The road to a great demi-glace steak sauce!
I have always been a fan of a good demi-glace sauce for a beautiful steak.  A local restaurant, Franks Gourmet Grille, where I live on the East Coast, has a demi glace to kill for….. just a beautiful, silky, rich, fatty sauce that completely compliments the meat.  Restaurants generally simmer a base stock of veal bones, vegetables and wine for this sauce for a good 6 hours or more.
Petit Sirloin, Onion Mushroom Risotto
But really, who has time for that?  I recently came upon a recipe in Cooks Illustrated Magazine – (subscribe if you like to cook – this magazine is a definite keeper) that makes it fairly simple to do your own demi-glace in about 45 minutes.  It tasted great – not in Franks class, but definitely restaurant quality.  A few caveats – it ain’t cheap…..the ingredients cost about $8 bucks for about ¾  of a cup of finished product….and it’s a bit of a pain to make, but it is VERY good, and a little goes a LONG way.  It freezes well, and is simple to re-heat.  This is probably NOT a beginner recipe, but it really isn’t rocket science either.  Make sure you have a good fine mesh strainer for the end – I did not, and used coffee filters – which was fine, but messy.
Anyway, here is the recipe.  I served it over some petite sirloin steaks, with a simple mushroom/onion risotto, and an amazing South African Pinotage that I found for ten bucks – More on the wine:
A few years back, I exhibited my artwork at the Fort Lauderdale Boat Show.  That was an interesting story in and of itself, but while there, I met a guy repping South African wines… every night, when the show closed, all the vendors would gather around his booth and drain off all the open bottles.  This was some seriously good wine.  I ended up buying several cases over the years, and since then have always had an affinity for SA wines.  This one is no exception:
The Bean, Pinotage, 2009; Mooiplaas, Western Cape.  Pinotage is a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault (essentially Hermitage).  This wine was amazing – again for $9.99.  It was a dark purple color, with light manageable tannins, and an amazing aroma.  It tasted of herbs, cherry, blueberry, hard candy – was almost sweet in the finish, but very complex – just a riot of flavors.  After decanting, and with the steak, the taste firmed up to dark chocolate, coffee, some light oak – with an amazing berry finish.  This wine just explodes with flavor.  If you can find this – BUY it!!  A steal at ten bucks.
I grilled the steaks on the barby, and served them with a mushroom, green onion risotto.  Prior blogs cover the risotto – I added a handful or two of chopped baby bella mushrooms, and a couple of green onions  diced, with a bit of the green part left over for garnish.  Yum. 
Here is the recipe for the sauce:
The Beginning
1 small onion, peeled and chopped into ½ inch pieces
1 small carrot, peeled, and cut into ½ inch pieces
8 oz cremini or portabella mushrooms, cleaned and halved
2 medium garlic cloves peeled
1 tbs olive oil
8 oz 85% lean ground beef
1 tbs tomato paste
2 cups dry red wine
4 cups low sodium beef broth
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
2 tsp whole peppercorns
2 pkg unflavored powdered gelatin
  1. Process onion, carrot, mushrooms, and garlic in food processor till diced fine.  About 10 or 12 pulses
  2. Heat oil in 3 qt sauce pot over med high heat till shimmering.  Add beef and tomato paste, and cook, stirring frequently until beef is well browned, and moisture is evaporated – about 8 minutes.  Add wine, and scrape bottom with spoon to remove brown bits.  Add beef broth, thyme, bay leaves, peppercorns, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and gently boil, scraping bottom regularly, and skimming fat from surface, until reduced to about 2 cups.  About 20 – 25 minutes.
  3. Simmer down to about 2 cups
  4. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh strainer over a sauce pan, pushing with a rubber spatula to remove as much liquid as possible.  Should be about a cup or a cup and a quarter of liquid.  Sprinkle in gelatin stock and stir till dissolved.  Gently boil, reducing to about 2/3 a cup – about 5 to 7 minutes.  Spoon over meat and serve.  Remaining sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.  Reconstitute in a sauce pan over low heat.
This is a really good home made demi-glace for steak – I would definitively make it for company – ahead of time! 
Enjoy, and Bon Appetit!

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