Reducing Sauces

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by sluggerdog, May 15, 2010.

  1. sluggerdog

    sluggerdog

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    Hi,

    I am pretty happy with my dark meat sauces however I find that when I reduce them, they get to the point I like the flavour &  consistency however there is only enough left for 2 steaks / meat etc. If I don't reduce them as much they are too runny.

    Basically all my sauces are stocks / liquids, aromats and maybe roasted bones boiled and then strained and I then stir in cubes of butter at the end.

    Is there a trick to this to getting the right consistency and amount using this process? I want to be able to serve more then two people.

    Any tips you could offer would be great.

    thanks

    ===============================

    Example Below of one sauce I do.

    RED WINE SAUCE

    Ingreidents
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    500g small beef bones
    2 eschallots, thinly sliced
    6 black peppercorns
    4 sprigs thyme
    1 clove garlic, bruised
    1 bay leaf
    80ml port
    200ml red wine
    500ml beef stock
    40g chopped butter

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 200C. Place a non stick roasting pan onto the stove top over a moderate heat, add oil and the beef bones, colour evenly, place into the oven for 20 minutes until caramelized and golden. Remove from the oven and tip the bones into a colander to drain away excess fat.
    Place the drained bones into a large saucepan add the sliced eschallots, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and season with salt. Cook, stirring until eschallots are golden. Add the port and red wine and reduce by two thirds. Add the stock. Bring to the boil and skim away any scum or impurities that rise to the surface. Turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until reduced to a sauce consistency; season to taste. Strain the sauce through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean saucepan to remove any sediment.

    See above in underline, this point doesn't leave much sauce.
     
  2. chefedb

    chefedb

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    Easy  simply double or triple your formulas.
     
  3. kuan

    kuan Moderator Staff Member

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    Whisk in whole butter at the end.   This is called mounting the sauce, or "monte au beurre."  :D  It finishes the sauce and gives it shine and mouthfeel.
     
  4. french fries

    french fries

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    Maybe your stock doesn't have enough body (gelatin) so you have to reduce it to death to get the right consistency? Is your stock solid at fridge temperature?
     
  5. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Was it reduced by two thirds ?

    When testing it  , did it stick to the back of a spoon ?
     
  6. sluggerdog

    sluggerdog

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    Hi,

    I already whisk the chopped butter in at the end, I just left it off my directions.

    I think french fries might have the answer, no it is still liquid when in the fridge. It was carton stock from the supermarket. To get something like I want can I do something to the stock or should I make my own or buy a different stock? I'm in Australia, I think we only have maybe 2 brands of stock available at the supermarket.

    Yes it was reduced by two thirds.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2010
  7. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    More marrow bones - veal knuckles too if you can get them.  Sounds like not enough gelatin in the stock.

    I'm in Oz too and the liquid boxed stock is very limited for choice.  I don't like the powdered stock/stock cubes we get here.  I'll only use it for some zing, but it is so salty its not funny.

    When making your own stock (much more preferable) add some chopped celery and carrots.  Once you have removed the bones, strain it on gently press the veg thru a sieve into the gravy mix - they will add lots of flavour.  Reduce it down as per above and strain again thru a fine sieve or even thru some muslin or cheesecloth, or a coffee filter paper will do the trick if you want it really smooth.  It will take a while to drizzle thru.  I sometimes use kitchen paper towel if I'm out of coffee paper.
     
  8. titomike

    titomike

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    Essentially Ed's answer is to the point...this is a high quality sauce with a low yield. 20lt reduced to 2-3lt is pretty normal

    That said...IMHO this is a strange 'one pot' set-up and your probably losing a lot of product when straining a sticky reduction at the end.

    To break it down...

    "Preheat the oven to 200C. Place a non stick roasting pan onto the stove top over a moderate heat, add oil and the beef bones, colour evenly, place into the oven for 20 minutes until caramelized and golden. Remove from the oven and tip the bones into a colander to drain away excess fat. Place the drained bones into a large saucepan...."

    The bones seem to be there to punch up the stock...2-300g of beef shin will give a better result in the time-frame outlined as will the addition of a mire poix as stated by DC. This is the approach for a consomme so if you blitzed your shin & vege with a couple of egg whites (a clarifique) your set to boost & clean your sauce in one go!

    ...so that's the beef flavour.

    "add the sliced eschallots, peppercorns, thyme, garlic, bay leaf and season with salt. Cook, stirring until eschallots are golden. Add the port and red wine and reduce by two thirds."

