Demi-glace (DEHM-ee glahs) is an indispensable ingredient in L. Paul Bremer's pantry. This recipe makes a fairly large quantity. Be forewarned: It takes about 60 hours, start to finish. You might have to order the bones in advance from your butcher; make sure the veal is as lean as possible. The result is a somewhat gelatinous, rich brown sauce base.
(Ready-made demi-glace also is available at Balducci's, Wegman's and Whole Foods stores.)
Servings: 6 cups
- 8 pounds veal bones
- 5 pounds lean veal shoulder
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 6 medium onions, cut in half, with 2 whole cloves stuck in each half
- 3 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 ribs celery
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/2 cup water
- 8 quarts water
- 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 10 black peppercorns
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the veal bones and meat on at least 2 rimmed baking sheets and roast for 2 hours or until they have browned. Don't let them burn.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium low-heat, add the oil and vegetables. Cook for about 1 hour, until the vegetables are browned. Add the tomato paste. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup water.
Transfer the bones and vegetables and their juices to a large stockpot. (A rack that fits inside the bottom of the pot is good to keep the vegetables from sticking to the bottom.) Add the remaining 8 quarts cold water, increase the heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Add the thyme, bay leaf, parsley and peppercorns. Simmer uncovered for 48 hours, skimming the surface regularly and adding more water, as necessary, to maintain the original water level.
After the stock has cooked for 48 hours, strain it carefully using a chinois or fine-mesh sieve, discarding all solids. Try to keep the stock clear. Let cool.
Place the stock in a separate large pot over medium-high heat, and cook to reduce the liquid about 80 percent (to about 6 cups). Let cool to room temperature. May cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week, or freeze for 2 to 3 months.
Adapted from L. Paul Bremer from a recipe he learned at L'Academie de Cuisine in Gaithersburg.
Tested by John Allen.
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