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Last night I made a red wine reduction. The first one I did I just used the wine and beef stock. It came out very tart so I made another and added in a bit of honey. That one tasted better when I dipped a finger in but the first one tasted better on the steak. However, I really didnt lover either or them. Anyone have any helpfull hints or recipes on how to make this better?
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Rather than red wine, I much prefer some Cognac and Sherry. Try this:


Thick, top-quality filet mignons. I use 8 ounce filet
mignons. This also works well with ribeyes or NY Strips. If you're not serving a number of other courses, you might opt
for larger ones.

Green peppercorns. If you get them dried, soak them in
Cognac for a day or longer to reconstitute them.

Peanut oil

Butter 2 tablespoons

Cognac (brandy can be used)

Dry and sweet Sherry (A little Amontillado sweetness adds a
nice touch to this sauce.)

Shallots 2 cloves, chopped (garlic can be used instead, 4
cloves, minced)

Heavy cream

Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons

Cooking instructions:

Press plenty of green peppercorns into both sides of each
filet mignon, but don't flatten the filets.

Preheat oven to 140 degrees.

Add a very small amount of peanut oil to a heavy cast iron
skillet, preferably one with a top to minimize splatter. I use a cast
chicken cooker that came with a glass top. You want just enough oil so
that when you heat it, it will just spread out and cover the pan. You
aren't frying the meat; you're pan broiling it. Heat the skillet on high
heat til the oil begins to smoke. Using tongs, add the filets to the pan
and sear on each side for about three minutes.
Remove the filets to a platter, cover with aluminum foil, and place in
the oven.

Add 2 tablespoons butter to the pan. It will melt quickly.
Stir and scrape the particles off the bottom of the pan. Add the
shallots and cook briefly til they become translucent. Keep stirring and

Then add about 3-4 tablespoons of Cognac and either flame
to burn off the alcohol, or just cook for a minute and the alcohol will
evaporate. Add about 4-5 tablespoons of dry Sherry and continue scraping and
stirring. After it reduces a little, add about
3-4 ounces of heavy cream and 3 tablespoons of sweet Sherry, stirring and scraping all the while.

As it begins to thicken, pour in the juices that have
accumulated on the meat platter
from the oven. When the sauce begins to thicken, remove it from the
burner or it will separate. Add 2 teaspons of Dijon mustard and stir
well. Pour the sauce over the filets and serve.

Wild rice or garlic mashed potatoes goes well with that

You can vary the amounts of the ingredients to taste. It
can be made with black peppercorns, but that can be kind of spicy and
it could overwhelm a good red wine. I also use this recipe for breast of
duck. If you do, cut through the skin and fat, but not into the meat,
and place rows of green peppercorns in the slits. You will also need to
pour of the fat after pan searing the breasts.
Soften shallots in a little bit of butter, then add the wine. I suggest you reduce the wine by about 1/2-to-3/4 and then add veal stock and reduce again. If you're able to get veal demi-glace, you can use less quantity of that in place of veal stock and it works even better. When you're at the appropriate consistency, season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and add a couple small bits of cold butter (depending on the quantity of sauce being made, this could be a pat or more.) "Mounting" the sauce with butter will give it a good sheen and add just that extra bit of richness. Strain through a sieve to remove the shallots and serve with whatever meat you're preparing.

I suggest you use a fruity wine with not very harsh tannins. A decent Cotes-du-Rhone works well.

I do not recommend using boxed stocks (and never broth). Make your own, or source some from a butcher that doesn't add salt. The problem with boxed stocks is the high sodium content. In reducing the sauce (and by extension, stock) to the correct consistency, you're unfortunately concentrating the sodium content and therefore will end up with with an overly salty sauce.

There are numerous variations on this sauce, including the addition of herbs for addition flavour. Fresh thyme is one that I particularly enjoy. Add it with the shallots at the beginning of the preparation.

If you practice this sauce, you'll be banging it out in no time with excellent results.
jburman82, another easy one is a beurre rouge, the same as a beurre blanc, but made with red wine. It's great on grilled meats, chicken, etc.

Using the ratio 1:2:4 shallots, butter, wine you can scale to any amount. Put the shallots and wine in a small saucepan, reduce to 1/3 to 1/4 of original volume, reduce or off heat whisk in pats of butter one at a time, salt and pepper to taste.

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