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Old 07-24-2019, 09:58 PM
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Having trouble making sauces for dinner


I try to make different meals for my kids when they are over, and a lot of recipes have making a sauce as part of them. And making the sauce is usually adding liquid (wine and cream or beef stock or similar) to the pan and reducing it. But the time frame in the recipes is usually like "Reduce for 2-3 minutes" but when I try it, the sauce is still watery and doesn't seem to be reducing in that amount of time.

One stupid question, does an electric stove have anything to do with that?

And a regular question, are those times just wrong? Or am I doing something wrong? I try to time all the components together, but the sauce just screws it up.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:14 PM
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A wide, shallow pan will reduce sauces faster than a deep bowl-shaped pot. Don't be afraid to crank up the heat (just stick around! no wandering off!) so the sauce rolls at a full boil.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:41 PM
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One stupid question, does an electric stove have anything to do with that?
Not a stupid question at all - an electric element will take some time to come up to (and down from) high heat, while a gas flame can be adjusted to any level instantaneously (which is a big reason why many cooks prefer the latter.)

It's not a huge deal, you just need to take that into account and modify your timing accordingly - the "2-3 minute reduction" doesn't really start until things have come to the boiling point, which might take a minute or two longer after you've turned things up to high (and if things get too hot, you might need to move the pan off/on the burner to regulate as well as turning it down, because again it will be slower to respond)...with practice you will learn that recipe timings are just guidelines and will know that if, say, your sauce isn't reduced and needs a few more minutes, so be it.

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-24-2019 at 10:45 PM.
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Old 07-24-2019, 10:41 PM
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A wide, shallow pan will reduce sauces faster than a deep bowl-shaped pot. Don't be afraid to crank up the heat (just stick around! no wandering off!) so the sauce rolls at a full boil.
Yes to all of this, also if you reduce it a bit more you can mount it with a bit of butter to emulsify the sauce. Simmer it down for a few minutes, reduce the heat to low. Cut a few pats of butter into the pan and put the tines of the fork in the top of one and swirl quickly until the sauce comes together.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:06 AM
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Great questions, manson. I’ve struggled with this as well. If I may add a couple of questions to the thread, please:

-If using cream… can the pan/sauce get too hot? Will it break it down, or something?
-Can I just use cornstarch to thicken things? What about gluten-free flour?
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:33 AM
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-If using cream… can the pan/sauce get too hot? Will it break it down, or something?
Cream is remarkably resilient. That's a nice way to say "you can boil the shit out of it." The only thing I'd worry about is if the pan is TOO hot the bits on the edges might burn to the pan. Keep it at a good boil but don't go overboard.

The other thing about cream is you have to have CREAM. Half & half, milk, etc isn't the same; it doesn't reduce the same way and if you add acid (lemon juice, wine, whatever) it'll separate. Ya gotta have the real stuff.

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-Can I just use cornstarch to thicken things?
Yes, but you get a different mouthfeel from cornstarch. It's used a lot in Asian sauces and puddings and the like. It tends to get glossy and slick. As long as that's what you want, it works great. Here's a good guide to thickening with corn starch.

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What about gluten-free flour?
No clue, sorry.

Another note around making sauces from stock. If you want stock to thicken, you have to have actual real stock made from bones with a good amount of gelatin in it, otherwise it won't thicken, it'll just reduce. That rules out pretty much everything but homemade stock - none of the canned/boxed stocks that I've seen are anything but flavored water. What you CAN do is add gelatin to them. Again, here's a good guide to thickening with gelatin.
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Old 07-25-2019, 07:35 AM
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So the point of adding the liquid to the pan is to deglaze it, which means to basically lift up all the delicious burny bits that have built up over the course of your cooking and incoporate them into your sauce.

Here's a quick video showing a chef making two different pan sauces. Note that the pans are so hot that it they steam and hiss all over the place when she deglazes them. If you're not getting that, your pan isn't hot enough.

And yeah, the whole thing takes just a couple of minutes. It's meant to be something you do while your meat is resting on the plate immediately before serving.

Also bear in mind that a pan sauce isn't going to give you huge quantities. It's just a little extra something for your meat. Make sure you're not adding too much to your pan in an effort to get a ton of sauce.

shunpiker: the video I linked shows a sauce using cream, just follow those steps. As for cornstarch, sure, just make sure to follow the directions on the package (mix with cold water first). I have no idea about gluten-free flour.

