Chef John's Cheater Demi-Glace


You can make a demi-glace using chicken wings and beef shanks since veal bones can be hard to come by. This alternative method works amazingly well and the demi-glace closely resembled the real thing in look, feel, and flavor.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
15 hrs 20 mins
Total Time:
15 hrs 30 mins
2 quarts


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3 ribs celery, chopped

  • 2 onions, chopped (including skins)

  • 2 carrots, chopped

  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 5 pounds whole chicken wings

  • 3 (1 inch thick) slices beef shank

  • 6 quarts cold water

  • 1 bay leaf

  • ½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  2. Oil a large roasting pan with vegetable oil. Place celery, onions, and carrots in the pan. Drizzle tomato paste over the vegetables; toss together. Arrange chicken wings and beef shanks on the vegetables.

  3. Bake in preheated oven 45 minutes. Turn chicken and beef pieces. Continue roasting until mixture is very well browned and even a bit charred here and there, another 30 to 40 minutes.

  4. Transfer mixture to a large stock pot along with pan juices. Add 6 quarts cold fresh water, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer over high heat; reduce heat to low to maintain a gentle simmer with small bubbles and very little movement. Simmer until meat is falling off the bone and flavor is extracted from the chicken and beef, 12 to 14 hours. Remove from heat.

  5. Strain out all solids. Return pot to heat and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce to about 2 quarts, or by 50 percent. Strain liquid though a strainer into a container; press down solids in strainer to extract all the liquid.

  6. Bring to room temperature before covering; refrigerate. When demi-glace has solidified, gently use a spatula to scrape off any fat that has collected at the top.

    close up view of Demi-Glace on a white plate with a spoon
    Chef John

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

317 Calories
19g Fat
9g Carbs
27g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 8
Calories 317
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 28%
Cholesterol 76mg 25%
Sodium 171mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 4g
Protein 27g
Vitamin C 7mg 37%
Calcium 71mg 5%
Iron 2mg 13%
Potassium 504mg 11%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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