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How Do I Make an Easy Reduction Sauce?

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The more I watch gourmet cooking shows and read gourmet menus, the more it seems that a wine reduction sauce makes any basic dish (a hunk of chicken, some beef) very fancy.

So how does one do this? Is it wine plus stock boiled down quickly? Jus wine? Wine poured to deglaze the pan...and then boiled?

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  1. Basically just sautee your meat until the brown bits form, called frond. Then use liquid and a wooden spoon to deglaze the pan. Wine, brandy, fortified wines, stock, cider, fruit juices or usually a combo work well. The key to a good reduction is a really good quality stock. Campbell's beef broth it doesn't quite cut it. If you want to you can add butter at the end to make it silky and glossy. As well, you can add shallots, garlic, herbs, etc...and strain the reduction.

    1 Reply
    1. re: jamesm

      This is good overall advice. I would add that, in the absence of a good gelatinous stock, fruit juices that contain pectin (orange, apple, lemon) do a good job of making a sauce that will coat. Orange juice is my favorite for pork. A little prepared mustard is nice too. If you use shallots, etc, add first, to the brown bits and fat, then add your liquid and reduce; strain if you want; remove from the heat and stir in COLD butter, a tablespoon at a time.
      www.littlecomptonmornings.blogspot.com

    2. Reducing wine is simple: pour a good wine into a pot and boil away until reduced. Won't burn. Won't stick. Add whatever else towards the end, being careful not to add more than a pinch of this and a bit of that. Same for reducing wine and a true stock. If the stock is seasoned, however, care will be needed to not add too much of something or the other, throwing the whole out of balance.

      1. Well there's burgundy beef . . . In a dutch oven fry a few strips of bacon and then remove. Thoroughly brown one inch cubes of chuck and/or round in bacon dripping and remove. Introduce carrots, celery and onions and sautee in fat until very bright in color and slightly caramelized. Toss in and stir some sifted flour then reintroduce bacon (chopped), browned meat, and add fresh chopped parsley and a couple of bay leaves. Pour in one bottle of any burgundian wine (pinot noir, beaujolais, cote du rhone, etc), bring to boil and then simmer (or place in preheated oven) untils sauce thickens. Serves over egg noodles.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Chinon00

          Mmmmm! Sounds good. I'm going to have to try that one. How long (about) should you simmer? Chuck is a rather tough cut, so I'm guessing a few hours? No?

        2. Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Steak with Red Wine Reduction and Carrot Puree. This is really easy and tasty. http://www.astray.com/recipes/?show=S...

          1 Reply
          1. A good book that is so helpful with all sorts of sauces, is The Joy of Cooking. It is a very informative, easy to understand and with a major section on delazing and making sauces.