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“Cheater” Demi Glace – Because Chicken + Beef = Veal

I received a lot of email after publishing our classic demi-glace video, but not the kind I was expecting. Instead of being showered with praise for finally granting this popular food wish, I was being chastised for posting a recipe that required veal bones.

This seemed a little unfair, since veal bones are sort of a key ingredient when making what’s basically a reduced veal stock. However, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I sometimes forget that people don’t live in restaurants, where things like veal knuckles are as ubiquitous as kale.

For your average home cook, veal bones can be expensive, and tricky to find. Plus, they come from baby cows, which many people are against harming. Nope, using adorable young calves is just not an option, although using the bones from ugly, fully-grown chickens is apparently fine.  

Anyway, possible hypocrisy aside, this alternative method worked amazingly well, and above and beyond the almost identical look and feel, the flavor was surprisingly close. This didn’t taste like chicken, or like beef, but was somewhere in the middle, which is basically how I’d describe the taste of veal. I really hope you give this cheaper, easier, and possibly more ethical version a try soon. Enjoy!


Makes about 2 quarts of “Cheater” Demi Glace:
5 pounds whole chicken wings
2 pounds beef shanks (about three 1-inch thick slices)
2 onions, chopped (including skins)
2 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
6 quarts cold water
bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

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authorI teach people how to cook. Don't let the chicken suit fool you. I have skills. Some skills.