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Mar 29, 2010 11:11 AM

Glace de veau - can I substitute or just omit entirely?

I have a recipe for spiced pork belly confit that calls for 1T glace de veau. I don't have that nor any other glace. Can I leave it out? It calls for 4C white wine and the seasonings are paprika, curry powder, saffron threads, ground ginger, ground cumin, brown sugar. Also 3 garlic cloves and a 1/2 C butter. I just can't see the omission of the glace as being important either from a liquid standpoint or from a flavor one. Do you agree? TIA

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  1. The glace provides a unique texture/mouthfeel and some added depth of flavor. 1T of a commercial glace reduction is probably equivalent to 1-1/3 cups of veal stock; I don't know if the recipe is relying on the ingredient to support gelatinization. If it is, you need it; if not, you don't.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Karl S

      Thanks. After browning the meat, you add the wine to the meat. Then boil 4C water and stir in the glace, and all the other seasonings and pour that in with the wine and meat. Cook at 350 for 2 hour or until most of the iquid has evaporated and meat is tender. My inclusion of the butter was an error. That's used to cook some sliced potatoes as a side. I don't think gelatinization is a goal. The picture just shows a beautiful brown piece of meat on the crispy, brown potatoes. So I'm voting no on the glace. You always give me good advice :)

      1. re: c oliver

        The nutritional info would indicate you would only miss about .75g of fat, 360mg sodium, 4.5g carbs, and 3g of protein in the omission.

        1. re: Karl S

          Dang, I HATE missing fat! But I guess since it's pork belly, I can bear it :)

          1. re: c oliver

            Add a smidgen of butter,a healthy pinch of salt, and a pinch or two of dark brown sugar.

            1. re: Karl S

              Yes, sir! I bought about 5# of pork belly while in SF over New Year's but have been too busy with other cooking to search for recipes. I want to do David Chang's pork buns but figured I'd start with something easier.

    2. I think they sell it at Williams Sonoma.

      4 Replies
      1. re: jwg

        I'm pretty sure I've see it there also but that's 100 mile RT drive for me and we have a blizzard moving in :) Ah, springtime in the mountains.

          1. re: enbell

            They do carry it at WS in Reno. It's one of those secret ingredients like anchovies or fish sauce. A small jar will last a long time. Love that stuff!

        1. re: jwg

          WS is overpriced, call your butcher. Mine sells D'artagnan in tubs much cheaper and it's fresher stuff.

          Or, make your own. It's fun and and a good basic technique to get comfortable with. Here's my method (demi glace is towards the bottom after making the veal stock)

        2. If you replace ~2 cups of the water with beef stock, the omission should not be all that noticeable, especially if you use high-quality beef stock. Might be a bit easier to get than glace.

          Or even without the glace entirely, the dish would come out similar, just missing a bit of depth and umami and browned flavors. The mouthfeel might be different, but probably not enough to even notice.

          3 Replies
          1. re: cowboyardee

            Reduced chicken stock may be a better choice in terms of collagen/gelatin. If you use beef you might want to dissolve a packet of gelatin in it.

            1. re: greygarious

              That's true from a mouthfeel perspective. But not necessarily from a flavor perspective. Unless you have brown chicken stock (which I use for freaking everything, btw).

              I personally think that the flavor of the glace will make a bigger difference to the end result than its gelatin will. Remember that the pork belly should be adding its own gelatin to the mix. YMMV.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                I just found about a cup of what looks and smells like very rich beef stock. I think I WILL substitute for some of the water. Good idea. I agree that the mouthfeel for this dish isn't going to be all that important.

          2. I buy 20 pounds of veal bones every summer in order to make enough of this stuff to last me a year. A spoonful in a sauce or soup is transformational. I know of no substitute.

            3 Replies
            1. re: pikawicca

              I have a summertime CH goal of getting out and trying to find local sources for many things. As you know, I struggle here :(

              1. re: c oliver

                Google is your friend. You're not going to find a dairy farm with excess calves where you are, but the lowlands should have plenty. The veal I buy is from sustainable dairy operations that raise their male calves on pasture until they are old enough to slaughter. I think this is a growing trend, and CA is probably out in front.

            2. It really does add a richness to the flavor, I dont find beef stock a good replacement. Where do you live??? In city I think Ive seen it at Rainbow and Golden Gate meats at ferry building has it. Aso you could check with Polaris. I picked some up at Drews meats on Church a few months ago.

              1 Reply
              1. re: celeryroot

                We're at Lake Tahoe and Reno is 50 miles away AND we're having blizzard conditions today! I love the mention of Drews cause we used to live in Noe Valley. Now THOSE were the days of great food shopping opportunities.