placed it in a saucepan. I walked away while the stock simmered down to half (1 ½ cups). When I returned I had demi glaze (or Demi Glace in French). I could have added in beef stock and wine but chose not to because I liked the idea of a purely veal demi. It looks great and I will chill it then cut it in to cubes.

Would I make it again? Yes. I learned something from this. Somewhere along the line it dawned on me. This is what French cooking is all about. At $1 a pound (some nice butchers will give you the bones for free) cheap veal bones plus water, carrots and onion make something divine. It is about taking something as humble as useless bones and creating a gastronomic feast. They do it with potatoes, turning them then sautéing them in duck fat, they create fantastic soufflés and omelets out of simple eggs, and they can take a simple batter and make mouth-watering crepes.

These days we tend to think that our meals are only as good as the quality of the ingredients that we bring home from the grocery store. If we spend more on more expensive gourmet items then we will have a better meal. That is perhaps true, sometimes, but not always. The French prove that with proper technique even the humblest of items can be made magnificent. I remember watching a program where a French chef discussed his memories at the market with his mother. They would go at the end of the day in search of produce that no one else wanted and get it for half price. I bet they made fantastic meals with it.

So should you make Demi glaze? Well, that depends on you. I have bought very good demi glace. I live near 2 shops that carry demi glaze and it is also available on line. But, it’s not cheap. A 1-pound (16oz) tub will cost you about $35 plus shipping. The stuff in the tub is meant to be mixed with 4 parts water. To make it yourself will cost about $5 in veal bones plus the vegetables and water. You will also need to keep you burner on for 10 hours for stock plus another 2 for the final demi. Its not all about finance though. You might just want to make it a few times for fun. Some winter months I might enjoy making demi, whereas during some hot summer months I might rather sit by a pool.

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