Home » Recipes » What Exactly is Vegetable Demi-Glace? An Overview and Speedier Vegetarian Recipe

What Exactly is Vegetable Demi-Glace? An Overview and Speedier Vegetarian Recipe

Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD

Hey there, vegetarian foodies!

Are you ready to take your culinary creations to the next level? Well, get ready to meet your new secret weapon in the kitchen – vegetable demi-glace!

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “What on earth is demi-glace?” Don’t worry; we’re about to dive into all the delicious details.

Whether you’re a seasoned chef or just starting out on your culinary adventure, this flavorful sauce elevates your dishes and makes them shine like never before.

So grab your apron, and let’s check out this vegetarian demi-glace recipe together!

What is a Demi-Glace?

A demi-glace is a classic French sauce used to infuse a ton of flavor and umami into dishes. It is essentially a concentrated stock, traditionally made from veal or beef stock, tomato paste, and red wine, so it is not a vegetarian sauce.

It is also quite a long, extensive process.

I’ve done lots of research for you to make this sauce vegetarian-friendly and cut the cooking time.

What is a Vegetable Demi-Glace?

To make this recipe veg*n friendly, I’ve swapped out the beef stock for mushroom broth.  I also used vegetables that pack a flavor and umami punch to pack in as much flavor as possible.

After all, that’s the entire point of this sauce!

Nutritional Benefits of Vegetable Demi Glace

Because this recipe includes so many vegetables, there are quite a few nutrients in the final sauce, ranging from vitamins and minerals to various phytochemicals that leach out into the water/broth.  

One thing this doesn’t have is fiber, as we are discarding the vegetables after they are cooked (or, preferably, saving them for another use).

Another side benefit to this sauce is that it can be used to increase the consumption of other healthy foods due to its strong flavor, potentially getting even more nutrition into you and your loved ones.

Key Ingredients

Fresh Vegetables

  • Eggplant
  • Onion
  • Portobello mushroom
  • Carrots
  • Celery

Fresh Herbs

  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh parsley
  • dried bay leaves

Liquid

  • 6 cups mushroom broth
  • Dry, red wine – I used a pinot noir simply because it’s what I already had on hand. 

Other

  • Thickener – I used AP flour, but cornstarch, arrowroot, or potato starch would work just as well.
  • Tomato paste

How to Make Vegetable Demi Glace

Preheat your oven to 425°F.

Clean all your veggies, then chop them all to roughly bite-size.  Don’t worry about peeling or removing any skins.  

Place them in a baking dish, drizzle with olive oil, and mix well.  Roast your veggies for about 90 minutes, stirring well every 30 minutes or so.

Remove the baking sheet, sprinkle with your thickener, add the tomato paste, and mix until uniformly incorporated.  Place back in the oven for another 10 minutes.

Dump your vegetables in a large pot. Pour the red wine into the baking dish and scrape up the frond (brown bits stuck to the bottom.)

**Safety note: if you use a glass baking dish, do not put cool or cold liquid into the dish until it cools off.  You can either allow the dish to cool or warm the wine slightly before putting it in the dish.***

Pour your wine mixture into the pot, along with all of the remaining ingredients. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for about 1 hour.  Pour the entire mixture through a sieve into another pot. 

Make sure to press all the veggies to get out all the juice and flavor!

Boil the remaining liquid for about 10 minutes until it has reduced by half.  And that’s it!

I know this is a bit of a process, but a traditional demi-glace takes about 8 hours!

clear bowl containing brown demi glace next to 2 wooden spoons with fresh thyme sprigs on a white marbled countertop

Vegetable Demi-Glace

This vegetarian version of a demi-glace is sped up so any home chef can make it!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: French
Diet: Vegetarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours
Servings: 20
Calories: 40kcal
Author: Jenn

Ingredients

  • 1 large portobella cap
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 2-3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ cup dry red wine
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 cups mushroom broth

Instructions

Roast the Veggies

  • Pre-heat oven to 425°F
  • Roughly chop all the veggies and add to a baking dish.
    1 large portobella cap, 1 large carrot, 1 celery stalk, 1 large onion, 1 small eggplant, 2-3 Tbsp olive oil, 2 garlic cloves
  • Roast veggies, stirring every 30 minutes or so, for about 90 minutes
  • Remove from oven, sprinkle veggies with the flour and stir in the tomato paste. until well combined
    2 Tbsp All-Purpose Flour, 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Bake for 10 more minutes.

Make the sauce

  • Place the vegetables in a large pot.
  • Pour the red wine into the baking dish and scrape up any frond (brown bits).
    1/4 cup dry red wine
  • Add the wine mixture and all of the remaining ingredients to the pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 1 hour.
    2 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 sprigs fresh parsley, 1 bay leaf, 6 cups mushroom broth
  • Strain the stock through a sieve into another pot. Make sure to press the veggies to get out all the juice.
  • Heat the liquid to boiling, and boil for 10 minutes, until the volume is reduce by half.

Nutrition

Calories: 40kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 17mg | Potassium: 110mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 646IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 0.2mg

*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.

*We may earn commissions from qualifying purchases made through links on our site. These commissions help support our work in providing valuable content to our readers. Thank you for your support!

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Culinary Applications

  • Add a few tablespoons to your soup or stew to boost the flavor!
  • Use in place of brown gravy.
  • Use it as a marinade for your tofu.
  • Add as the last step of a risotto.
  • Add to red pasta sauces to up the umami factor.
  • Make other sauces – a demi-glace is the base for other French sauces, such as Bordelaise, Chateaubriand, or Madiera sauces.

Pairing and Serving

Because a demi-glace has such a rich, umami flavor, I would consider keeping the rest of the meal bright and light.  A side salad with a vinaigrette or vegetables with a lemon sauce would do well.

Have a drink that doesn’t combat the flavor of the vegetable demi-glace, such as the red wine you used to make it, or even simply water or iced tea.

Storage

This vegetarian demi-glace will hold well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. 

You could also consider freezing in ice cube trays. This would allow the sauce to stay good for up to 3 months. And have the added bonus of keeping the demi-glace in individual servings!

Can you buy vegetable demi-glace?

You can! There is usually at least one option at your grocery store, and Amazon has a few as well. This will obviously make this process soooo much shorter.
However, you’ll have no control over the flavor when you use these products.

Is a demi-glace the same as au jus?

No, but I can see why there is some confusion here. Both sauces are brown, and meant to add flavor to a dish. However, a demi-glace is based on broth or stock and an au jus is made from meat drippings.
This makes au jus much easier to make in general but more difficult to make vegetarian.

What can I use instead of vegetable demi-glace?

This sauce is meant to add a bunch of flavor. The easiest substitute would be a vegetarian mushroom gravy.
However, this may depend on what you are making. Sometimes a mushroom or vegetable broth may be enough!

Is demi-glace vegetarian?

Not traditionally. This sauce usually includes beef or lamb broth as well as roasted beef or lamb bones.
The recipe I’ve created is completely vegan though!

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