Friday, September 9, 2011

Part Deux - Demi Glace

I began today searching for ice cube trays. I need them to store my demi-glace (once finished) in my freezer for some lucky dishes. Apparently, ice cube trays are a "seasonal item" reserved for summertime, not fall. Who knew? Finally, at my third store, I found them in the summer clearance section! So, I guess if you need ice cube trays in the winter, you'll be out of luck.

Anyway, after bringing my precious trays home, I pull my pot of basic brown veal stock out of the fridge, crack open my Les Halles cookbook and begin again:



2 quarts basic brown veal stock
2 cups red wine
3 shallots, peeled and chopped


After tucking away some of my veal stock (in the freezer for future recipes), I start with 2 quarts of stock and continue reading. According to Anthony Bourdain, "In a heavy-bottomed stockpot, dump in red wine equal in amount to one fourth of the volume of stock.  Add a few peeled chopped shallots.  Begin reducing the red wine over high heat."  

"When about half the wine has cooked away, add your stock, bring to a near boil, and then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.  Let me stress again: DO NOT EVER BOIL YOUR STOCK!"

"Gently simmer and simmer and simmer and reduce, reduce, reduce until you have a lush, dark, intensely flavored brown sauce.  It should be reasonably thick, but not candy-sticky." (I reduced mine by half, about 4 hours of careful simmering.)  "When your demi looks good, simply repeat the straining process (if anything, even more carefully)."  If you need information on straining, refer to Part Un - Basic Brown Veal Stock.

"Storage:  You can freeze this stuff in batches, large or small.  I like the Julia Child idea of filling ice cube trays with the stuff, so that you can later pop out a cube at a time for small meals or for jacking anemic sauces or stews with flavor, color, and texture."

"This stuff you just made is the mother, the source for all other sauces down the line.  You can bring it down more later, infuse flavors, add garnishes, all sorts of crafty business."

Well, I did it!!!  I'm so excited!!!  I can't wait to use it....but not today, I'm beat!