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Old 08-11-2010, 09:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2010
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Balsamic Reduction FAIL

Hello,

Im new here. Just joined.

Heres my question. Last night I tried to make a simple balsamic reduction. I watched a few videos on youtube and looked easy enough.

I was not happy with the results. The consistancy was right but the taste was strange. The only way to describe it was it had a hint of "burnt hair" taste.

So im wondering what I did wrong;
-Possibly reactive pan? I used a stainless/aluminum Lagostina saucepan.
-Burnt it? It was at a rolling boil most of the time and not a simmer. can you burn it?
-Wrong type of balsamic or just not to my taste?
-Unlikely but something may have dropped in to the pan like a small bug or a hair. I was doing this on the BBQ side burner to avoid smelling up the house.

Those are just some of my ideas. Any thoughts on the likely culprit?

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Old 08-11-2010, 10:09 AM   #2
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"Burnt it? It was at a rolling boil most of the time and not a simmer. can you burn it?"

Yes you can burn it. When I reduce things I do it at a slow boil. When it starts to get thick then I turn it down.

"Wrong type of balsamic or just not to my taste?"

Possible, somthing yucky reduced to like reduced yuk.

"Unlikely but something may have dropped in to the pan like a small bug or a hair. I was doing this on the BBQ side burner to avoid smelling up the house."

I do mine outside on the BBQ burner.
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Old 08-11-2010, 10:40 AM   #3
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Burnt it? It was at a rolling boil most of the time and not a simmer. can you burn it?
Most assuredly you can burn anything! The idea is to reduce the Balsamic vinegar to syrup consistency, and the best way to do that successfully is low and slow. Bring the vinegar to a boil, reduce the heat to effect a gentle simmer, and let it go for quite some time. I usually set the timer for reasonable intervals (like 8 minutes) to remind me to check on the progress, and continue with other cooking chores. I also keep a wooden spoon in it (even though it's probably an old wives tale that a spoon in the syrup will keep it from boiling up and over). This works for all kinds of syrup reductions.

Just be sure you are not using the expensive, authentic Balsamico from Modena that costs a pretty penny. It's already naturally reduced.
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Old 08-11-2010, 12:24 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for the quick replies.

I will try again with another brand tonight and be more careful.
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