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Old 09-21-2005, 09:38 AM   #1
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Cooking a Reduction? Need your help!

Hey guys. Last time i cooked steaks i used the leftover marinade of balsamic, red wine, and worcestershire sauce and tried to make a reduction.

It ended up tasting burnt and disgusting.

How do i make a reduction sauce to pour over my steaks?

I will be using worcestershire, red wine, and balsamic vinegar

I'm eating two five oz filet mignons

How much of each should i use?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 09-21-2005, 10:00 AM   #2
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First thought, I'd not use that marinade to make a reduction sauce. Especially if it's good beef. I think it could be salty and overpowering.

But ....

How did you cook your steaks? I seem to recall that you seared them and then finished them in the oven.

How did you make the reduction? In the pan that you cooked the steaks?

If so, the burnt taste is probably because of the high heat used to cook the steaks. This cooking method makes creating a nice pan sauce challenging because you need to use high heat to cook the meat, but using high heat burns some of the fond in the pan. The fond is what gives a pan sauce it's falvor. If it's burned, the sauce will taste burned.

You can just put the marinade into another pan and boil down to reduce. You MUST boil marinades to kill bacteria and make it safe to use as a sauce. But this often makes the sauce salty and rough.

Do you like mushrooms? If so, this makes a nice sauce for steak:

Slice up about a pound of button mushrooms. In a skillet, cook them in butter until they have released their liquid. Off heat, add about 1/4 cup of brandy. Use a match to carefully light the brandy and flambee. Stir the mushrooms, taste, and add worcestershire sauce and balsamic to taste. Start with maybe a teaspoon of each and add more as needed. A T of butter will make the sauce silky.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:03 AM   #3
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Excellent advice! That's what I'd do.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:29 AM   #4
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Mylegsbig, remember that when you're making a reduction you're concentrating flavors as well so something like worcestershire might not want to be added until the end. Also, you need to slowly reduce the liquids. Are you boiling it full tilt on high? You should do the reduction in advance then all you have to do is heat it up when you want to eat. If you're trying to do it during or after you cook your steak it's not going to work because of the time constraint. You could make a pan sauce but it won't technically be a reduction. You'll just be deglazing the pan and yeah, the liquid you add will evaporate but that's not a reduction sauce. For a reduction, you need to start off with a large amount of liquid and then simmer it until it lessens considerably and the flavors concentrate.
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Old 09-21-2005, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylegsbig
Hey guys. Last time i cooked steaks i used the leftover marinade of balsamic, red wine, and worcestershire sauce and tried to make a reduction.

It ended up tasting burnt and disgusting.

How do i make a reduction sauce to pour over my steaks?

I will be using worcestershire, red wine, and balsamic vinegar

I'm eating two five oz filet mignons

How much of each should i use?

Thanks in advance.

2 five ounce steaks only really need about 2 to 3 ounces of sauce each.I would recommend a 3-2-1 ratio of red wine,balsamic then worcestershire and a total of about
10 ounces.

Use a SS pan and sear the fillets nicely and remove and place on a sheet pan or other surface and finish the fillets
in the oven.Take some shallots about 2 tbsp and sweat them in a little butter over low-medium heat along with a little crushed garlic until soft.Add a sprig of thyme and then deglaze with the marinade and reduce slowly by half.
Remove the sprig of thyme and off the heat mount the sauce with some whole butter to add viscosity and flavour to the sauce.Season to taste.This sauce goes well with
a steak like fillet.
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Old 09-21-2005, 01:47 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foodaholic
2 five ounce steaks only really need about 2 to 3 ounces of sauce each.I would recommend a 3-2-1 ratio of red wine,balsamic then worcestershire and a total of about
10 ounces.

Use a SS pan and sear the fillets nicely and remove and place on a sheet pan or other surface and finish the fillets
in the oven.Take some shallots about 2 tbsp and sweat them in a little butter over low-medium heat along with a little crushed garlic until soft.Add a sprig of thyme and then deglaze with the marinade and reduce slowly by half.
Remove the sprig of thyme and off the heat mount the sauce with some whole butter to add viscosity and flavour to the sauce.Season to taste.This sauce goes well with
a steak like fillet.

