Aceto Balsamico

The king of vinegars - balsamic vinegar from Modena in Italy
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Balsamiv vinegar reduction

What is a reduction and how do you reduce balsamic vinegar?

First of all: To make a balsamic vinegar reduction, please do not use traditional balsamic vinegar , it is best to use a young industrial balsamic vinegar of Modena mixed with wine vinegar. Basically, an Italian would never use a real traditional balsamic vinegar for "cooking". The balsamic vinegar is to be understood as a condiment that is used when cold to refine dishes such as Parmigiano or other cheeses, meat, salads, cakes and ice cream. A balsamic vinegar that has matured for more than 8 years is not suitable for reducing.

Balsamic reduction

Nevertheless, many chefs, even in top gastronomy, use the still immature, young (stored for up to 3 years) and watery Aceto Balsamico di Modena (a mix of wine vinegar and boiled down grape must) to refine their sauces by means of a reduction and the To give the sauce a typical sweet and sour taste. When properly thickened, a balsamic reduction becomes the highlight of every meat dish.

A balsamic reduction goes particularly well with meat. It tastes strong and has a syrupy, creamy consistency. This makes it the more unusual variant of a gravy. Reductions in sauce production are not uncommon, you may know it from TV or your own kitchen when you make a sauce with a reduced red wine.

The balsamic vinegar, on the other hand, is already a wine reduction in itself, like a kind of wine concentrate and makes the sauce even more flavorful. But what is the best way to do such a reduction?

Here is our recipe for how to make a balsamic vinegar reduction in the manner of without any wine:

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • Meat of your choice (e.g. beef)
  • 250 ml young balsamic vinegar (three years old or younger)
  • 2 finely chopped onions
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper

Balsamic reduction ingredients

To get a tasty roast or steak sauce, the meat must be seared in the pan with a little (3 tbsp / piece of meat) good olive oil. After the meat is well seared (approx. 3 minutes on each side depending on the strength), it is removed from the pan. The frying residues in the pan are extinguished with Aceto Balsamico di Modena (tested with " Nero " from iSolai di San Giorgio from the supermarket). In this balsamic sauce, add the finely chopped shallots, the pepper, the salt and the tomato paste as a seasoning.
The sauce is now reduced to a low heat (approx. 12 minutes on low to medium heat), whereby it loses water and thus reduces / evaporates.

Tip: Fry the tomato paste a little at the beginning, this takes the "bitterness" away from the pulp and gives it a bit of natural sweetness without the addition of sugar.

Depending on your taste, reduce the sauce until it runs off the spoon like syrup. Personally, I like the reduction like a dip, served and spread with a spoon on a piece of seared meat. Perfect for the barbecue season and better than any spice ketchup.

Video of the simmering balsamic reduction:

Variations & experiments:

Of course, the above example is only the basic recipe for making a balsamic vinegar reduction. This sauce can of course be expanded and modified as desired, for example:

  • with chilli oil and pesto rosso it becomes more fiery and goes perfectly with grilled meat.
  • with honey it becomes even sweeter and thicker and is suitable as a glaze for brushing the saddle of rabbits or poultry.
  • A shot of good red wine gives the reduction a special touch - and goes perfectly with game.
  • Another variation in winter is the balsamic vinegar reduction with orange juice and ginger. Note: the more liquid you add, the longer you need to let the balsamic reduction simmer.
  • There should be people who use their Thermomix to make a reduction like this - to do this, let the Thermomix reduce the sauce to level 1 for about 20 minutes.

Have fun cooking and enjoy Aceto Balsamico products!