When Danny and I first started dating, we ate a lot of meals with swirls of sauces on the plate. Red-wine reduction sauce. Madeira sauce. Balsamic sauce. Every night, he brought home a little to-go container of sauce soft as velvet, with a flavor so bold it took only a few tablespoons to make me look at him in awe.
I kept wondering: how did he do this? Why did these spoonfuls of sauce taste like an entire day’s worth of cooking, condensed?
“It’s a reduction sauce, honey,” he told me.
You’ll see a number of recipes in our cookbook that call for reducing. It’s a very French technique, and Danny was classically French trained. Making a reduction sauce takes time and patience but not much effort. Mostly, you wait. Anything with veal stock or beef stock has a lot of gelatin in it, so those stocks grow thick with just the cooking. Another liquid might need something like a cornstarch slurry to make the final sauce cling to the back of a spoon.
Lately, we’ve been reducing fresh juices for use in recipes we’re making up. You’ll see some of them soon.
And so, we thought you might like to see Danny guide you through the reduction process.
(We were both a little unexpectedly sleep deprived, so there’s a lot of silliness here. Also, after editing this video, I realized: man, we have to clean off our stove! sheesh.)
p.s. maybe it’s just our internet at the moment, but this video seems to slow down in places. (thanks, Vimeo.) be patient, just like you have to be when you reduce liquids.