When did demi-glace lose the roux?

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I'm a bit puzzled; everywhere I look nowadays it seems like demi is being made without roux. Supposedly this is "modern" or something.  When you folks make demi do you use veal stock and espagnole or just reduce your glace de viande and call it demiglace?
 
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I use a reduction, but it's mostly a question of time & how much trouble I'm willing to take. Also, what recipe my chef wants. I would guess it comes from nuveau(sp?) cuisine. Bourdain calls for a reduction in Kitchen Confidential, and that's, what, 99?
Another factor is(don't laugh) gluten free people. Weget a lot & that would change a dish from gluten free to not.
Honestly I might be the only person in my kitchen who knows classic demi. I'll sound a couple people out and get back to you.
 
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I think demi became just a glace de viandi reduction somewhere back in the late eighties as the need for shortcuts became more prevalent. The nail in its coffin has been the catch phrase "gluten free"
 
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I figured that maybe the anti-gluten brigade could be driving it.  And I do know a few guys that don't feel anything should be "artificially thickened", including using roux.  To me it's a cornerstone of classic cuisine though and I'm not sure it's really "right" to call it demiglace if it's not made like demiglace.  Normally I care more about flavor and texture than pedantics and semantics, and I do make a glace de viande that I reduce down to nape...but I don't feel right calling it demiglace!
 
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In another thread a very similar discussion is going on Hollandaise Advice.  In this thread sabayon is debated, is it a dessert recipe or is it the base for making hollandaise?  Basically I was told that these terms "evolve" and this is the twenty first century the classics can be anything a chef dreams up.  I spent the great majority of my life in the twentieth century and believe the classics should be classics and new methods and variations should have new names.  Culinary Fundamentals, The American Culinary Federation, 2006, Uses a roux to make Demi-glace.It sounds like your seeing a lot of stock reductions and not Demi.    
 
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It's a relatively modern thing. The "demiglace" today isn't, it's a reduction. If you are talking classically, then it's espagnole sauce with an equal part of Veal stock reduced to half. Bring it to 1/10 and you have glace.

It's nothing to do with gluten free.. Just the modern sauce making evolved to make things simpler. Much like béchamel used to be made with ham bone or Veal and milk... Today is much different from caramels time...
 
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I don't think it's just simplicity; after all, not all modern cuisine is simple.  Look at the stuffy being done by Keller, Dufrene, Blumenthal and Atchatz.  It feels more like a repudiation of classical technique, something done on purpose. Like a statement that some want to make a break with the traditional way of doing things. And I'm cool with that but I'm not sure it makes sense to change it but use the traditional name.  Kind of like how a lot of bars will put apple schnaps in a martini glass and call it a martini even though it has nothing of a real martini (ie no gin, vodka or vermouth). We dont call it a martini just because of the glass, it's the other way around!
 
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When I say "simple" I'm talking about flavours. I learned the reason we got away from using the espagnole sauce to make demiglace was because the roux made the sauce taste... Like 1969. With reduction we have a clean Veal flavor. Less variables, right?

With espagnole, we have to worry about ratio of roux, how much the roux is cooked, the amount of reduction in the espagnole sauce before mixing, etc, etc, etc.

With straight Veal reduce, now we are talking less variables. 1 ingredient, focus on that, and how we reduce.

At least, that's what my culinary instructors told me all those years ago when I inquired.
 
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Nowadays? I don't think roux has been used much in the last 30 years for making demi. I always thought it was an offshoot of nouvelle cuisine and the "lightening" and "natural" approach that those chefs took towards food. Also, maybe given the influx of relatively inexpensive bones for making stock/demi, you no longer need to thicken your stock to achieve consistency since you can just reduce it to glace? I dunno, but maybe back in the day the chefs had to get more yield out of their bones to make costs. 

The only time I ever did it was in culinary school when we learned the "classics."

 Roux isn't really used much anymore, at least in any of the fine dining places I've worked. I might make it every once and a while to do a mac and cheese for staff meal or make a batch of chowder, but in terms of menu stuff I don't really use it. Not many people do I think. 
 
