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Reducing Sauces

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 

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.

post #2 of 32

Easy  simply double or triple your formulas.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #3 of 32

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.

post #4 of 32

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?

post #5 of 32

 

 

Was it reduced by two thirds ?

 

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

 

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post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 

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

post #7 of 32

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.

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #8 of 32

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.

 

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #9 of 32

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #10 of 32
Thread Starter 

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

post #11 of 32

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.

post #12 of 32

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

post #13 of 32

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 .

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #14 of 32

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

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #15 of 32

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

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by burnthuman View Post

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

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

 

 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
Robert A. Heinlein

 
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post #17 of 32

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

post #18 of 32

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 !

 

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

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #19 of 32
Quote:Originally Posted by Titomike View Post
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.

 

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.

post #20 of 32

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

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
Allen Saunders, 1957.
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post #21 of 32

Arrowroot is a trap for the poorly informed cook because it can't tolerate much heat, and has a short half life as a thickener.  While it certainly has its place, suggesting its use without some discussion of its limitations does the inexperienced cook a disservice. 

 

I use it, but seldom.

 

In this particular case, the OP would probably be better preparing stock as one step, preparing a mother sauce (if necessary) as a second stop, and finally preparing the daughter sauce as the third and final step.  The recipe as given is a mish mosh that blends too many processes and ends up unnecessarily complicated and using too much time. 

 

Here, I'd suggest using commerically prepared stock and demi to shortcut a lot of the BS inherent in the recipe and in order to retain more control in balancing the wines' flavors with those of the stocks.  There is simply no need to add beef bones.

 

FWIW, my preferred road to demi still goes through espagnole.  True, it's not au courant, nor as au claire, but it's much quicker than a "semi-demi" aka glace de viande, and by virtue of the underlying roux pincage is both more flavorful and better structured. 

 

The OP sauce is not based on a demi, but should be.

 

Gelatine would add some mouthfeel which would ultimately disappear in the reduction/thickening process.  In this case, it would be bootless.

 

BDL

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post #22 of 32

Forgive me Chef BDL, we posted at the same time.

 

As always , an informative post.

 

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post #23 of 32


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Titomike View Post

True that ...except that technically they are glazes...


No: demi-glace and glace (which I assume is what you mean by glaze) are not the same. Nowadays the only difference is the degree of reduction, so the degree of concentration of flavor, and the resulting consistency.

 

Quote:
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...

 

Glace de viande is supposed to be extremely concentrated flavor and thickness. The use is to either "glaze" a piece of meat, usually cold but not necessarily: it could be a roast, for example, or to add flavor to an otherwise bland stock, or sauce. If you find it overpowering it's because you're not using it for the right use, or simply using too much of it. And yes, you are right that it's more expensive to make glace than to make demi glace, and it's more expensive to make demi glace than to make stock. As far as calling it "wastage" I don't agree, you get what you pay for.

 

In that same spirit, thickening a stock with a starch rather than a reduction is obviously less expensive, but it's also much less flavorful. Again, you have to determine what your budget is and what the desired result is.

 

And while technically, a "jus lié" and a "fond lié" are not the same, it seems that many people now make the confusion, so I suppose a lot of time when you hear "jus lié" it ends up being just a "fond lié", or stock thickened with potato starch dissolved in a little wine.

 

In France, chefs of the fancier restaurants gave up on the use of starch based thickeners a long, long time ago. We're talking several decades. Since the 70's they realized that dinners were tired of the thick, bland, heavy taste of thickened sauces and that they could realize a better consistency and much, much more concentrated flavor by simply reducing fond or jus some more, which is obviously, as you stated, more expensive.

post #24 of 32
Quote:Originally Posted by boar_d_laze View Post

FWIW, my preferred road to demi still goes through espagnole.  True, it's not au courant, nor as au claire, but it's much quicker than a "semi-demi" aka glace de viande, and by virtue of the underlying roux pincage is both more flavorful and better structured.

 

BDL, I would love to understand this. How does the roux pinçage make it more flavorful and better structured? My (small) experience with Espagnole was that it was rather bland and I'd rather not incorporate it in any of my sauces - but you have much more experience than I do, so maybe I'm missing something here. I'd love to hear more on that topic.
 

post #25 of 32

Thanks BDL, I was hoping you would comment here as your judgement and experience has proved to be a valuable baseline. Chef..I apologise for the disservice and only wish to become more informed.

 

I would ask for your treatment of Espagnole but I found it  here on cheftalk googling roux pincage...

http://www.cheftalk.com/forum/thread/41385/reducing-brown-veal-stock

 

Thanks again as I think with both judgement and resource you may have provided a solution to an issue that has bugged me for a long time.

 

Cheers Mike

"Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans."
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post #26 of 32

Mike -- Thanks.  Praise indeed.

 

Fries -- extra structure and taste following the espagnole path are provided by the toasted flour and browned tomato paste that make the roux pincage.  Mo browned stuff is mo bettah.

 

It's also important to remember that by and large (since the end of the nineteenth century, anyway), espagnole is not a final sauce, only a mother.  It's importance lies not in what it tastes like but where it can take you.   Compared to working from a straight reduction -- different.  Not necessarily better.

 

BDL

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post #27 of 32

Thanks BDL. I followed the link Mike posted, and interestingly enough you say that by itself Espagnole tastes like sh**.... at least one thing we can agree on. Well maybe I should give Escoffier style demi-glace a go with your Espagnole recipe one day.

post #28 of 32

I have worked in kitchens where the use of cornstarch and arrowroot was prohibited. (mostly classical kitchens) These products were permitted in the pastry shop. The club where I work P/T now will not permit any soup bases of any kind in the building. Everything is reductions.  It depends on the type of place you are in. This club is in Palm Beach and it's lowest ranking  member has probably a net worth of over two million $. Price and quality due to expense does not exist

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #29 of 32


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sluggerdog View Post

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

 

   Hi Sluggerdog,

 

   There's a large difference between a well made stock and the store bought stuff.  Before you make your next sauce, I would recommend you make some homemade stock.  Once the stock is made, open up the store bought stock and try them side by side (both warm and cold).  

 

   At this point the taste differences should be apparent as well as the texture (or mouthfeel).   Once the stock is cooled, you can fill up cupcake tins from a cupcake pan...then freeze.  You can hold the frozen stock for use at a later time.  

 

    Once you start making your sauce, with real stock, you can taste along the way...notice the difference in taste as things reduce.  You can reduce until it coats the back of a spoon, and withholds a finger swipe along that coated spoon. 

 

    There are certainly times when all of us need to save time, or times that we have to cut corners.  You seem to be dead set on using box stock instead of real stock,  I won't stand in your way.  The only thing I ask is for you to make the real stock, then a sauce...and compare what your trying to create with the box stock.

 

   dan


Edited by gonefishin - 5/20/10 at 7:13pm
post #30 of 32

Hello gang,

 

reading this thread over has once again lead me to hand wringing over the comparative virtues of espangole v. straight hard reduction of veal stock.  As someone who does both (and who currently works for a chef who believes ""demmy-glaze" is a mother sauce)  the real issue becomes how good is your stock and how good is your roux?  So many discussions have been had on stock making (and this is something I continually experiment with)  but no body seems to want to talk about what makes a good roux.   There is a lot of technique in a good roux.   My A game roux takes at least a half an hour and involves a double boiler.  And don't me started on a  brown or dark roux....

 

I'd love to do  a podcast on roux making with BDL, on a poetry pocast.

 

--Al

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