Demi-glace is a well-known ingredient in French cuisine. Though its original version is prepared with veal; beef demi-glace is getting quite popular in the food market. The term glace is inspired by the famous French word “glaze,” which refers to a type of sauce that is made half or demi by reducing it.
Despite the fact that the taste of demi-glace has been attracting many food lovers, the process of preparation is quite time-consuming and also pretty complicated. Fortunately, there are a few items available in the market that you can use in place of demi-glace. You can either prepare these substitute items at the comfort of your home or buy them from your nearby grocery store.
By learning about these alternatives and keeping them in your kitchen as alternate options, you will never run out of ingredients when you want to make the tastiest stew or soup.
So let us learn about the taste, texture of the best demi-glace and what are the ingredients that you can use in place of it.
What is the taste of demi-glace?
Demi-glace refers to a considerably thick sauce that will remind you of beef consomme. The preparation process involves either reduction of beef stock or beef broth. Preparing demi-glace with this procedure helps it to get a thicker texture and an exclusively intense taste.
However, surprisingly it looks watery even after you reduce it for a certain period and will taste much saltier than you wish. Also, when you add meat bones in demi-glace along with a few vegetables, its taste will turn either bitter or sweet. Basically, it will not taste nice.
However, the best-known taste of demi-glace tends to be meaty; you might find that its flavor is similar to Bovril or Marmite if you are familiar with what they taste like.
However, you don’t have to worry about over-the-top salty flavor as you can easily adjust that. While preparing it, just focus on the consistency and taste you would like.
Additionally, you can easily change the consistency if you find that the flavor is too deep.
7 Best substitutes for Demi-glace
Before looking into the substitutes, it’s good to know if you can prepare a demi-glace at your home in case you have appropriate ingredients available. If you have starch (cornstarch) in your kitchen, then you can prepare thick demi-glace; however, it will be time-consuming.
This is why people usually look for store-based demi-glace that grocery stores sell in-store cans or plastic packages. Also, it is available across the country, so it won’t be difficult for you to get one when you need to prepare tasty gravy or sauces to serve beside the cooked meat. Also, you can add it to enhance the taste of your stews or soups.
However, by any chance, if you don’t have access to demi-glace at your nearby store, then you can use other ingredients in place of it to maintain the taste you want.
In fact, it is pretty easy to substitute demi-glace with other available items that will give you an almost similar flavor and texture to your dish.
Let us look into the top substitutes for demi-glace:
1. Beef stock
If you are looking for a substitute for beef demi-glace, which is made up of beef stock. Then you can simply make use of beef stock to substitute it. This implies that you don’t have to process the reduction of stock for a longer time because watery consistency will also work well.
For this, you can make homemade beef stock if available but if you don’t have time for that, then buy it from a good brand. It would be better if you choose canned beef stock, as it will be ideal as an alternative to beef demi-glace in any recipes that require watery consistency, for example, stews or soups. However, this substitute would not be the best choice if you want to use it for making sauces or gravies.
2. Beef Bones
Beef marrow bones work as a great substitution in the stock preparation process; however, most chefs think that it can take away the essence of veal bones and remove the creamy and rich taste from the dish. This is quite true in some aspects, so if flavor is not your preference and you just want a substitute for preparing thick gravy, then beef bones are the best option.
3. Beef Gravy
The beef gravy can also work well in place of demi-glace. Plus it is easily available in stores. The store-bought gravy packets are best for preparing jarred beef gravy which has the traits of an authentic demi-glace dish with exact thickness, color, and texture as the original.
4. Canned beef consomme
You can use high-quality canned beef consomme that can give you similar results as the original demi-glace. It comes with a considerable thick texture and deep flavor. While you buy canned beef consomme, make sure you purchase a low sodium version from a prominent brand. Additionally, the majority of chefs believe that canned beef consomme is a good choice as a substitute in terms of health benefits as well.
5. Chicken stock
Chicken stock is one of the excellent substitutes for demi-glace. You can either buy a canned chicken stock that is usually available in grocery stores or make one in your own kitchen. For this, you need to simmer chicken bones by using various aromatic spices, vegetables, herbs, etc.
Chicken stock comes with a thin texture and mild flavor in comparison to the original demi-glace. Hence, you can use a thickening agent and more spices to attain consistency and taste of your choice. It is one of the alternatives that you can prepare without any hassles.
6. Mushroom stock
If you are vegetarian and want to enjoy demi-glace, then the mushroom stock is a perfect choice for you. Moreover, the appearance of mushroom stock is almost similar to beef products due to its dark brown color. Also, it has a unique umami flavor that can add more taste to your dish.
Apart from this, you will also get rich content of protein, vitamins as well as minerals. So we can say that mushroom stock is not only a good substitute but also a healthy choice if you want to cut down non-veg products from your kitchen.
7. Cream of mushroom soup
It has so many uses other than serving as a basic soup. Many side dishes, including stews, casseroles, roast, etc., can become more appealing with the irresistible taste and smooth texture of this cream.
You can use cream of mushroom soup to prepare the sober but highly tasteful gravy. Also, you don’t have to add beef drippings when you use this ingredient.
Demi-glace is one of the best ingredients, but its preparation process is absolutely daunting. Also, there might be many reasons that you cannot get it from your local store. So use the above-given substitutes if your dish demands quality that demi-glace delivers. The best thing about these substitutes is they are easy to prepare in comparison to the actual demi-glace. Aside from this, you don’t have to compromise much on the texture, flavor, and quality of the dish. Also, there are vegan substitutes for people who do not consume meat or want a vegan option.