Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cider gastrique

Those of us who cook--and eat--know that a good sauce can transform the simple American meatloaf into something akin to French fare. I am fond of reduction sauces; full of flavor, these sauces are easy and can be made with ingredients that you probably have in your pantry.

One of the easiest reductions is a gastrique, a classic French sauce made from a reduction of vinegar or wine, a bit of oil or butter, and sugar or fruit preserves. Most reduction sauces require some fat and bits from meat, poultry, or fish, but a gastrique can be made from a few simple ingredients.

I found a wonderful video clip that perfectly demonstrates the steps and technique in making a gastrique, this one from balsamic vinegar and black currant preserves. One of my favorites is made from cider vinegar, oil, shallots, and sugar (or substitute bacon drippings for the oil). Tossed with and drizzled over sauteed spinach, or winter greens such as kale, it makes a perfect bistro food pairing.

5 comments:

  1. A. - You have such sneaky good blog posts. I've never heard of this technique and I will try it soon.

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  2. S, did you watch the video clip? It's that easy, really. I'm not a fan of using preserves, so I use sugar and caramelize it with the shallots. It's the same effect, just less sweet.

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  3. That is great. I scribbled as I watched and will try this soon. I cook ALL the time but have never heard of a "gastrique." So glad you posted this!

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  4. M, I just think it's a fancy French name for a reduction sauce! Thanks for commenting, and thanks for your thoughtful comments during my absence.

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  5. I just went back and watched the video. It really is quite simple. I love the contrast of flavors condensed like this so it will be fun to try combinations.

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