Last year I made demi glace for the first time. It just ran out a little while ago, so its time to reload. Making a batch of demi takes all day, but it's really worth it. I freeze the demi in ice cube trays, so I have nice little portions that I can throw into sauce. For those who aren't familiar with it, demi glace is a super concentrated concoction of veal stock and red wine. I start out with the a mirepoix (carrots, celery, and onion) and bouquet garni (thyme, parsley, bay leaf, garlic, and peppercorns wrapped in a cheesecloth). To develop the flavor in these vegetables, I roast them for a little while with tomato paste. While the vegetables are roasting, I fill a pot (or two) with veal bones that have also been roasted.
I let the veal bones simmer for a while and then add the roasted vegetables.
After several hours of simmering, strain the liquid several times (I probably passed the stock through a strainer lined with cheesecloth about 20 times). Now, you have the veal stock, which, along with some shallots and a lot of red wine, will turn into demiglace. Mix together all of these ingredients and portion them out in as many pots as possible. Spreading the liquid out in as many wide pots as possible maximizes surface area, greatly speeding up the time it takes to reduce the stock and wine mixture. Reduce, reduce, and reduce some more. In this batch, I reduced a couple of gallon to about 2 liters. This batch should last me through the year and will be a great way to add a backbone to numerous sauces, braises, and stews.
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