Recipe Demi Glace Sauce

Fonds de veau brun-for 2 litres

Cut 1.2 kg (2 ½ lbs) of veal meat and .45 kg (1 lb) of veal bones into pieces and divide them over a buttered oven tray. Brown in a hot oven, turn several times to achieve an even brown colour.

Slice 2 carrots and 2 onions in small rings and put them on the bottom of a cooking pan. Then cover the vegetables with 120 grams (¼ lb) of fresh lard, fill up with the roasted meat & bones.

Leave this for about 10 minutes on a very low fire, just to let the moist from the vegetables evaporate. Meanwhile, pour 1 glass of water in the oven tray and let boil, pour into the cooking pan and let boil in until almost all the liquid is evaporated. Repeat this sequence 3 times, so that all the juices of the roasted meat are dissolved; always boil in until 1 spoon of liquid remains. Then add 2 ½ litres of water, 3 grams of salt (not more!), 3-4 twigs of fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf and 1 twig of fresh thyme. Slowly bring to boil and let cook at least 5 hours on a minimal fire. Pour the fonds through a very fine sifter and let rest for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the grease, which may be saved for other culinary applications. When cold, sift into another pot through a sifting cloth. This fonds should be clear, tasteful and have a beautiful golden colour. In the ancient French cuisine they used to call this a 'blond de veau'.

Use this fonds also as a base for soups (which will gain in flavour and taste) and other sauces.

A variant on this is the fonds de veau blanc, which is prepared equally but without roasting the meat and bones. For a fonds de volaille add 2 chicken carcasses and 1 lb of chicken pieces.

Roux  - for 150 gram

Melt 75 grams butter and let slowly cook until clear (when the moist in the butter has evaporated), do not let it brown. Add 75 grams of flour and mix with a wooden spatula. Heat very slowly to allow the active flour ingredients start a yeasting process and convert into dextrine. Keep mixing and let very slowly boil for at least 15 minutes. The roux should have a pleasant light golden-brown colour. Perfectionists would first 'roast' the flour on a baking plate.

Sauce Espagnole  - for 1 litre sauce

Simmer 50 grams of fresh (fat) bacon, add a twig of thyme and a bay leaf and a mirepoix (very, very fine sliced) of 1 carrot and 1 onion. Slowly heat until a golden brown. Remove the melted grease of the lard, add the cold roux and mix thoroughly. Then add 2 litres of boiling fonds brun, little by little under constant stirring. Finally add ½ water glass of good white wine. Cook for 2 hours on a tiny fire and take out the impurities and floating grease. Move to a different pan through a fine sifter and add 1 water glass of thick tomato concentrate. Slowly boil for 1 hour and take our impurities. 

Demi-Glace Sauce   - for 1 litre sauce

Let 1 litre of Sauce Espagnole boil down to 2/3 Then add 1/3 litre of fonds de veau to obtain the original consistency. Now you will appreciate why to use little salt in the fonds de veau! Demi-Glace sauce is both great as a base for refined sauces itself!

Sounds like a lot of work?

True, but it is really worth the while! A good sauce can make or break your dish and you don't need a large quantity. It holds well in the freezer, so make for a few times and freeze in smaller portions.

Making the 'final' sauces once you have the Demi-Glace is not difficult and takes little time.

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About The Author, James Post
James Post, Executive Chef, Aloe Vera Restaurant Grenada (

James Post moved to Grenada after a career in the high tech electronics industry in the Netherlands. In 2000 he felt it was time for a change and moved to the Caribbean to realize his dream: to build a small, sustainable resort ( At age 8 he was already making Croquettes (a Dutch specialty) and became a passionate cook and food lover. He considers Grenada to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world, which was an important reason to select this island, in addition to friendly, peaceful people.

He encourages readers to ask questions; he can be reached per email at