Cooking Red Wine Demi-Glace Sauce With Steak (Recipe, Tips and Wines)


Meaty sauces with rich earthy undertones and accurate textures and viscosity are every meat lovers favorite. But, what happens when you pop open a bottle of red wine while making that savory sauce? It gets a hundred times better and turns into the classic Red Wine Demi-Glace Sauce!

Red Wine Demi


Red wine demi is a popular accompaniment to a range of meats and has a rich, brown consistency. This sauce is known as Marchand de Vin or red wine reduction sauce in some regions and is simply delicious with roasts and steaks.

Purists may raise their eyebrows here, but once you see a few simple recipes here, your taste buds will be won over.

What is Demi-Glace Sauce?

If you have heard some popular sauces names like mushroom demi glace, peppercorn demi glace, etc., and are wondering what really is this constantly recurring ‘demi glace’, then I must tell you that is a big deal in the world of culinary sauces.

Demi-glace is basically a rich, concentrated yet viscous brown sauce that is simmered with patience and care until it turns into a beautiful glaze which has a meaty flavor in its backdrop and complements almost every main dish it accompanies.

It tastes amazing with red meats specifically and adds a signature next level to grilled steaks and roasts too. It is traditionally made by roasting meat bones, mainly beef and veal, and extracting the stock from them by constant simmering and reducing.

This meaty brown stock is then combined with Espagnole sauce in the ratio 1:1 and the mixture is slowly reduced to half its volume. A lot of care is taken so as to not burn over the sauce.

These days, however, one can cut short the steps and enjoy an equally rewarding sauce by combining available beef stock and the classic Espagnole sauce and reducing it to half. You absolutely do not have to make it from scratch, therefore. Demi-glace is, therefore, unofficially a classic French sauce, though not included in the 5 mother sauces.

Selecting the Wine


We hunted down the best recipe and fortunately got acquainted with and tried out this simple Red Wine Demi Glace Recipe inspired by Julia Child. But before we share this cracking recipe with you, some advice over wine selection is imperative.

Picking out the right red wine for your sauce is as important as that thickening agent you pick up for your sauces and soups.

We recommend incorporating some smooth yet bold fruity and zesty flavors into your sauce through new world wines. The savory notes of meat are subtly cut by the sugar and the spiciness is complemented with the fruity nectar. To name a few, the California Zinfandel and Washington Syrah are perfect for this.

If you are looking for a taste of the old gold times, then a Sherry or Madeira cannot be defeated. If you are looking for your red wine demi to go seamlessly with mushrooms and beef then old world Spanish and French wines are the best way to go.

A Cabernet Sauvignon will greatly complement such flavor profiles as well.

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How to Make Red Wine Demi Sauce at Home

Now for making the ultimate sauce – all you need is to first grab a heavy-bottomed large pan and melt some butter in it.

Once the butter has completely melted, add the beef/veal stock to it and let it simmer for a few minutes. Add an equal portion of red wine to this stock and bring it to a boil.

Turn down the heat and allow the mix to simmer and reduce until it has become half of its previous volume. Strain or remove the scum that accumulates on top.

Once the volume has considerably gone down, check if it has reached demi-glace state by dipping a spoon. If the back of the spoon is thoroughly coated and the sauce has reached a semi-viscous state, then voila!

Your sauce is ready! Add more butter if needed and chop up some rosemary and thyme to add to it.

What Does This Sauce Go Best With?

An addition of shallots and mushrooms in the red wine demi sauce while preparation, lends an even more beautiful texture and taste. The aroma is enriched as well as the savory flavor. Now once you have your sauce ready, what do you pair it with?

Most commonly, chefs prepare red wine sauce for filet mignon, which is an expensive cut of beef meat and tastes sumptuous if slow roasted over a wire rack to perfection. Other meats this sauce is perfect as an accompaniment for are pork, chicken and duck.

Mushroom demi glace chicken and red wine demi glace for pork are two traditional exemplary recipes.

All in all, the sauce of the day is apt for a Barbeque fiesta in your backyard with the most delicious meats to savor.

Red Wine Demi Mother Sauce – Bordelaise

In case you are unaware, there are 5 classic French sauces that are the mothers and fathers of all the sauces in the world. They have been around for centuries and their recipes are best left untouched. Our sauce of the day finds its roots in the classic Bordelaise Sauce.

Bordelaise is a classic steak sauce which is also reduced to a demi-glace to render a flavor bomb and is named after the Bordeaux region of France that is famous for its superior wines.

This brown sauce too has an exceptional meaty flavor which goes down well with poached and sliced beef marrow. Shallots, bay leaves, thyme, red/white wine, peppercorns, butter and meat stock is required to build this sauce.

Other classic French Sauces are – Veloute, Béchamel, tomato and Hollandaise.

Red Wine Mushroom Demi Glace Recipe

There are easily over a hundred modern and traditional sauce recipes that draw their inspiration from and have at their core the red wine demi glace. We surfed through dozens of sauce recipes using demi glace and red wine demi glace to finally get across our most favorite rendition of it - another classic and very popular red wine and wild mushroom sauce.

It goes like this – in a skillet, place some butter and oil and heat until they start to foam.

Chop up some shallots and add to the pan, sauté for 2-3 minutes until they soften up. To this, add some sliced and halved mushrooms - oyster, shitake, white, and sprinkle some thyme, salt and pepper.

Stir for a few minutes and then add the red wine; continue stirring while the alcohol evaporates. Once this thickens up, pour in beef juices and stock and stir some more till everything combines well.

You can add some cream and butter once the concoction has cooled down and season according to your taste preferences.

Chives can also be added optionally and believe us, this recipe is worth trying out!

Demi Glace Substitutes


All the above sauces and their renditions can prove to be very complicated to make and savor at home. Our home cooks, therefore, get another trick from us – substitutes.

No matter what your issue or apprehension, from the usage of bones to the usage of leftover beef gravy, this place has got it all covered.

Whether it is concentrating your glace sauce or substituting the recipe with vinegar, sherry or cornstarch to make it even simpler and flavor-packed, you can brew up some sauce of your own.

Bon Appétit!

In conclusion, we hope that this article has been helpful to you in learning something new about French sauces, particularly about the Red Wine Demi Glace Sauce.

We are sure that with these classic tips and tricks along with the foundations will help you perfect these classics while also shaking them up with some twists of your own. Bon Appétit!

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