A gastrique, which is essentially a sugar and vinegar reduction, is the French term for the sauce that is created by caramelizing sugar and adding vinegar to reduce. Traditionally, this reduction was then added to a reduced brown stock and mounted with butter and finished with herbs to create a beautifully deep sauce that forms a perfect balance between sweet, sour, rich and buttery flavors.
I love to use gastriques and often make them using a seasonal fruit, which, in this case, is rhubarb. In the late spring in Northern Virginia, rhubarb grows quite easily and it is readily available. Rhubarb also creates a beautiful red color once cooked that is simply stunning on a plate.
Rhubarb on its own has a very strong sour taste and tartness to it and that's why so often, used in conjunction with sugar or paired with a sweeter counterpart. Making this rhubarb gastrique is extremely easy and all you need are the following ingredients:
To make the base for the gastrique, you simply dissolve the sugar into the vinegar and reduce, adding the chopped rhubarb towards the end of the cooking process. While you could strain or puree the gastrique to have a perfectly smooth sauce, I prefer to leave the rhubarb in for texture.
Once complete, this sauce can serve as a base for everything from sauces for meats to accompaniments for appetizers to components for drinks
We absolutely love using it to create a rhubarb sauce for a perfectly pan roasted duck breast.
Let us know in the comments how you used this gastrique.
Cheers and eat well!
This rhubarb gastrique has such a great balance between being sweet and sour, while also feeling fresh with the bits rhubarb in the gastrique. Pair with a roasted duck breast, an appetizer or even in a cocktail!
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