This is a great suggestion and deals with the issue of the burned fond very nicely.

In your original post, I can;t tell if the marinade is leftover because it wasn't used, or leftover after you took the steaks out of it.

If you have marinated raw meat in the liquid it must be brought to a full rolling boil before you begin to reduce it.

A better solution is to reserve some of the marinade before you soak the meat in it, so that it does not come in contact ever with it. I think you are meaning this by "leftover."
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Old 09-21-2005, 02:01 PM   #7
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second the good advice here!
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Old 09-21-2005, 02:42 PM   #8
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This is genius at work.
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:36 PM   #9
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Guys, the first marinade i used actually contained Balsamic, Beer, and Worcestershire. I didnt use the original searing pan, but a separate sauce pan. I heated it until boiling, then i lowered the temp to around 3-4.

I took my eyes off of it for awhile and came back and it was like congealed and smoking.

thanks for the great advice guys, as always great replies

Cheers
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Old 09-21-2005, 06:50 PM   #10
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Okay guys i am going to make 10 oz.

6oz red wine 2 oz balsamic 2 oz worchester

first im using garlic and butter sauteeing them

Approximately how long will this take to reduce? I want to time this right.

I heard someone say i should cook the reduction first then heat it up to serve later.

will this be ok? Or will it congeal and become ruined?

thank you again.
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mylegsbig
Okay guys i am going to make 10 oz.

6oz red wine 2 oz balsamic 2 oz worchester

first im using garlic and butter sauteeing them

Approximately how long will this take to reduce? I want to time this right.

I heard someone say i should cook the reduction first then heat it up to serve later.

will this be ok? Or will it congeal and become ruined?

thank you again.

Try this:

Take the steaks out of the marinate and dry them off about
1/2 hr before you start to cook.

In the meantime take a very wide saute pan and reduce
your marinade by half which will be less than 1/2 hour over
a medium high heat.reserve the reduced marinate.

Clean out the pan and sear the fillets over a low-medium heat,just make sure the pan has come up to temp and add the oil/butter combo just before you start to cook. You'll have a nice caramalization on the steaks without any burning,then remove to another pan and finish in the oven.
Return the pan to the heat and some more butter and gently sweat your garlic,then add your marinate reduction back in and reduce further until your happy with the consistancy.And add a little whole butter off the heat to add to the viscosity and flavour of your sauce.Season to taste......Forget about the time reference,you'll have plenty of time especially when you consider the steaks will take about 10 minutes in the oven and at least another 5 minutes to rest.Once you add the reduced marinate back in the pan it will only take you about 5 minutes to finish the sauce...good luck.
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Old 09-21-2005, 07:20 PM   #12
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My friend, my reduction has already started. The one i listed, and i sauteed butter and garlic for 2 mins then added the 10oz of liquid. I brought it to a boil then quickly lowered heat to 3 on my stove. like med-lo

It is simmering right now. I'm not marinating the steaks this time, this is just a sauce.

Will the garlic burn in here? I see chunks of garlic in the reduction, even though i cut it very small, and also, when i smell the reduction, it doesnt smell too good.

god i hope i didnt burn it.

I just eyeball it until it looks thicker and is about halfway reduced?

Cheers

edit: I see you say very wide pan to make reduction.

Im using a small sauce pan, the type that is like 4-5 inches high, in a circle, like a pan youd cook Ramen Noodles in

Is this bad? why wide pan? should i move my reduction to a wider pan like a skillet?

Thanks again man.
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Old 09-21-2005, 08:51 PM   #13
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A wider pan makes evaporation easier as a greater surface area is exposed. There should be no problem using your pan. It might take a minute or two longer.

The garlic will be OK as long as it doesn't burn. Watch the color. Light brown is OK, don't let it get darker. It should not be a problem with the garlic in a liquid - the temp won't get high enough to burn the garlic.
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