Sunday, January 3, 2010

Reduced Balsamic

Ever wondered what that black sticky sauce is on the plate when you dine out, well its a reduced balsamic vinegar, used more as a garnish by some restaurants than for its flavour.

Reduced Balsamic is one of those incredibly simple items to prepare, yet expensive to buy, it is simply Balsamic Vinegar that has been reduced over heat till a thick sweet surup is formed. This is a great ingredient to have on hand in any kitchen. It's sweet yet slightly tart flavour not only is the perfect complement to many dishes but makes a very visually appealing garnish.

What you'll need
Balsamic vinegar (about 2/3rds of the volume will be lost, so you'll need to decide before you start how much you would like to be left with.)

What to do
Pour the Balsamic vinegar into a saucepan.

Bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat and simmer for 30-60 minutes or until reduced by 2/3rds.
Allow to cool and use as desired.
I pour mine back into the bottle and mark it as 'reduced'.
It will keep for months and months in the pantry.

why not try infusing it with different flavours like
lemon - great for seafood dishes
rosemary - perfect for lamb
tyme - for beef dishes
orange - drizzle over fresh strawberries
chilli - to add some heat

Just add the jest or a sprig in the last 15 minutes of simmering s not to ver power the balsamic flavour

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