Last edited by Johnny Bravo; 07-25-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:07 AM
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Thanks for the information. More specifically, here is the recipe I was using:

PORK TENDERLOIN WITH BURGUNDY PEPPERCORN SAUCE

The recipe ends up with about 3 cups of liquid in the pan and says reduce. I used the same time frames but after 10 minutes, it was still a liquidy juice in the pan. Just was wondering if I was doing something wrong, or my glass-top burners makes it take longer to reduce.

Again, thanks for everyone's input.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:27 AM
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Are you following the visual indicators? Don't add the stock until the wine is almost gone, don't add the cream until the stock has considerably thickened? At no point should you have three cups of actual liquid in the pan.
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:30 AM
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Using beef broth vs beef stock will cause it not to thicken as well wont it?
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Old 07-25-2019, 08:37 AM
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Are you following the visual indicators? Don't add the stock until the wine is almost gone, don't add the cream until the stock has considerably thickened? At no point should you have three cups of actual liquid in the pan.
yeah, sorry. I didn't add them all at the same time. But it was taking forever. I didn't even get to the cream part before I just gave up on it.

Re: beef stock vs broth. I tried looking around the Intertubes, but couldn't find a definitive answer for which one to use so I just went with what the recipe called for.

Again, sorry if I sound stupid But I'm just trying to learn new meals for my kids to enjoy. My son doesn't really like sauces, but he was interested in this one. I felt bad since we ended up with none.

Cooking is easier if I'm home alone - I just make Bud Lite
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:46 AM
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Okay, are you using a wide, shallow pan? Are you getting a rolling boil in the beef broth? Are you using an old pan that might be a little deformed on the bottom and therefore not completely touching the element?

I also see that the recipe has you start the sauce once you've put the pork into the oven for the final 12-15 minute roast, so you should have plenty of time to get this sauce working.

Cooking is science - you can't just magically learn it, especially when it comes to alchemical stuff like sauce. I think it's awesome that you're expanding your horizons for your kids' sake.
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Old 07-25-2019, 09:50 AM
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Okay, are you using a wide, shallow pan? Are you getting a rolling boil in the beef broth? Are you using an old pan that might be a little deformed on the bottom and therefore not completely touching the element?

I also see that the recipe has you start the sauce once you've put the pork into the oven for the final 12-15 minute roast, so you should have plenty of time to get this sauce working.

Cooking is science - you can't just magically learn it, especially when it comes to alchemical stuff like sauce. I think it's awesome that you're expanding your horizons for your kids' sake.
It's just a 12" frying pan with higher sides from a set of pans like you would buy at Target.

I'm going to try it again this weekend, maybe it will turn out better. I enjoy cooking, but it's just a pain when it's just me. Unfortunately, my kids' favorite meal is STILL meatloaf and mashed potatoes
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:00 AM
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Using beef broth vs beef stock will cause it not to thicken as well wont it?
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Re: beef stock vs broth. I tried looking around the Intertubes, but couldn't find a definitive answer for which one to use so I just went with what the recipe called for.
Canned/boxed broth or stock or whatever they call it will never thicken; it's essentially flavored water and will not thicken any more than water would thicken. It just boils down.

Homemade broth contains gelatin from the bones used to make it, thus when it reduces it does thicken. You can get the same sort of effect by adding unflavored gelatin to a sauce (see my link above for directions).

Overall, that recipe for pork tenderloin is just a bad recipe. They don't explain that you can't use store-bought broth and the timing is off. No way are you going to cook down 2 cups of broth to the point that it thickens in 4-5 minutes, no matter how great your stove or wide your pan is. It just takes longer than that.

Half of the trick to learning how to cook is starting with good recipes. Look for recipes from Cook's Illustrated / Milk Street / Serious Eats; they tend to work. NY Times is good too, but tends to be a not quite as beginner-friendly. Random recipes off the internet are a risk.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:04 AM
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Overall, that recipe for pork tenderloin is just a bad recipe. They don't explain that you can't use store-bought broth and the timing is off. No way are you going to cook down 2 cups of broth to the point that it thickens in 4-5 minutes, no matter how great your stove or wide your pan is. It just takes longer than that.
I knew it!!!!