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Demiglace tastes like 1869, maybe 1769! If you don't like that, fine. Then why cling to the name? To me it smacks of laziness and dismissively assumes the customer won't notice the difference.
 
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I hear you there... Honestly, I don't see it written on many menus these days, unless the chef is trying to stroke an ego... Too many knorr cans of "demiglace" or such.

Me? I call it what it is, a reduction. Sounds better anyway. Then again, I may be able to cook French cuisine, but I don't advertise it LOL
 
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Demiglace tastes like 1869, maybe 1769! If you don't like that, fine. Then why cling to the name? To me it smacks of laziness and dismissively assumes the customer won't notice the difference.
Well, not really. Language and vocabulary is constantly evolving, and new meaning for old words are constantly being incorporated into how we speak as a society. 

It allows people that have, say, a common idea of what a thing is (demi-glace) to recognize something new that is similar in use and execution but still different (i.e. modern demi glace). Sure, we (as a society) could come up with a new word for such things (and we often do) but using a familiar word to bridge that gap between the old and the new so that people will understand is very common. 

When was the last time you actually "dialed" a phone? Did you ever "rewind" a video on you tube or on your DVR? Have you ever actually "hung up" your cell phone? Does your car window actually "roll" up or down....? Do you see my point? When I hear the term demi glace, I don't even THINK about the roux-thickened old one. My mind turns instantly to the reduction method. To me, truly, demi-glace IS a reduced veal stock. 

So yeah, words change and evolve, especially as our understanding of the world of cooking and gastronomy explodes more and more every year. We need a way to bridge the gaps between the old and the new, and one way to reach that understanding is to use words. 
 
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Most places that I have worked in the last 20 years or so do a combination brown stock espagnole without roux reduction. I say this because old school brown stock does not have tomato paste in it but espagnole does. The places I have worked use tomato paste in the final bone roasting stage, so if going by the book, you can't call the final product glace de viande either. Where does that leave us?

I used to call my brown colored reduction "Larry" but nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. No matter what I called it, it wouldn't come when I did call anyway, so I just stopped.
 
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Most places that I have worked in the last 20 years or so do a combination brown stock espagnole without roux reduction. I say this because old school brown stock does not have tomato paste in it but espagnole does. The places I have worked use tomato paste in the final bone roasting stage, so if going by the book, you can't call the final product glace de viande either. Where does that leave us?

I used to call my brown colored reduction "Larry" but nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. No matter what I called it, it wouldn't come when I did call anyway, so I just stopped.

This made my night...

I routinely call water (town I'm in) stock.
 
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Well, not really. Language and vocabulary is constantly evolving, and new meaning for old words are constantly being incorporated into how we speak as a society. 

It allows people that have, say, a common idea of what a thing is (demi-glace) to recognize something new that is similar in use and execution but still different (i.e. modern demi glace). Sure, we (as a society) could come up with a new word for such things (and we often do) but using a familiar word to bridge that gap between the old and the new so that people will understand is very common. 

When was the last time you actually "dialed" a phone? Did you ever "rewind" a video on you tube or on your DVR? Have you ever actually "hung up" your cell phone? Does your car window actually "roll" up or down....? Do you see my point? When I hear the term demi glace, I don't even THINK about the roux-thickened old one. My mind turns instantly to the reduction method. To me, truly, demi-glace IS a reduced veal stock. 

So yeah, words change and evolve, especially as our understanding of the world of cooking and gastronomy explodes more and more every year. We need a way to bridge the gaps between the old and the new, and one way to reach that understanding is to use words. 
No one is saying words don't evolve in meaning but respectfully, I think you're at once off base while missing the point. There are lots of kinds of changes and obfuscations and words with imprecise meanings.  Take the way many southern people call all sodas "Cokes" (eg 'what kind of Coke do you want?', ' I'll have orange').  There are lots of regional names for things, but this isn't that.  Or look at something so ubiquitous that all things like get lumped together like all tissues being Kleenex and any cotton swab being called a Q-tip.  Clearly we're not talking about something like that. 

