Easy Demi-Glace Recipe

Shortcut recipe for demi-glace

The Spruce

  • Total: 105 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 90 mins
  • Yield: 1 Container (8 Servings)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
106 Calories
5g Fat
12g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 Container (8 Servings)
Amount per serving
Calories 106
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 482mg 21%
Total Carbohydrate 12g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 4g
Calcium 56mg 4%
*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 8 hours.

Demi-glace is an amazing sauce to serve with red meats, like 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's too hard to make, you're probably not going to make it. Which is a shame, because everyone should be able to enjoy the deep, rich flavor of demi-glace. It's pretty much the ultimate sauce.

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

You'll need some cheesecloth for straining the sauce and also for making the sachet d'épices, as well as some cooking twine to tie it up.

2:14

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Ingredients

  • For the Sachet d'Épices:
  • 1 bay leaf (dried)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 6 to 8 fresh parsley stems
  • 8 to 10 whole peppercorns
  • For the Sauce:
  • 1 ounce clarified butter (or 2 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup yellow onions (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 cups low-sodium beef stock (divided)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

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

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

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

  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.

  6. Whisk in 3 cups of the beef stock.

  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 one-third.

  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).

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

  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.

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

  12. Season to taste with kosher salt. (But if you're using the demi-glace to make another sauce, season at the very end.)

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 2 weeks when stored in a sealed container. You can also freeze it for 3 or 4 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 from 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 a myriad of other sauces:

  • Add some red wine and reduce it for a bit and you have the 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.