I'll try the gelatin as well.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:36 AM
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Think 'gravy' not 'sauce

Becks bad, bad, bad gravy:
Cook the meat (any)
Leave the pan on the fire, lowish heat
1/2 handful flour.
Sprinkle it on the oil and pan juices. Don't stir
Walk away. Go wash the flour off your hands.
Go back to stove, look and see if the flour is browning alittle. Don't stir.
Get 2 cups of liquid (any liquid: broth, stock, water from boiling potatoes, coffee, beer, or any combo, except beer and coffee together, spectacularly bad! Or plain water)
Get yer whisk in your stirring hand, pour the liquid in slowly while whisking briskly ().
It will thicken fast. Check by tasting it will want lots of pepper and salt.
Put the meat back in.
You now have proudly made Southern gravy. It will smother any thing from meat to bisquits.
Warning: If you eat enough of it you will start seeing it looking back at you in the mirror!

Last edited by Beckdawrek; 07-25-2019 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 07-25-2019, 10:58 AM
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I had the same problem for years. Ultimately, I found the problem was the ambiguity of the word, "simmer." My stovetop dials at the time had a simmer setting below low. Screw that; if you're reducing a sauce, you need to actually see bubbles popping. I usually set it a little below medium.

Another thing is don't stir it much when reducing. Stirring cools it down.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:21 PM
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And a regular question, are those times just wrong? Or am I doing something wrong? I try to time all the components together, but the sauce just screws it up.
The key to great sauces and gravies is stirring. Lots of stirring.
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Old 07-25-2019, 12:29 PM
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You now have proudly made Southern gravy. It will smother any thing from meat to bisquits.
Warning: If you eat enough of it you will start seeing it looking back at you in the mirror!
There's johnny cake and injun batter
Makes you fat or a little fatter,
Look away, look away, look away, Dixieland.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:12 PM
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Overall, that recipe for pork tenderloin is just a bad recipe. They don't explain that you can't use store-bought broth and the timing is off. No way are you going to cook down 2 cups of broth to the point that it thickens in 4-5 minutes, no matter how great your stove or wide your pan is. It just takes longer than that.
That was my thought as well- that 4-5 minute estimate is wildly inaccurate. Which is usually true of most estimates like that, I find. They say something like "cook onions until golden" and then quote something like 8 minutes. Which is funny, because it usually takes 5-10 minutes more to get them golden in my experience.
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:29 PM
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Overall, that recipe for pork tenderloin is just a bad recipe. They don't explain that you can't use store-bought broth and the timing is off. No way are you going to cook down 2 cups of broth to the point that it thickens in 4-5 minutes, no matter how great your stove or wide your pan is. It just takes longer than that.
First thing I thought when I read that recipe. Either that, or they have a jet engine for a burner and a 20" wide pan.

I find even the good recipes will often underestimate the time to reduce. But you are also right in that reducing water will simply yield less water, not thickened water, and there is very little gelatin in commercial broths/stocks for it to thicken properly in a sauce. I find cornstarch simpler to use than gelatin, but gelatin leaves a better mouth feel. Flour is better used at the beginning, not to thicken at the end (IMNSHO).
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Old 07-25-2019, 01:58 PM
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The key to great sauces and gravies is stirring. Lots of stirring.
Gravy, yes (and more accurately whisking when making the roux and adding the broth). But sauces don't need a lot of stirring.
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Old 07-25-2019, 02:18 PM
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What about gluten-free flour?
I just looked up a gluten-free flour (Bob's Red Mill), and I would not use it to thicken sauces unless you're willing to risk needing to throw your sauce out. Way too many different starches in there.

If you need to make a gluten-free sauce, any powdered starch will do, but each will add its own flavor and texture, and require its own technique. In addition to cornstarch, I've used ground dried chickpeas (I think that may be common in Indian food - my curries taste more authentic with it).

I've also used arrowroot, which in addition to being gluten-free is low-calorie, because it only takes a fraction of the amount of arrowroot vs. flour. That also makes it cheaper, so I associate the flavor with cheap gravy.

