Pub Sauce | We are all about concentrating flavor. We don’t mean flavor that tries really hard to pay attention. We mean flavor that is packed with layer upon layer of seasonings that come together to form something pungent and magical. We use sauces as our main vessel for flavor concentration, reducing them slowly to compact their flavor, then adding them in various recipe elements. If we won an Oscar for cooking, we would thank these sauces first in our acceptance speech – they are the secret to our success. And this sauce recipe just might be the biggest secret of all…
Ever eat a piece of meat or a pasta filling and wonder how it has so much flavor? It’s usually the combination of liquid + veggies + time, that results in that small flavor bomb. Many restaurants use fancy (and expensive) demi-glace, while others reduce their own stocks until they thicken to a paste. We use demi-glace a lot too, but since it’s hard on the wallet, we like to test our taste buds’ chops and combine unique ingredients to make our very own flavor enhancers. Here is one of our favorites.
* The sauce will keep for a week refrigerated in an air-tight container.
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- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Sauvignon Blanc - 1 cup
- Marsala - ½ cup
- Blue Moon Beer - ½ cup (or use another Belgian beer)
- Chicken Stock - 2 cups
- White Onion - ½ cup, small dice
- Shallot - 1 tablespoon, minced, blanched
- Roasted Garlic - 2 teaspoons
- Red Wine Vinegar - 3 tablespoons
- Worcestershire Sauce - ⅛ teaspoon
- Thyme Leaves - 1 teaspoon
- Bay Leaf - 1, small
- Peppercorn Melange - 2 teaspoons
- Red Pepper Flakes - ⅛ teaspoon
- Sugar - 1 teaspoon
- Salt - ¾ teaspoon
- Non-Stick Saute Pan
- Saucepan - small
- Mixing Bowl
- Chinois - or use other fine-mesh strainer
- Wooden Spoon
- Finely mince your shallot and toss it into the chinois (yes, you read that right).
- Fill your mixing bowl with ice cold water.
- Get all your other ingredients together. There's a lot of them!
- Fill your saucepan up with water and bring it to a boil.
- Now lay the chinois directly into the water and boil the shallots for just 30 seconds.
- Then lay the chinois directly into the cold water to blanch the shallots for just 1 minute.
- Strain them onto a paper towel and pat them as dry as possible. There's your blanched shallots! Set them aside.
- Ok, let's get started on the sauce. Start by adding the oil to the saute pan put it over medium heat. Let the oil get hot.
- Toss in the onions, shallots and a small pinch of the salt, and saute until softened - about 4 minutes.
- Then add the peppercorns, red pepper flakes and garlic, and saute for 1 more minute.
- Add the sugar and saute for 1 more minute.
- Pour in the red wine vinegar and cook until almost all liquid has evaporated - about 6 minutes.
- Then add all the alcohols, worcestershire, thyme and bay leaf, raise the heat to medium-high, and reduce by half - about 14 minutes.
- Now add the stock and rest of the salt to the party, and reduce until you have ¾ cup - about 18 minutes.
- Grab a spoon and skim off as much fat as you can from the surface, then strain the sauce through the chinois into a small saucepan (use the same pan you used for the blanched shallots).
- Season to taste, cover the pan, and keep it in a warm place until you are ready to use!
* Really try and get Blue Moon beer for this recipe - the orange and coriander flavors make a huge difference.
* Believe it or not, blanching the shallots is key too. Blanching removes the bitterness and leaves you with the natural, oniony sweetness.
If you’ve read this far, then you need to check out Plumcot Sauce Explosion and Strawberry Cocktail Sauce.
Or better yet, join our VIP list to get new recipes before anyone else.