Foodie Sunday! I NEVER Thought Of This. Should Have!
I’m not much for reposting other people’s recipes diary wise because anyone can google up any recipe known to humans . . . I DO like sharing a special one with a link, in comments . . . when I come across something that REALLY strikes me as special and unique. But I found something recently I want to share.
It’s about this guy.
Here’s the setup and some background on me, and cooking techniques.
I spent 20+ years in the food biz. Most of it in kitchens, cooking, and later on running my own kitchens, doing my own menu’s and such. I was never a full fledged chef, but I became a rabid, passionate and danged good saucier!
I was real fortunate at two points in my mid 20’s to cross paths with a great Italian Chef who taught me a lot about the making of things fresh.
And after that, I spent two years working with an arrogant bastard of a French Chef who begrudgingly taught me more than he wanted. I learnt to cut fish, meat, break down quarters of beef, veal legs. I also learnt how to be a damned fine saucier, which is what I was best at. Oh, and I learnt purchasing, budgeting, plate costs, pricing and more on the back end!
But it was always the stocks, reductions and sauces that drove me.
I mean, I still mist up wistfully when I think about them tiny little bubbles in the 40 gallon stock pot slowly going plop, plop, plop, at 3am before shutting things down and going home.
Sauces, stocks, soups, reductions, AHHHHHHH the life force, the essence of all that’s on a plate (as far as I’M concerned anyways!). *G*
So I’m long used to reductions in cooking, for all kinds of things. Sauces, marinades, stocks and such.
Quick backgrounder. Roasted beef and veal bones. A mixture or one or the other, depending on the final product and the chef’s whimsy. Also, one uses roasted chicken bones and carcasses for a darker and fuller chicken stock, or unroasted chicken bones and carcasses for a clear stock.
Your basic mirepoix (trinity of celery, onion, carrot) can be roasted or unroasted, again, dark or light stock and sauce? Your choice!
Anyhoots, ya reduce all that by half, fill 3/4 water again (adding wine if choose to), toss in tomato bits, garlic cloves, parsley stems and whole bunches at times, other herbs, peppercorns, whatever . . . from that stock, which should take 12 to 24 hours to reduce properly, slowly, tiny little bubbles after the original boil at the outset.
So ya got a stock. For some stocks, once strained and cooled, and chilled, they turn to jelly from all the proteins and such.
Let’s say ya got a nice veal/beef roasted bone stock called demi glace. Ladle some up into a sauce pot on the stove. Say two quarts of the base stock.
In another sauce pot, ya got oh, 4 cups of port wine and two cups of brandy. Drop in your herb you want, be it rosemary, basil, thyme, etc. Some minced shallots, minced garlic.
Reduce THAT by half, as the stock is reducing by half, on the sauce pots.
Combine, reduce again by half, strain, and into the steam table you have a GRAND Rosemary and Green Peppercorn sauce to go over your veal dish, beef medallions, etc.
So, that’s reductions. Reducing things to increase flavors, HEAVILY concentrate and reduce flavors. Oh, and for actually plating to a dish, you’d pull the product out of the saute pan, let it rest, in goes a 4 oz ladle of the sauce to a quick boil, and in goes a tea spoon of sweet butter for the butter fat flavors and silken finish! Then it goes on the product on the plate, or drizzled under, or around . . yadda yadda.
Ok, enough already about the cooking techniques, my misty eyed love of bubbles, and such.
All these years, and I NEVER thought to reduce whiskey for a bbq recipe, like I would normally reduce port wine and brandy with herbs for a demi glace sauce . . . I must be slowing up.
So here’s hats off to Meathead Craig Goldwyn and his GREAT recipe!
And just to show some linky love to Meathead in consideration for all his work, take some time Pups and Go Visit Craig’s Site! He’s quite the hoss and has tons of bbq thoughts and ideas!
Remember, to concentrate flavors, reduce, reduce, reduce.
That’s it for now, I’m hungry and looking in the fridge for something.
Gratuitous Food Porn