The Juices that remain in the sous vide pouch after processing can be clarified after processing. The question remains how to transform this Sous Jus consommé into a viable hotel-style sauce.

This discourse shows how to first create a streamlined, concentrated vegetarian version of the rich concoction commonly referred to as “brown gravy,” “red wine reduction” and/or “demi-glace.” The full-bodied base is then blended with clarified sous jus and preferred spices/seasonings. It can be served with steaks, chops, roasts, poultry, pork dishes and even vegetables/starches. In this form it is a gluten-free emulsion–no flour.


Full batch–3 cups/700 ml.

This version takes just over an hour to create. It can then be refrigerated until service. It can also be frozen as single portion “cubes.” At service, it is combined with clarified sous jus and seasonings. It is then reduced to the desired consistency, finished with a pat of butter and served.

Vegetable oil, 1 cup/225 ml.
Onion, 1 each, peeled and quartered.
Celery, two stalks, washed and cut into quarters.
Carrot, 1 each, cut into quarters.
Tomato paste, 1 6 oz can/175 g.
Red wine, 2 cups (optional).
Water, 2 quarts/2 L.

Equipment requirements:

Food processor.
Paper towels.
Kitchen towel.
Chamber or channel vacuum machine.
Old Fashioned blender.
Large skillet.
Flat spatula or wooden spoon.
Kitchen strainer.

Peel and quarter one onion. Cut one carrot and two stalks of celery into similarly sized chunks.
Use the food processor to grind the vegetables fine. Lay a paper towel on top of a kitchen towel. Spread the vegetables out flat on the paper towel.
Water is the enemy of caramelization. Place another paper towel on top of the vegetables.
Fold into a package.
Stage into a sous vide pouch and vacuum. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
Heat the skillet to 300 F/150 C. Add 1 cup of oil. I know, that sounds like a lot. This amount of oil is necessary to expedite the caramelization of the vegetables. Excess oil will be removed later.
Add the vacuumed vegetables to the pan. Spread out flat and avoid stirring. Excessive stirring reduces the ambient temperature in the pan and prevents steam from escaping.
Let the vegetables sizzle. Resist the urge to stir excessively. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to push them around once in a while.
The vegetables can get quite brown without scorching.
When you can’t stand to wait any longer, add the tomato paste.
Stir well to fully coat the vegetables with the paste. This will prevent the vegetables from browning any further.
Continue frying. This step will determine whether your sauce is brown or merely red.
As the tomato paste browns, the oil will begin to leak out.
Fold two paper towels and use them to blot the oil as shown.
Most pans can be seen to “tilt” visibly, so place the paper towel below the vegetables and just let it sit there for a minute or two.
The paper towel will absorb a lot of excess oil.
Spread the paste out again.
Add the red wine (optional). This step can be skipped, if desired. Wine can be added at service if preferred–but should ALWAYS be fully reduced before proceeding to the next step.
Bring to a boil and reduce. The wine provides flavor. The wine provides color. The wine is not intended to provide volume.
Reduce completely.
The pan should be so dry that if you push the ingredients to the side, no puddle forms in the middle.
Add the water. You CAN add unseasoned, clarified Sous Jus at this stage if you have that much around. The favored approach is to combine this base with the Sous Jus that has been clarified “in real time” as you are completing a current project.
Reduce the brown stock by half. Process in an old fashioned blender until smooth.
Set a strainer above a pot or vessel and pour the sauce in.
Push through the strainer–it will take a little while to separate the sauce from the pulp. Some practitioners use the pulp in soups, etc., and it is perfectly wholesome. As a sauce, it is rather coarse, grainy and “muddy.”


Combine 0.25 cup/60 ml pan sauce base with 0.5 cup/100 ml clarified (unseasoned) sous jus, 1 teaspoon/6 g butter and 1 measured teaspoon/6 g of salt. Reduce to desired consistency, approximately 0.5 cup/100 ml, check seasonings. Yield: 0.5 cups/100 ml.


Norm King

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