Easy Shortcut Demi-Glace Recipe

Demi-glace in small bowl next to sliced medium-rare steak on oval serving plate

The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 90 mins
Total: 105 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 2 1/4 cups
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
69 Calories
4g Fat
8g Carbs
3g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 69
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 4%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 358mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 8g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 3g
Vitamin C 6mg 32%
Calcium 34mg 3%
Iron 1mg 6%
Potassium 144mg 3%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A traditional demi-glace recipe is made by combining a mixture of half basic brown sauce and half brown stock (such as beef stock) and then simmering until it's reduced by half. In this shortcut recipe, instead of making the stock from scratch, store-bought stock or broth is used. It won't have the same body as a homemade demi-glace, but it will save you about eight hours.

Demi-glace is an amazing sauce to serve with red meats such as roasts and grilled steaks. The only difficult thing about it is that making it from scratch can be quite time-consuming. Purists might raise their eyebrows at using store-bought beef stock. But the reality is that if something is too hard to make, you're probably not going to make it. And that's a shame because everyone should be able to enjoy the deep, rich flavor of demi-glace.

For this shortcut demi-glace substitute, use the best quality stock or broth you can find and stick to the low-sodium or even no-salt varieties. The process of reducing the stock concentrates the saltiness, and you don't want your finished sauce to taste like a salt lick.

You will also need some cheesecloth to strain the sauce and make the sachet d'épices (which is just a French way of saying a little sachet of herbs and spices), as well as some cooking twine to tie it into a bundle.


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"If you’re looking for an easy-to-follow recipe for homemade demi-glace that doesn't take a good portion of your hard-earned Saturday, this one’s for you! It uses store-bought beef stock, cutting out a huge chunk of time, and provides clear instructions for sautéing the mirepoix and creating a roux. You need cheesecloth, so have it handy." —Victoria Heydt

Easy Shortcut Demi-Glaze Recipe Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Sachet d'Épices:

  • 1 dried bay leaf

  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

  • 6 to 8 fresh parsley stems

  • 8 to 10 whole peppercorns

For the Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons (or 1 ounce) clarified butter

  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onions

  • 1/4 cup chopped celery

  • 1/4 cup chopped carrots

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 5 cups low-sodium beef stock, divided

  • Kosher salt, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for easy shortcut demi-glace recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  2. Place the bay leaf, thyme, parsley stems, and peppercorns on a square of cheesecloth.

    Herbs and peppercorns on a piece of cheesecloth, with a ball of twine next to it

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  3. Tie it up into a bundle with cooking twine to create the sachet d'épices.

    Cheesecloth tied together with twine to make an herb bundle

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  4. In a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat, heat the butter and add the chopped onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté for a couple of minutes, until the onions are partially translucent.

    Mixture of finely chopped vegetables in a cooking pot

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  5. Sprinkle in the flour and stir to form a paste. Cook for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently until the flour is lightly browned, but by no means burned.

    Flour sprinkled over vegetables and mixed in with a slotted spoon to evenly coat vegetables with flour

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  6. Whisk in 3 cups of the beef stock.

    Beef stock added to the pot and mixed in with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  7. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Then lower the heat to a simmer, add the sachet, and reduce for about 20 minutes, or until the total volume has reduced by about a third.

    Herb sachet added to pot with vegetable and beef stock mixture

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  8. Remove the pan from the heat and retrieve the sachet (set it aside). Carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer lined with a piece of cheesecloth and use a spoon to gently push the sauce from the remnants of the mirepoix (the sautéed vegetables).

    Wire mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth is placed over pot for straining vegetables

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  9. Return the sauce to the pan, stir in the remaining 2 cups of stock, and return the sachet to the pot.

    Herb sachet added to the clear demi-glace in the pan

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  10. Bring the pot back to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer. Simmer for about 50 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by half.

    Pot with demi-glace and herb sachet being brought to a boil

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  11. Discard the sachet. Strain the sauce through a fresh piece of cheesecloth.

    Wire mesh strainer lined with fresh piece of cheesecloth for straining demi-glace a second time

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

  12. If using the demi-glace as is for a dish, season to taste with kosher salt. When adding it to another sauce recipe, wait to season that sauce until the very end.

    Dark brown demi-glace being poured over sliced steak on a plate

    The Spruce Eats / Ali Redmond

How to Store and Freeze

Keeping demi-glace on hand ensures you'll always have some to use in your culinary endeavors.

Demi-glace will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks when stored in a sealed container.

You can also freeze it for three or four months.

Unlike classic demi-glace, this recipe will not set up into a gel when chilled (store-bought stock doesn't contain the gelatin of homemade stock made with bones). Since you can't use the typical method of freezing demi-glace, freeze this sauce in ice cube trays, then transfer it to freezer bags. Take out as many as you need for any given recipe and thaw.

How to Use

In addition to standing on its own as a sauce for steak, roast beef, or pork chops, you can use a little demi-glace to add flavor to stews, soups, and stir-fries. It's also the base for myriad sauces:

  • Add some red wine and reduce it for a bit, and you have a classic red wine sauce.
  • Use the demi-glace to make a port wine sauce by combining it with the fortified wine and butter.
  • For a traditional mushroom sauce, demi-glace is cooked with mushrooms, shallots, and sherry.

What's the Difference Between Demi-Glace and Stock?

Stock or broth is much more watery than demi glace, which is a concentrated stock. All demi glaces have stock elements to them—usually those made from scratch—but not all stocks are demi glace. You can substitute demi glace for stock if you have some of this shortcut stock stored in the freezer, but you'll need to dilute it with either more store-bought stock or water.

Is Demi Glace the Same as Gravy?

Though both can be made from meat and tend to be rich, savory and flavorful, gravy is typically made from pan drippings along with stock and/or wine along with flour or cornstarch to thicken it. A demi glace is a much longer, more involved process typically (with the exception of our recipe here): it's a reduced espagnole sauce typically comprised of cooked down vegetables, tomato puree, a meat stock (veal, beef or chicken), and wine.