Video:Black Currant and Balsamic Gastriquewith Chef John Mitzewich
A gastrique is a classic French sauce made with a reduction of fruit and vinegar. This black currant and balsamic gastrique goes well with any meat.See Transcript
Transcript:Black Currant and Balsamic GastriqueHi, I'm Chef John Mitzewich for About.com Food. Today were making a black currant and balsamic vinegar sauce called a gastrique.
Ingredients Needed to Make the GastriqueAnd gastrique is nothing more than a fancy French culinary term for a sweet and sour sauce. It's just some sugar or fruit reduced with some vinegar, and I'm going to show you a really easy version using:
- 1/2 cup black currant preserves
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 small sliced shallot
- cracked black pepper to taste
Brown the ShallotsThe procedure is extremely easy. We're going to sweat and slightly brown some shallots in the 1 teaspooon of oil. We're going to cook that on medium heat until we get a little brown color on them.
Some people really like to caramelize them dark brown, but I don't really think that's necessary.
Combine the Salt and PepperI'm going to add a pinch of salt to bring out a little bit of the liquid. We're going to add our black pepper and give it a little swirl in the oil. And then we're going to add our liquids.
Add the Water, Vinegar, and FruitPour in the water, pour in the balsamic vinegar, and add the fruit preserves. The beauty of this recipe is that any vinegar and any fruit preserves will work. Cabernet vinegar with raspberry preserves or blackberry, almost anything.
Reduce the GastriqueThis is a great recipe to tailor, perfect for holiday entertaining. We're going to reduce this on a medium-low until its down by about one-third.
I use a bamboo skewer to measure the level, and when I see that down by about one-third. Its kind of hard to see here, but you have to trust me, why would I lie to you? OK, so that reduced by about one-third.
Strain the GastriqueNow, there are two schools of thought. Do you want to serve this chunky, country-style? Or, do you want to strain it? I can go either way. It depends on the setting.
If I'm up in some ski lodge, I leave the currants and shallots in there. A fancy French restaurant, you have to strain it. That fancy dinner party, holiday dinner party, maybe you strain it. It is beautiful either way.
Just use the back of your spoon to press it. You're going to get about 3/4 cup.
Serve the Gastrique With MeatMake sure you adjust the seasoning with a little salt. And then simply drizzle around whatever you're going to serve this with. It goes perfectly with any type of game.
That was the original use for gastrique, with wild game. I had some beautiful smoked duck breast here, but it goes great with anything; pork, chicken, you name it. That holiday goose, that turkey, anything.
So, feel free like I said to switch up the vinegars and the preserves, and you can make your own recipe. But that's the technique, super-easy, and I hope you give it a try. Enjoy!
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