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Home Cooking 10

Demi Glace, my particular induction hot plate, and other interesting (maybe) things...

Caroline1 | Apr 1, 201511:30 AM

Well, I spent the last 4 days making demi-glace from scratch, the oooooooold fashioned way. Escoffier would be proud! I've attached a photo of the final stage, now dispensed into 2 0z portion size cups that have caps for long term storage in the freezer.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take any photos during the long 4 day process, BUT... It is mind boggling (to me, even though I'm the one who did it) that these 17 little 2 ounce cups hold the essence of 8 gallons of water, a bunch of carrots, celery, and onions roasted under about $40.00 worth of grass fed Charolaise beef soup bones, knuckles, joints and marrow that were painted with tomato paste, then roasted until brown and simmered for days until this was all that remained. If NASA could do that with people, we could fit a whole city into one space shuttle! '-)

My one regret about the whole process is that living in Texas means abominably stupid liquor laws, and even though there ARE now "liquor stores" in Collin County, where I live, it is still harder than holy hell to find REAL bona fide cork-in-the-bottle's-neck Madeira wine, a traditional ingredient in the traditional classic demi-glace of old. As a result of that, I could not find a bottle of Madeira that did not come with a damned screw top cap! DO NOT TRUST ANY WINE THAT HAS A SCREW TOP CAP! As a result, my fine gorgeous demi-glace has a bite to it it would not have had if I had had a choice beyond Taylor New York State Madeira. <sigh> Life is a beach and then you drown....

On the subject of induction cookers, I popped a WHOPPING five hundred bucks for my single burner, counter top (100 PRE-SETS!)VOLLRATH Mirage Pro, and my experience to date? FABULOUS! It holds a temperature exactly! How do I know that? Well, one time my personal assistant failed to turn it off after frying an egg in peanut oil at 220 degrees. By accident, it was left on for about 10 hours! On a gas or standard electric burner, it would have been burnt oil, a terribly smelly house, and LOTS of smoke! It wasn't! The oil was just beginning to gel after all that time, but it was still liquid in the original amount, and NOTHING BURNED! One of the things Vollrath advertises about this particular 100-presets model is that you can temper chocolate on it. Based on this experience, indeed you can!

Sooooooo.... even though I have and regularly use my Sous Vide Supreme, I am intensely curious whether I could sous vide something successfully in a large pot of hot water fitted with something like a round cake rack in the bottom to keep the sous vide package suspended? I suspect it just may work. If my Vollrath can hold tempered chocolate at temperature for hours, why wouldn't it work for sous vide? But on the more practical side, even if it does, both the Vollrath AND the Sous Vide Supreme cost the same amount: roughly $500.00. So where is the saving? COUNTER SPACE!!! If I ever get around to trying it, I'll let you know. My Sous Vide Supreme doesn't waver more than .05 degrees from the temperature I set it for, so I'm also wondering whether it could be used as a giant crock pot? Probably wouldn't be a joy to clean, so I won't be going there, but it is an interesting thought.

Anyway, in the not too distant future, I will be sous viding a cheap old chuck roast or a brisket, then when cooked for 3 or 4 days to a soft and lusciously flavorful and tender piece of medium rare beef, I will be slicing it in half lengthways and converting it to "steaks," pan searing them in a scorching cast iron skillet, then dissolving the fond with my demi-glace for a pan sauce, then I'll feast on the most flavorful and tender Prime Steak to come down the turnpike since dry aged grass fed beef disappeared from the local supermarket. I guess I'm just a counterfitter at heart. '-) Delmonico's, eat your heart out!

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