M's Cooking Diary

Musing about food, wine and cooking.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Sauces

I always loved sauce. The heavy French ones in particular. The one made with glace and fond de veau. Unfortunately, like most people I can rarely spare a whole weekend to reduce 18L of veal stock to a few cups of fond.

But I developed a way to make my sauces from the braising liquid of whatever I braised. I don’t claim to have invented it. I just never saw it explained the way I do it.

First of all, as stated in previous post, I take great care in caramelizing the sofrito of onion, carrot, celery, tomatoes etc…

I don’t use chicken stock, only water and or wine.

What follow is step by step process to braise any meat:

  1. Salt your meat and sauté in oil in the cooking pan you are going to use until the surface is well caramelized. Don’t crowd the pan.
  2. Remove the meat, start by the onion and celery, (they have more water, take more time), add carrot, leeks. Finish with the tomatoes.
  3. When nicely golden but nut burnt add about 2 tablespoon of flour using a shaker.
  4. Deglaze with water, wine or both.
  5. Return the meat to the pan.
  6. Add water half-way to the meat and bring to a low boil.
  7. Salt. Be careful with the salt as this will get reduced.
  8. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and seal with the lid.
  9. Put in the oven, (1-2hours) depending on the meat at 275 F to 325 F until the meat fall off the bone
  10. Keep the meat warm; cover it with the piece of aluminum foil you used.
  11. Remove the bouquet. Using a hand-held mixer, bbzzzzzzz the braising liquid.
  12. IMPORTANT: Get 2 clean recipients. Pour the liquid in the first one through a medium-meshed sieve or chinois.
  13. Discard whatever gets caught. Pour from the first to recipient to the second through a fine-meshed sieve.
  14. Wash both sieve and empty recipient and repeat. Washing between each pour until the sieve does not catch anything.
  15. Put in a small pan, taste, reduce, taste, and reduce some more.
  16. Remove from heat and beat in a few piece of cold butter. Monter au beurre.
  17. Plate and serve.

That’s it. This kind of sauce is velvety, tasty and artery cloying as it should. It will also allow you to compose a plate like you see in the cooking magazines.

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