No, this is kind of a willing distortion.  Despite the possibility of a word changing meanings over time the way that gay went from meaning 'happy' to meaning homosexual, you can't really just change a term at will.  A great example is the "footlong" sandwich at Subway.  A greedy chain restaurant may decide that a foot means whatever they want but a foot has a legal definition when used as a unit of measure.  Note that Subway lost that case had to actually make their "foot long" a foot long or change the name.

What we have frequently is "evolution" being used as a weasel word to just mean whatever you want it to mean. Clearly despite different approaches demiglace has a pretty clear definition in a culinary sense.  The word carries a lot of cache, and demi is often called "brown gold".  It's easy to see why a chef would want to trade on that prestige without doing the work.  So we're back to the idea that a word or term means something or it doesn't.  Maybe the culinary world really is transitioning into demiglace being something else, but IMOHO it's kind of weasely to keep pretending that everyone is agreeing to call it by the classical term until we "find a better name" for it./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

I hope this isn't coming across in too much of a "Get off my lawn!" kind of a way!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif   I realize this is pretty pedantic but hey, no one has to read it or post if they don't want!
 
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I'll note that we do of course have a lot of binders, thickeners and techniques that would have been unknown to Careme or Escoffier.  I'm not Luddite!  MG/modernist cooking is awesome and I fully embrace it.  Perhaps in a new world with many way to thicken besides roux, arrowroot, mounting butter, etc we'll see a trend towards purely looking at what a sauce is composed of without regard to how it's made.  For instance bechamel could be made with cornstarch or xanthan or some more exotic hydrocolloid.  Rust never sleeps after all.
 
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No one is saying words don't evolve in meaning but respectfully, I think you're at once off base while missing the point. There are lots of kinds of changes and obfuscations and words with imprecise meanings.  Take the way many southern people call all sodas "Cokes" (eg 'what kind of Coke do you want?', ' I'll have orange').  There are lots of regional names for things, but this isn't that.  Or look at something so ubiquitous that all things like get lumped together like all tissues being Kleenex and any cotton swab being called a Q-tip.  Clearly we're not talking about something like that. 

No, this is kind of a willing distortion.  Despite the possibility of a word changing meanings over time the way that gay went from meaning 'happy' to meaning homosexual, you can't really just change a term at will.  A great example is the "footlong" sandwich at Subway.  A greedy chain restaurant may decide that a foot means whatever they want but a foot has a legal definition when used as a unit of measure.  Note that Subway lost that case had to actually make their "foot long" a foot long or change the name.

What we have frequently is "evolution" being used as a weasel word to just mean whatever you want it to mean. Clearly despite different approaches demiglace has a pretty clear definition in a culinary sense.  The word carries a lot of cache, and demi is often called "brown gold".  It's easy to see why a chef would want to trade on that prestige without doing the work.  So we're back to the idea that a word or term means something or it doesn't.  Maybe the culinary world really is transitioning into demiglace being something else, but IMOHO it's kind of weasely to keep pretending that everyone is agreeing to call it by the classical term until we "find a better name" for it.;)

I hope this isn't coming across in too much of a "Get off my lawn!" kind of a way!:lol:   I realize this is pretty pedantic but hey, no one has to read it or post if they don't want!

I quite agree.

You shouldn't be advertising a menu item that isn't what it's supposed to be. When I see demiglace, I tend to think of a French dish where the sauce is the star of the show. That's not my thing, so instead I would put "reduction."

For instance,

Beef tenderloin with portabellini cap, rosemary red wine reduction.

To me culinary traditions are fine. Example... a tournedos Rossini should have the classic components. There had better be toasted points, foie gras, DEMIGLACE madiera sauce, and truffles in that dish for me. Otherwise, it's not Tornados Rossini.
 