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Old 07-26-2019, 07:16 AM
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That was my thought as well- that 4-5 minute estimate is wildly inaccurate. Which is usually true of most estimates like that, I find. They say something like "cook onions until golden" and then quote something like 8 minutes. Which is funny, because it usually takes 5-10 minutes more to get them golden in my experience.
Onion cooking is actually a little bit of a joke in cooking communities. I've read many threads making fun of directions around caramelizing onions; I don't know if recipe writers are afraid to scare folks or what, but there are so many recipes that say "cook onions for 10 to 15 minutes until they're dark golden brown and caramelized."

Anyone who's caramelized onions knows that 10-15 minutes results in slightly brown not caramelized onions. A good dark caramelizing takes a looooong time. Like 40+ minutes, and lots of stirring.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:24 AM
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Onion cooking is actually a little bit of a joke in cooking communities. I've read many threads making fun of directions around caramelizing onions; I don't know if recipe writers are afraid to scare folks or what, but there are so many recipes that say "cook onions for 10 to 15 minutes until they're dark golden brown and caramelized."

Anyone who's caramelized onions knows that 10-15 minutes results in slightly brown not caramelized onions. A good dark caramelizing takes a looooong time. Like 40+ minutes, and lots of stirring.
I think you're right that recipe writers do that so folks won't take a gander at "40 plus minutes, stirring throughout", and say, "Oh HELL no!" and go on to another recipe.

Lots of recipes also say, "Saute onions until translucent". That doesn't happen in ten minutes either.

I don't saute onions that long, just until they're a little soft and shiny. I don't know if my cooking suffers for it, but nobody has died or anything.

Last edited by Two Many Cats; 07-26-2019 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:24 AM
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Canned/boxed broth or stock or whatever they call it will never thicken; it's essentially flavored water and will not thicken any more than water would thicken. It just boils down.

Homemade broth contains gelatin from the bones used to make it, thus when it reduces it does thicken. You can get the same sort of effect by adding unflavored gelatin to a sauce (see my link above for directions).
So I went to the store yesterday and got the gelatin. They also had a broth that was "Bone broth" and the description on the box was something like "made from simmering meat and bones"

Would that be worthwhile getting, does anyone know?
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:39 AM
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I'd guess it has more gelatin than garden-variety grocery store stock, but it's still not going to be all that much thicker. It might work though, although adding gelatin yourself is probably more controllable, I'd guess.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:46 AM
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So I went to the store yesterday and got the gelatin. They also had a broth that was "Bone broth" and the description on the box was something like "made from simmering meat and bones"

Would that be worthwhile getting, does anyone know?
Probably not. "Bone broth" is an in-thing, so manufacturers are capitalizing on it. Doubtful you'll get the same benefits from mass-produced bone broth as you would from home-made.
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Old 07-26-2019, 10:53 AM
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Probably not. "Bone broth" is an in-thing, so manufacturers are capitalizing on it. Doubtful you'll get the same benefits from mass-produced bone broth as you would from home-made.
I figured as much, so I just went only with the gelatin. I'll post how it comes out. Wish me luck!
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Old 07-26-2019, 11:51 AM
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Probably not. "Bone broth" is an in-thing, so manufacturers are capitalizing on it. Doubtful you'll get the same benefits from mass-produced bone broth as you would from home-made.
My guess is the same. One way to check is just put it in the fridge. Does it gel or at least somewhat thicken? When I make broth or stock, my liquid gels when I put it in the fridge, as I use plenty of bones and meat with connective tissue in its making. This is what you need when you want a broth/stock that will properly reduce to coat the back of a spoon or leave trails.
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Old 07-29-2019, 06:52 PM
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So I made the pork loin this weekend.

First, why does a 3lb pork loin end up being TWO separate 1 1/2 pound pork loins when you bring it home? I studied the package looking for any indication, but nothing was there. Damn that was annoying.

I used the gelatin, but I'm not sure if it helped. I had to boil the sauce for a good 15 minutes to reduce it enough (before the heavy cream).

Also, if for some reason a poster wants to use that recipe, go easy on the peppercorn coating. The loin turned out more peppery then we liked.

The sauce itself turned out saltier than it should have been, not sure why. But putting it on the meat and eating with mashed potatoes made it pretty good.

