This is a recipe from the Napa Rose Cooking School I attended at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel last May. Although the only meat in it is the veal stock, it has a meaty and earthy taste that goes well with any cut of beef as well as potatoes and mushrooms.
I originally made the standard recipe that serves eight. Since I had two cups of onions left and the sauce is a bit time consuming, I made a large batch (six times the original) and froze it in a silicone ice cube tray. It made about 50 sauce cubes (1/4 cup each). Now when I want to have some sauce with my steak, all I need to do is pop out a sauce cube and heat it up.
At the Napa Rose Cooking School Chef Andy recommended using frozen demi-glace from Bonewerks (this is what he uses at home). It is all natural, concentrated and frozen. It’s rather expensive to purchase from their web site ($20 / pound with a 5 pound minimum). I found it at a local European butcher shop, Tip Top Meats in Carlsbad, California for $12.95 / pound. They have veal, pork, chicken and lobster demi-glace. To use it as stock just heat five parts of water with one part demi-glace. Of course, you can always find your own veal bones and make your own stock from scratch (the way they do at Napa Rose).
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 carrot, sliced in half lengthwise and cut into several pieces
1/3 cup onion, diced (use one onion if making six times the batch)
1 celery stalk
1 cup Cabernet Sauvignon (use two 750 ml bottles if making six times the batch)
1 cup veal stock (see note above)
4 cups (about 20) white mushrooms, sliced
2 sprigs thyme
2 sprigs Italian parsley
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
- Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high until it shimmers when the pan is tilted. Add carrot and celery and cook for 5 minutes. Add onion and continue cooking until all the vegetables are well browned but not burnt. Deglaze with Cabernet and simmer until reduced by half.
- Add veal stock, mushrooms, thyme, parsley and bay leaf (note that with all the mushrooms you may not be able to see the liquid. Don’t worry, the mushrooms will cook down). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes stirring occasionally. Check the consistency of the sauce by dipping a metal spoon in and drawing your finger across the back. If the sauce stays in place on either side of where you wiped it away (this is called napé), you’ve achieved the right consistency. If not, continue cooking until it does.
- Strain through a sieve and season to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve or allow to cool and freeze in ice cube trays.