Demi-glace is sauce. I mean, that’s basically it. Think of demi-glace, or its knock-kneed cousin, the bouillon cube, as a concrete foundation (or in the bouillon cube’s case, a parquet floor) for saucecrafting, to borrow a Kingdom-Of-Loathing concept. But yeah.
If you’ve got demi-glace like I had demi-glace, you can do crazy things from Classical French Cuisine. There’s tons of ’em. Let’s just crack the ol’ Jacques Pépin to see a sampling:
* Marchand de vin sauce
* Madeira-truffle sauce
* Chasseur sauce
Stuff like that.
Well, Dad and I made a Chasseur sauce (a hunter’s sauce) over break with one of the demi-glace ice-cubes. Here comes one now!
Put a little brown ice cube in your favorite one-cup heat-resistant kitchenware, and add nice hot water to it, to get a delicious brown liquid. Also, drink San Pellegrino (It’s In The Background! TM).
Let me see if I remember right, with Jacques helping out, although we didn’t use his recipe:
I know I started with a roux – which, if you didn’t know, is another one of those Classical French things: equal parts fat and flour. It also features heavily in Cajun cooking, and it retains a lot of heat very well. It’s a thickener, and it’s sort of dangerous; they call it Cajun Napalm sometimes.
Anyway, start with a roux. Then a few shallots, a clove or two of garlic – wilt these for a while, add some diced tomato, some mushrooms, a little chives, maybe. and some white wine, and a (small!) knob of butter for sheen. Add the wine slowly, and cook it down – forgive my poor recollection of the recipe; my memory of this is not so fresh.
Anyway, Chasseur Sauce is great for pretty much any kind of poultry; it goes really well with the duck leg I put it on, and I’m willing to hazard a guess that it goes well with turkey and dark-meat chicken. I had it on rabbit once, at Le Bouchon in Chicago. It was fantastic.
Anyway, duck. Duck is amazing. America, eat more duck. And less beef. Actually, yeah. Eat less meat, but when you do eat meat, try some duck. No, I’m serious. Score it, broil it, let all that fantastic fat render out (Save it for something! Don’t throw it out! Don’t be a fool, America!).
There we go. From now on, the object of my addresses will be the country in which I live, writ large. Hello, America the country, or women named America. Or men named Amerigo.
Anyway, duck is fabulous, and it just wants a little love and a roasting pan.
What could possibly be wrong about some crispy duck on a bed of angel hair pasta with the chasseur sauce on top?
Maybe I could have used a little French bread to sop up the sauce. Maybe.
Draw your own conclusions.