Demi-Glace Basic Brown Sauce

Demi-glace is a very useful ingredient to have to hand in any Galley where you are cooking for large numbers of people as it is a base for so many sauces and dishes, it is almost indispensable to have to hand on the stove or chilled in the fridge, it can save you a great deal of time during a busy production period when there is a need to produce gravies and sauces quickly.
My advice based on experience in the industry, is don’t worry too much about the quantity of ingredients or even the selection of ingredients you use as long as everything is fresh, We have not given quantities of ingredients, just use what you have, your objective is to make a good flavoured stock then turn it into a rich brown sauce. We make this sauce every week or as required depending on crew levels. Over time you will create a recipe and a method that suits the time, equipment and manning levels you have available to you.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 23 hours
Cuisine French
Servings 300 people


  • 50 litre Stock Pot


  • Brown Beef Stock
  • Brown Roux Or Corn Starch
  • Chopped Bacon Fat
  • Roughly Chopped Onions Some chefs leave the skin on.
  • Roughly Chopped Carrots
  • Roughly Chopped Celery
  • Freshly ground Black Pepper To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Tomato Puree To Taste
  • Bouquet Garni
  • Gravy Browning If Required


  • We make Demi glace every week so during the week we collect meat trimmings and bones etc, when we have enough, we start making our Demi Glaze by placing all the meat trimmings into some suitable gastronome tins and roasting them in a hot oven until brown.
  • Browned meat trimmings.
  • Select a large deep stock pot suitable for the quantity of sauce you wish to make. we use a 50 litre pot.
  • Fry the bacon fat until brown and add the carrots, onion and celery and fry until the vegetables start to brown,
  • As an alterative it is possible to add the vegetables to the meat trimming once once they are browned, what we are looking for is the caramelization of the vegetables to improve the flavour and colour of the finished sauce.
  • Add your browned meat trimmings, bones and vegetables to the stock pot and half fill with water and place on the stove over a high heat. Add some Tomato Puree, Top up with water or beef stock, add Bouquet Garni bring to the boil then lower to slow simmer over night.
  • The following day your brown stock it will look darker and may require topping up with water or stock.
  • Remove the pot from the stove and strain the stock to remove all the meat trimmings and vegetables etc and then return the stock to the stove and return to a rolling simmer.
  • In a separate pan made a brown roux, taking care to brown without burning, this requires care and attention so as to control the heat and keep the roux moving in the pan. (Alternatively you could use cornflour of flour and add gravy browning.)
  • Allow the roux to cool slightly so as to avoid it splashing when we add it to your stock. Carefully whisk your brown roux into your hot stock don’t worry if some small lumps of Roux appear in your sauce as these will break down and disappear later. Over a low heat simmer the sauce to fully cook out the starch and thicken season and allow your sauce to simmer gently, reducing and thickening.
  • Correct the seasoning and consistency of your demi-glaze, you may need to add salt, pepper, gravy browning, beef stock powder or paste, adjust and add what you need to create the right consistency colour and flavour.
  • Theoretically you now have an Espagnole Sauce, to make this into a Demi-glace you need to reduce the sauce by half, Demiglace is a reduced thickened Espagnole, But in practical terms we find that this sauce is suitable perfectly suitable for our production needs as it is.
  • We split the sauce into 2 containers and place one in the fridge and one in the freezer. and use as required.


Although many recipes will tell you of the great keeping qualities of demi-glace under refrigeration covering many months, I personally would strongly advise against such a practice. Make and use your demi-glace weekly, or freeze it if you wish.
Demi-Glace can be used on it’s own as a gravy or sauce for any number of dishes, and of course other ingredients can be added to made many different derivative sauces or even use it to boost the flavour and colour of dishes when required. The addition of demi-glaze to any goulash, gravy or even Bolognese can have a truly enhancing effect.   Having Demi-Glace readily to hand will save you time and effort during your most busy periods.
If however if you are short of time, equipment and staff, you have to assess if it is really practical on your vessel to produce your own demi-glaze, only you know the answer to that question. It is possible to buy dried powdered mixes which make a perfectly suitable but more expensive substitute. As with all convenience foods always follow the manufactures instructions regarding both the method and the mixing instructing to generate the expected yield, don’t just mix without weighing this will prove more expensive and not achieve the required flavour.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!