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Balsamic Vinegar Reductions

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(Recipe ID: 268)

Serves 4

Source: Chef Joseph Lowery

Cooking with an Extra Vecchio, Invecchio or even Traditional Balsamic is like making a wine sauce with fine vintage Bordeaux.  Its not that it wouldn’t taste good, but it would be wasteful because other far less expensive wines would work just as well.  It is possible to convert an inexpensive balsamic into a rich syrup by the process of reduction.

Ingredients

Items indicated with an astrisk (*) available for purchase in the Avanti Savoia store. See below to add these items to your cart.

  • inexpensive balsamic vinegar *

Instructions

Use only stainless steel or enameled pans for the reducing process to avoid reactions with the acid in the vinegar. 

Over a very low heat cook the vinegar slowly until the liquid is reduced by 1/2 to 2/3 of the original.  Heating and reducing will increase the sweetness and reduce the acidity, although a little brown sugar can also be added for a more sweetness, if desired.

The resulting syrup can be used as is on fresh fruit, roasted vegetables, cheeses, pastries, desserts, pancakes or even ice cream. Restaurant chefs even use balsamic reductions as a garnish to decorate plates.

A quick and spectacular pan reduction sauce will go really well with chicken breasts, lamb chops, game, pork, or beef medallions. 

  1. Rub the pieces of meat with your choice of seasoning (salt, pepper, thyme, tarragon, rosemary, etc.). 
  2. Heat about two tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the meat on both sides until it reaches desired doneness.
  3. Remove cooked meat and reserve on a warm platter until you finish making the sauce.

To finish and serve: 

  1. Mince 2 or 3 shallots and sauté gently in the same pan in which you cooked the meat. 
  2. When shallots are translucent (do not scorch or they will turn bitter), deglaze pan by adding ¼ cup balsamic vinegar and ¾ cup meat stock;
  3. reduce to about 1/3 cup,
  4. remove from heat and whisk in 2 Tablespoons of butter until smooth. 
  5. Pour onto meat and serve, garnished with a sprig of a fresh herb. 

Rich, smooth, sweet, tangy…amazing!

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