    This is just a reduction...the signature flavours...so do this while you set up the above then strain & add it when ready.

    Simmer the lot for....1hrish*, a 'raft' of impurities will be produced. decant through a teatowel and continue reducing to sauce/glaze?  consistency.

    *FYI...consomme 2hrs, meat stock 3hrs, bone stock 6-8hrs (this is why I question the bones) so 1hr is suggested as a compromise between boosting & clarifying.

    Give it a whirl...or if just want to tweak this method double the stock component...seems light & strain while still thin enough.
     
  9. titomike

    titomike

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  10. sluggerdog

    sluggerdog

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    Thanks again.

    Is there anyway to increase the amount of gelatin in a pre-bought stock? I don't really want to go though the process of making my own stock as I don't have the freezer storage and it would be too much work each time.

    Thanks
     
  11. french fries

    french fries

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    The way to increase the gelatin content would be to slowly simmer the stock with veal knuckles bones - so you may as well make your own stock! I highly recommend it. It's not that much work - it's just time. And you don't need much freezer space, you can reduce it to a demi, so it's really concentrated, and takes very little freezer space. It also keeps much longer in the fridge (the lower the water content, the longer it'll keep). And it makes it so much easier to make sauces, because it doesn't need to be reduced much.
     
  12. burnthuman

    burnthuman

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    While this is NOT the preferred method, I have used gelatin (gelatine down under) to help a stock. Unflavored gelatine is used in all kinds of products. Comes in sheets and granules. You may recognize the names Alba Gold or Gelita Gold. Use agar-agar if you're vegetarian. Again, making your own stock is much preferred, but sometimes a dish needs some help.

    BH
     
  13. chefedb

    chefedb

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    I question Why would you want more Gelatin as it has nothing to do with taste?  Only thing I can think of is if you were making Jellied Consomme or Aspic. other  then that its really worthless.to add gel or agar .
     
  14. titomike

    titomike

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    Yes, I thought this was a red herring....as long as it's hot will gelatin have any real effect on consistency?
     
  15. chefedb

    chefedb

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    When hot ever so slightly when cold a lot. Either way it does not add to overall quality or taste  and thats bottom line.
     
  16. dc sunshine

    dc sunshine

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    BH - just curious...Why would a vegetarian be making beef/meat stock?

     
     
  17. deltadoc

    deltadoc

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    I would just take some arrowroot or cornstarch add a couple tbsp to a small cup and stir vigorously with about the same amount of water.   Add this slowly to your sauce while it is still "runny".  Bring to a boil, stirring constantly.  It will thicken up the sauce and maintain a larger quantity without having to start with more ingredients.  A dash or cognac doesn't hurt, and maybe a bit more S&P to compensate for the relatively tasteless cornstarch mixture.

    As you stir, the sauce will thicken.  Take it off the heat when it gets to where you want it.

    doc
     
  18. titomike

    titomike

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    This is a knockoff of Sauce Borderlaise...made from one of the mother sauces...Demi-glace which in turn contains Sauce Espagnole (roux-based & labourious) so yes...even the good stuff contains starch.

    Within the time constraints of the modern world a reduction thickened with arrowroot (cooks out more transparently) has become a practical, cost-effective alternative for Demi-glace as a 'Mum' sauce...

    So as above... go hard!  But, be advised it's a can of worms....quality at every step & less is more with the additive to produce an 'acceptible' sauce to whose standards?

    Purists...play nice /img/vbsmilies/smilies/redface.gif !

    Incidentally, Sauce Borderlaise contains marrow which maybe how the bones crept in...
     
  19. french fries

    french fries

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    While that was certainly true a century ago, I don't think anyone cooks like that anymore. Demi is now just reduced stock, so Bordelaise does not contain any starch at all. Most chefs now use reduction to thicken sauce, rather than the older starch based thickeners, which are heavy and bland.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2010
  20. titomike

    titomike

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    True that ...except that technically they are glazes... the demi referring to the 1/2 Espagnole no longer used.

    True also is that Escoffier anticipated this a century ago...

    "....indeed, if one does not make an abuse of glazes, and if they be prepared with care, their use gives excellent results, while they lend themselves admirably to the very complex demands of modern customs."

    Now while meat/poultry glazes are divine they can become overpowering and the low yield makes wastage through holding them heart-breaking not to mention expensive so...

    Flat out...how do you guys feel about "the quick and dirty" jus lie*?

    I feel a light thickening of a good, well-reduced stock with arrowroot is an acceptable compromise...

    * http://in.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20081212121135AACeo0h