A positive note, my kids ate everything in about 3 minutes and said they liked it, so I consider that a success
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Old 07-29-2019, 09:28 PM
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First, why does a 3lb pork loin end up being TWO separate 1 1/2 pound pork loins when you bring it home?
Sounds like you might not have bought "loin", but "tenderloin"(s) - a different, smaller muscle/cut (and one I generally prefer, actually.)

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-29-2019 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 07-29-2019, 10:39 PM
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Too late to edit the above, but note there is no such thing as a 3 lb pork tenderloin - 1.5 lbs is about as large as a tenderloin cut can get...a loin cut OTOH can be 5 lbs or more.

Last edited by zombywoof; 07-29-2019 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 07-30-2019, 08:11 AM
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Too late to edit the above, but note there is no such thing as a 3 lb pork tenderloin - 1.5 lbs is about as large as a tenderloin cut can get...a loin cut OTOH can be 5 lbs or more.
Ah, that could be my problem. They are all together at the commissary and last time I picked a 4 lb one which was a bit too big. So this time I was happy they had an almost 3 pound one. Of course, it ended up being 2 separate pieces of meat when I opened the package.

Frozen pizza and beer is so much simpler.
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Old 07-30-2019, 09:55 AM
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The sauce itself turned out saltier than it should have been, not sure why. But putting it on the meat and eating with mashed potatoes made it pretty good.
If you season sauces to your taste before you reduce them, they will be overpowering at the table because you'll have concentrated them by boiling off some of the water. Undersalt at the start and re-assess at the end.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:06 AM
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If you season sauces to your taste before you reduce them, they will be overpowering at the table because you'll have concentrated them by boiling off some of the water. Undersalt at the start and re-assess at the end.
I didn't add any salt to it at all. I was tasting at the end to assess flavor and found it was already too salty.
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Old 07-30-2019, 10:10 AM
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What was the sauce? Red wine, beef stock and cream? Try it with unsalted beef stock. I often find the regular storebought stocks and broths too salty as well.
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:23 AM
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What was the sauce? Red wine, beef stock and cream? Try it with unsalted beef stock. I often find the regular storebought stocks and broths too salty as well.
Yes, that was pretty much it. I'll try the unsalted stock next time. Thanks for all the suggestions!
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Old 07-30-2019, 11:27 AM
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What was the sauce? Red wine, beef stock and cream? Try it with unsalted beef stock. I often find the regular storebought stocks and broths too salty as well.
Exactly, if you're significantly reducing stock to make a sauce, use the low salt version of the stock. There are times I've even diluted that with water (plus gelatin so it will thicken) to reduce the salt level. It may not be as "beefy" but it is still good.
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Old 07-30-2019, 03:59 PM
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Ooooh yeah, forgot about the salt in store-bought broth. Always use low-salt.

Hell, by the time you dig around for low-salt broth and add gelatin and all that, why not just make your own broth? You can even pre-reduce it if you want (I do that sometimes) so you can skip that step when making sauces. If you have a freezer, you can make a batch on a rainy weekend and keep it around all the time. Or make small batches as needed using a pressure cooker or instant pot.

Really, if there's one easy thing you can do to up your cooking game and make sauces easy to make, it's making your own broth. Yes, it takes a while if you're not doing the pressure cooker method, but assuming you have a freezer, you only do it every few months or less and it's a game-changer.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:23 PM
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While we're on salt... ALWAYS, ALWAYS wait until your sauce is reduced, and you've mounted the butter before you add any salt. I've made the mistake of adding salt too early and just reduced it down to inedibly salty a couple of times.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:46 PM
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Honestly I skip the low salt and go straight to no salt. I've never found it lacking and around here low-salt seems to mean 33% less salt than the regular version. Woo, 500 mgs per serving instead of 800! I feel healthier already.
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by manson1972 View Post
So I made the pork loin this weekend.

First, why does a 3lb pork loin end up being TWO separate 1 1/2 pound pork loins when you bring it home? I studied the package looking for any indication, but nothing was there. Damn that was annoying.
Were these tenderloins, or just pork loin? If its tenderloin it's both the tenderloins from the pig, and that is how it is usually packaged. If it's pork loin, then that is odd.

