Demi-Glace Derivative Sauces
In earlier posts we talked about all the different mother sauces, intermediary sauces, and their derivative sauces that you can make from veloute’s and bechamel’s. Those sauces blanket the majority of the white sauces and cream sauces that you will be making during your culinary experiences. Now that we explored the easier sauces, we’re going to delve into some of the most complex derivative sauces that you can make from a demi-glace sauce.
Demi-Glace As a Sauce
Demi-glace on its own makes a rich, albeit neutral sauce that can on its own be used as its own sauce. It’s a quick way to retain that intense beef flavor that you’d expect from a steak sauce while still maintaining the ability for the flavor of the steak to come through without having the sauce overpower it.
However most chefs prefer to alter their demi-glace, and many have their own recipe to create their own version, and once you begin changing and adding to the demi-glace sauce, you begin to enter the world of the derivative sauces.
All quantities given are for 1 L (1 qt) of demi-glace. Always season with salt and pepper last.
What You’ll Need:
A Bordelaise sauce is a classic steak sauce in which a dry red wine is reduced into the demi-glace making an incredibly rich and flavorful sauce. To make it, sweat 100 g (3 1/2 oz) chopped shallots, 1 bay leaf, 1 sprig of time and 5 g of cracked peppercorns in a sauce pan. Add 500 mL of dry white wine and simmer for 15 minutes until reduced by three-fourths. Then add your demi-glace and simmer for another 15 minutes. Strain through a fine strainer. Finish the sauce with 60 g of meat glaze (Brown Stock reduced by 9/10s) and mount with 100 g (3 1/2 oz) of butter. Classic garnish for this sauce is poached sliced beef marrow.
Chasseur (Hunter’s Sauce)
A Chasseur is a delicious sauce made from shallots and mushrooms with white wine reduction. To make it, sweat 30 g (1 oz) of diced shallots and 250 g (8 oz) sliced mushrooms in butter. Add 250 mL (8 fl oz) white wine and 30 mL (1 fl oz)of brandy and reduce by half. Add demi-glace and 250 g (8 oz) tomato concasse and simmer for 5 minutes. Finish the sauce with 30 g (1 oz) of meat glaze, parsley and chives.
A Chateaubriand sauce is a sauce that is flavored with sliced shallots and mushrooms sauteed in butter a with a white wine reduction. To make it, sweat 125 g (4 oz) each of sliced shallots and mushrooms in butter. Add 1 sprig, or 1 tsp of thyme, 2 bay leaves, and 500 mL of white wine. Reduce this mixture by two thirds. Then, add your demi-glace and reduce again but this time by half. Strain and mount with 350 g (12 oz) parsley butter and finish with 30 g (1 oz) fresh chopped tarragon or a tsp of dried tarragon.
Madeira Sauce or Port Sauce
An easier sauce to make, it is produced by bringing demi-glace to a boil, reducing slightly then adding 125 mL (4 fl oz) Madeira wine or port. Finish by mounting the sauce with 60 g (2 oz) butter.
A decadent sauce. It is made by adding finely diced truffles to a Madeira sauce. Perigourdine sauce is the same with the difference of the truffles being sliced into relatively thicker slices.
Start by sweating 50 g (2 oz) shallots and 500 g (16 oz) sliced mushrooms in 50 g (2oz) of butter. Add 150 mL (5 fl oz) red, white or Madeira wine and reduce the liquid by two thirds. Add demi-glace and reduce to your desired consistency.
This sauce has much more bite to it and is designed to be more acidic. Start by sweating 125 g (4oz) shallots and add 300 mL (10 fl oz) each white wine and white wine vinegar and 5 g (2 tsp) cracked peppercorns. Reduce this mixture by three quarters, then add your demi-glace and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain. Add 125 g (4 oz) of diced cornichons, 60 g (2 oz) capers, 5 g (1/2 Tbsp) fresh tarragon, 5 g (1/2 Tbsp) fresh parsley and 5 g (1/2 Tbsp) of fresh chervil. Do not strain.
A poivrade sauce, or pepper sauce, is quite a popular classic sauce and is as delicious as it is complex. A well made Poivrade sauce is all in the execution. Poivrade is also the name given for a traditional sauce that is made with game stock and seasoned with peppercorns. This sauce is used to create the deliciously wonderful Sauce Grand Veneur, one of the most complex derivative sauces in the classic repertoire. For Grand Veneur, game stock is flavored with a demi-glace and finished with cream and currant jelly. The sweet nature of this sauce balances the flavor of game meats.
To make a traditional Poivrade sauce, begin by sweating 250 g (12 oz) mirepoix in 30 g (1 oz) butter. Add 2 bay leaves, a sprig of thyme, 4 parsley stems and 1
crushed garlic clove. Add 500 mL (16 fl oz) white wine, 125 mL (4 fl oz) white wine vinegar. (Red wine vinegar and red wine can also be used). Reduce by half, add demi-glace and reduce to 1 L (1 qt). Add 20 crushed peppercorns and 50 g (2 oz) meat glaze and simmer for another 5 minutes. Strain with a fine strainer and mount with 50-60 g (1 1/2 – 2 oz) butter.
Robert Sauce (Row-bear)
A Robert Sauce is made for pork dishes and is delicious, deep, and rich. It is made by sauteeing 125 g (4oz) chopped onion in 30 g (1 oz) butter. Add 250 mL (8 fl oz) dry white wine and reduce the mixture by two thirds. Add the demi-glace and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain and then add 10 g (2 tsp) dry mustard dissolved in wine and 60 g (2 oz) meat glaze. If you finish the Robert sauce with sliced julienne of sour pickles, preferrably cornichons, it’s actually known as a charcuterie sauce.
As you can gather from above, all these sauces are classic hold overs of French cooking, of which the basis of a major portion of the modern cooking are derived from. Mastering these classic sauces does not confine you French cuisine by any means, as the best part about cooking is taking the classics, and adding your own twist. In almost all restaurants the chefs will not throw up a classic sauce like these without a twist of their own. Sauces are such a diverse and deep subject that most classical French restaurants will have their own Sauciers whose sole responsibility is to create and maintain sauces. But these sauces give you an excellent basis to begin. Instead of white mushrooms for the mushroom sauce, you may add a shiitake variety and reduce a sake instead of a red wine.
Even if you prefer to perfect the classics, that’s okay too. There is no wrong way to cook unless of course it means taking unnecessary shortcuts that affect the end product, such as using straight flour to thicken a sauce or by buying salt heavy stocks and reducing them in hopes of getting a more concentrated version. Always remember the foundations and remember that cooking is all about execution; recipes can and always will be be changed.