Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Jan 27, 2011 10:45 AM

Veal vs. Beef Demi Glace

Hey hounds,

I'm thinking of making some demi glace to go on meatloaf for a meatloaf contest my friends are throwing....i've NEVER seen veal bones at any market though. Any idea where can I get veal bones?

Also, is there a big difference in demi glace made with veal bones vs. beef?


  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Oh, I think you'll win the contest -- can taste your demi-glace over that meatloaf now. Ask the butcher at your store; s/he'll be glad to get you some veal bones. I do not know the answer about veal vs beef, but betcha somebody will.

    3 Replies
    1. re: sancan

      This might sound crazy, but in keeping with meatloaf tradition i'm thinking of making a ketchup demi that completely insane? Hahah we'll see how it turns out. :)

      1. re: joonjoon

        I wouldn't do the ketchup thing either. Serve it up on the side, for those who gotta have it. You could do something cute by way of elegant sauce boat for the demi glace, and red squeeze bottle for the ketchup, and call it something cute like "Uptown and Downtown Meatloaf" or whatever works in your town.

        1. re: sancan

          I love this idea...I actually did consider prepping 2 separate sauces, one a demi glace type, and another a ketchup based one, and using both. Maybe I can leave it up to the judges to mix and the uptown downtown theme!

    2. Veal bones seem to yield their gelatin more readily than do beef and seem to have relatively more of it per unit of bone. Never did a side by side of beef v. veal; I usually use both if I'm serious about making demi glace.

      Give the time and effort it takes to make a nice clear and satiny demi glace, adding ketchup to it seems like a moderate travesty.

      2 Replies
      1. re: rjbh20

        If you need gelatin in the stock it is hard beat to cuts with skin and tendons, such as foot.

        1. re: rjbh20

          Veal in general is packed with collagen/gelatin so I imagine the same will be true for the bones. But if the only difference is gelatin I can easily get that from a packet. :) (or from other sources like paulj mentioned)

        2. Veal and beef stock are quite different, and you'll find that beef stock recipes say only a few hours, while veal stock can be up to 24 hours. You can't do that with beef bones.

          2 Replies
          1. re: SocksManly

            Why can't you do that with beef bones?

            1. re: paulj

              Read it yesterday from here:


              "(I don’t think you can over cook this stuff (Turkey Bones); beef bones, you can, the stock can get overly boney)"

          2. Veal bones have more collagen by weight than beef bones, which is why veal is traditionally called for in a gelatin rich stock or for demi glace. Stock made from beef bones can develop a flavor some find offensive (described upthread as 'bony') when cooked long enough to build up gelatin in absence of large amounts of meat.

            Personally, I make demi glace from chicken bones on a regular basis. It's enormously useful, the difference from veal is minimal (and not unpleasant), and chicken bones are easier to come by. I have no idea why people put off making demi glace trying to find veal bones when using chicken works as well as it does.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cowboyardee

              I agree. I've been using the "jus" recipe from Paul Gayler's "Sauces" book, which is based on using either brown chicken or beef stock, and enriching it with turkey or chicken bones, among other things. (I use turkey wings.) I think Peterson says that demi-glace can be made with either pork or turkey bones; unless you have an industrial kitchen that routinely produces a lot of veal bones, I can't possibly see justifying the expense.

              1. re: carbonaraboy

                At least with stock this is very true. I mixed up some containers in my freezer and after cooking with it mixed with other things and flavors I wasn't completely sure if i had used veal or chicken.

                From now on everything goes into the same pot to cook. Chicken carcass, necks, heart and gizzard plus a few veal bones last time. Turned out very well.

                For the original poster, if your market has bone in veal breast this works just as well, if not better, than the neck that many people suggest and they are usually dirt cheap. Cut the meaty/fatty part off and use in a braise, roll it up stuff it whatever. . . then pull the silverskin, or whatevert that stuff is from the other side of the ribs, i think it stinks up a braise or stock but some people don't mind the stuff, then use for stock.

              2. re: cowboyardee

                Hmm I wonder if this is what happened to my demi glace? I ended up making it with beef bones simmered a long time, and it had an off "grainy" quality to it. I figured maybe I didn't strain it well enough but now I'm wondering if I oversimmered the bones?

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  I've used a pressure cooker to render down "ox" tail bones in very short time. It breaks down collegen FAST. The soups I make with it are very rich. I don't know what that "boney" flavor is. It my be I just don't recognize it but get high praise from anything I make from this starter technique. Going to try adding chicken bones next time as recomened below.

                2. Sure you can. But if you want the gelatin, add some beef tendon and/or beef foot (usually found in Asian supermarkets). Roast -> Pressure cook 2 hours -> Strain through several layers of cheesecloth -> Reduce while skimming. Easy peasy.