Easy way to tell the difference is price. Pork loin is usually about half to 3/4's the price. Tenderloin is also much smaller in diameter than a loin.
Quote:
I used the gelatin, but I'm not sure if it helped. I had to boil the sauce for a good 15 minutes to reduce it enough (before the heavy cream).

Also, if for some reason a poster wants to use that recipe, go easy on the peppercorn coating. The loin turned out more peppery then we liked.

The sauce itself turned out saltier than it should have been, not sure why. But putting it on the meat and eating with mashed potatoes made it pretty good.

A positive note, my kids ate everything in about 3 minutes and said they liked it, so I consider that a success
My usual recipe is to cook the meat in the pan, then when it is done and resting, add a bit of wine (white, in this case) to deglaze the pan and get all the fromage off of the bottom. You are basically cleaning the pan at this point. I have some friends that will actually use an aluminum scrubby (often referred to as steel wool, even though it isn't) to get every bit up, but I just use a fork.

Once the wine is mostly gone, toss in some more oil (or butter, it's great with butter if you don't like your arteries too much), but about a tablespoon or so (to be honest, I stopped measuring ingredients about 20 years ago), and then about the same in flour. Stir that around, and let the flour starts to turn a bit brown, then you can add your stock, or just water, it'll have so much flavor already the stock isn't absolutely necessary. You'll want to add it slowly and bring it up to a boil each time.

Once it is the right consistency to coat the back of a spoon, it's good to go.

What was real fun was when my stove was not working, so I would cook the meat in the oven, and then make the gravy in the microwave from the drippings.

Last edited by k9bfriender; 07-30-2019 at 04:55 PM.
  #44  
Old 07-30-2019, 04:54 PM
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While we're on salt... ALWAYS, ALWAYS wait until your sauce is reduced, and you've mounted the butter before you add any salt. I've made the mistake of adding salt too early and just reduced it down to inedibly salty a couple of times.
Unsalted butter helps too.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:06 AM
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Unsalted butter helps too.
Oh, for sure! But ultimately unless you know the salt content of everything you threw in, and exactly what it's going to taste like after being reduced, it really pays to salt the sauce at the very end.
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Old 07-31-2019, 08:36 AM
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and you've mounted the butter
We're still talking about cooking, right?

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Old 07-31-2019, 11:21 AM
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We're still talking about cooking, right?

Yeah.. that's the actual term for incorporating butter into a sauce at the very end, believe it or not.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by k9bfriender View Post
Were these tenderloins, or just pork loin? If its tenderloin it's both the tenderloins from the pig, and that is how it is usually packaged. If it's pork loin, then that is odd.

Easy way to tell the difference is price. Pork loin is usually about half to 3/4's the price. Tenderloin is also much smaller in diameter than a loin.
I never really thought about the differences between pork loin and pork tenderloin. I'm guessing that I really bought 3 lbs of tenderloin, which ended up being 2 tenderloins, instead of one 3 lb loin. Now I know.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:45 AM
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Yeah.. that's the actual term for incorporating butter into a sauce at the very end, believe it or not.
Huh, never heard that in any cooking show. I know because I would have been giggling at it (because I'm childish like that)
  #50  
Old 07-31-2019, 12:41 PM
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Three cups of liquid isn't going to reduce significantly just by simmering for 3 minutes, at least IME.

I'd do a roux, which is just a flour and fat thickener. Remove the meat, add enough stock to the bottom of the pan to cover it by a half inch or so, bring to the simmer and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. In the mean time, melt two tablespoons of butter in another pan, add three tablespoons of flour, stir it up and cook for 2-3 minutes (uncooked flour isn't tasty). Then add the simmering stock to the roux, stirring thoroughly, and keep adding more stock. If you are going to add wine or cream, make sure it is hot before you stir it into the roux - hot into hot means no lumps. You might need more roux for three cups of liquid.

You test the thickness by dipping a wooden spoon into it, then holding it up and swiping your finger across it. If the bare streak created remains and the sauce/gravy doesn't run down and cover it, the sauce is done.

Different people like different levels of salt in their food, so I use unsalted butter if we got it in the house. You can always put more in, but it is hard to take it out. "Enough" salt for me is going to be "too much" for my wife, so I go lighter and keep the shaker handy.

Regards,
Shodan
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