Thursday, 4 August 2011

Red Wine Sauce

A red wine sauce can accompany many dishes, from fritters to steamed vegetables to yorkshire puddings. It's very easy to make, but often brings with it a bit of a 'wow' factor. The taste will depend partly on the type of wine you use, so choose a nice one (although there is no need to go overboard and use a really expensive one).

1 large shallot
knob of butter
500ml - 750ml red wine (depending on whether or not you pour a glass for yourself)
500ml vegetable stock
fresh or dried herbs
salt and pepper
100ml double cream

Finely chop your shallot and sweat it in the butter for 5 minutes until soft and golden. Add the red wine and bring to the boil. Boil for about 30 minutes or until reduced by about half. Add the vegetable stock and again reduce until you've got half the amount of liquid. Add herbs, salt and pepper to taste.

Finally add the cream and whisk it in. You may not need to use all of the cream, this depends on taste and how creamy you want the sauce. You don't even need to add any cream, it works just as well without, although the taste will be sharper and not as rounded as if there was cream in it. Make sure you don't boil the sauce after the cream is added, as the cream will then split.

The sauce can be served as a smooth jus if you pour it through a sieve to remove the shallots. You can alternatively choose to serve it with the bits of shallots in (I like the bits of shallot, they are quite sweet but savoury and add a bit of interest).

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