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No one is saying words don't evolve in meaning but respectfully, I think you're at once off base while missing the point. There are lots of kinds of changes and obfuscations and words with imprecise meanings.  Take the way many southern people call all sodas "Cokes" (eg 'what kind of Coke do you want?', ' I'll have orange').  There are lots of regional names for things, but this isn't that.  Or look at something so ubiquitous that all things like get lumped together like all tissues being Kleenex and any cotton swab being called a Q-tip.  Clearly we're not talking about something like that. 
I don't understand your point because what you are talking about here has nothing to do with what I was talking about. At no point did I bring up regional words or dialects or whatever. Clearly we aren't talking about that, I agree, so why bring it up in the first place???
 
No, this is kind of a willing distortion.  Despite the possibility of a word changing meanings over time the way that gay went from meaning 'happy' to meaning homosexual, you can't really just change a term at will.  A great example is the "footlong" sandwich at Subway.  A greedy chain restaurant may decide that a foot means whatever they want but a foot has a legal definition when used as a unit of measure.  Note that Subway lost that case had to actually make their "foot long" a foot long or change the name.
I don't think anything about it changed "at will." It took a long time...no one person just decided to change it and make it so. The fact that the term gay changed from happy to now meaning homosexual proves my point....so...thanks? Words lose meaning and change meaning all the time. 
 
What we have frequently is "evolution" being used as a weasel word to just mean whatever you want it to mean. Clearly despite different approaches demiglace has a pretty clear definition in a culinary sense.  The word carries a lot of cache, and demi is often called "brown gold".  It's easy to see why a chef would want to trade on that prestige without doing the work.  So we're back to the idea that a word or term means something or it doesn't.  Maybe the culinary world really is transitioning into demiglace being something else, but IMOHO it's kind of weasely to keep pretending that everyone is agreeing to call it by the classical term until we "find a better name" for it./img/vbsmilies/smilies/wink.gif

I hope this isn't coming across in too much of a "Get off my lawn!" kind of a way!/img/vbsmilies/smilies/lol.gif   I realize this is pretty pedantic but hey, no one has to read it or post if they don't want!
There's no weaseling here. I'm simply stating the fact that, as I see it, demi-glace now more often refers to an intense reduction of veal stock than the classical espagnole/veal stock reduction. I would also argue that the culinary world isn't "transitioning" to demiglace being called something else, but in fact it has already happened. 

Let me put it to you this way...I've been out of culinary school for over 10 years, worked in many high end fine dining type places with famous chefs at the helm, worked in many different regions of the country, etc blah blah. I've never ONCE made a classical demi for any preparation at any of these jobs. If my chefs had asked me to run to the walk in to grab the demi, I wasn't searching for the espagnole sauce in the fridge. 
I quite agree.

You shouldn't be advertising a menu item that isn't what it's supposed to be. When I see demiglace, I tend to think of a French dish where the sauce is the star of the show. That's not my thing, so instead I would put "reduction."

For instance,

Beef tenderloin with portabellini cap, rosemary red wine reduction.

To me culinary traditions are fine. Example... a tournedos Rossini should have the classic components. There had better be toasted points, foie gras, DEMIGLACE madiera sauce, and truffles in that dish for me. Otherwise, it's not Tornados Rossini.
Really? So re-interpreting classic dishes and making them new isn't a thing? Don't tell Thomas Keller that, who pretty much made his name doing exactly what you said he shouldn't. 

Come on guys, you sound like a bunch of old men yelling at kids for their "hippity hop" and rock and/or roll" music. Get off my lawn indeed. 
 
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Thomas Keller may remained the classics, but he does not pass off shortcuts to say he has a dish that isn't what it is.

Yours talking about a man who made hollandaise daily for years to get it right.

There's no "old timer" mentality here. Modern cuisine has its place. Honesty in what you're advertising does too. That's all we are saying.
 
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I wouldn't call a full veal reduction a "short cut" to making classic demi, or anything else with a roux. Using roux is the short cut. It takes more time and patience to do a full reduction, and has a more concentrated veal flavor. I wonder when the recipe police are going to start ticketing old Italian ladies for using heavy cream to make Alfredo sauce instead of bechamel, or adding garlic/not adding garlic. Sauce names imply a particular flavor or flavor profile. They do not guarantee a particular recipe was followed.
 
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