The Ardent Epicure

An Ode to the Pleasures of Food

8:42 PM

Food Tip - Reduction

Posted by Magic of Spice

Reduction
What is it?
A reduction is the process of evaporation, generally from a liquid such as wine or juice.
Basically enhancing the flavors and creating a syrup like sauce
Reduction is accomplished slowly heating a liquid over time
Causing the liquid's essence to reduce down to syrup
They are commonly used during the preparation of many dishes
Including meats, poultry, fish and even vegetables
There are even reductions that are fruit or herbed based
Here are some common uses for reductions
Consommés, syrups, pan sauces and gastriques (fruit or sweet sauces)
Herb, mustard and fruit reductions also make an exceptional base for salad dressing
The addition butter is sometimes added at the end of the process,
Creating a smooth silky final
Creating a reduction is a bit time consuming,
but oh so worth the effort

Here are a few of the favored liquids to use
Wine, sherry, champagne, cognac, whiskey or beer, ciders,
And any type of stock or acidic juice, such as orange
Opps...Almost forgot vinegar

Let’s give it a try:
Remove meat, fish, poultry or vegetables that you have sautéed
Add any desired herbs or spices and brown a bit
Now add twice as much of your chosen liquid to the pan as the existing juices
(Remember you can use multiple liquids, such as orange juice and brandy)
Scrape the bottom of the pan to release the flavors
Continue to cook over medium heat, until your liquid is reduced by about half
Set to a very low heat and continue to cook slowly,
Until desired consistency is met
Do not allow liquid to come to a full boil, but instead
Continue on a low heat stirring occasionally
Note: If your stove has an inconsistent heat, stir more frequently
Once desired consistency in met, strain reduction sauce
Add butter and/or cream to your liking


Storage:
I find it best to refrigerate your reduction sauce/glaze
And it should keep for a week or more, but I use any made with cream immediately
If refrigerated, allow to come to room temperature before use
Store in a squeeze bottle for your best Wow performance, and drizzle over the prepared dish
Note: Your cream based sauces, such as alfrado
are based on a reduction process, but differ from above instruction

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