I had approximately a combined 250mL left of the 2003 and 2004 Niepoort “Vertente” bottles that we opened a few days ago, and we were having steaks for dinner, so I saw the perfect opportunity to make a wine reduction tonight. It was a surprising success, given that this was the first time I experimented with many of these ingredients in a wine reduction sauce … as you will see, I didn’t really measure anything out, but I gave my best guesses here … but don’t stress the measurements, the best sauces aren’t measured!
250mL red wine (approx.)
a few drops (approx. 1/4 tsp.) of Sauv. Blanc vineagar
dab (1/4 - 1/2 tsp) mollasses
some (approx. 1 T.) coarse ground mustard
couple pinches of freshly cracked black peper
pinch of salt
a few crushed mint leaves
a little (1/2 - 1 tsp.) chopped fresh thyme
some (approx 1 T.) honey
a few (8-10) crushed raspberries
1 pat of butter
Start with the red wine in a small sauce pan or saucier over very low heat. Keep the red wine over the low heat for approx. 25-30 min., stirring occassionally. — they key here is to not boil the wine … you merely want very gentle wisps of steam coming from the liquid – this will be the case throughout the preparation - don’t ever let your sauce come to a boil! After 25-30 minutes, add the mustard, mollasses, and honey. Continue reducing over low heat, stirring a bit more often, for about 20 minutes. Then, add the vineagar, pepper, salt, and mint leaves. Continue reducing for 10-15 minutes, stirring even more often. Then, remove the mint leaves, and add the thyme and crushed raspberries. Remember, do not let your sauce come to a boil. Continue reducing, stirring very often, until you have about 5 T. of sauce remaining. Stir in the butter. Ready to go. Freakin’ delicious!
Yes. IMO, a wine reduction needs to have some sugar added to it. The macerated fruit at the very end makes a huge difference, and really makes the sauce “pop.” I added about 1/3 tsp. of wet jerk seasoning last night, which allowed the sauce to present an interestingly cohesive push-and-pull between sweet and spicy.
Another very important thing is to never let the sauce come to a boil, and if you do see bubbles rising to the top to turn the temperature down a bit. I think I worked on the sauce for about 90 to 120 minutes last night — it was the first thing I got started on — I didn’t finish last night’s sauce with butter, as I didn’t think it needed it, and I also strained-out the basil leaves and strawberry flesh before presentation; this allowed the sauce to have a cream-like texture.
Now that I read about all the changes I made, I suppose what I made last night was a vastly different sauce than the one in the OP.
I’m working on a sauce right now for dinner on Tuesday. I started with a package of Lamb loin chops ( mini T-bone looking things)
I’ve removed the “strip” & the “Filet” and taken all the extra fat off and wrapped up the meat till later. I roasted the meat trimmings and the t-bones for 25 min at 450˚ till they were nice and brown. Into the pressure cooker with two cups water for a 25 min. pressure cook.
Chopped up a MP of carrots, celery and onions and dump them into the PC along with a bay leaf and some peppercorns. 25 min more under pressure and then pour the stock thru a cheesecloth into a sauce pan to reduce by 2/3rds. Tomorrow, I’ll defat the reduction and add most of it to a couple of wine reduction ice cubes to make a sauce for the lamb strips. Adding sweet and maybe some acid to balance out the sauce.
If I use fruit with seeds, I’ll run the pulp thru a tamis to get rid of the seeds.