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Paul B.

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Anyone make a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce?

by Paul B. » Fri Sep 01, 2006 2:08 pm

I dined at a lovely French restaurant in downtown Toronto last night - had loin of lamb, medium-rare, with a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce, and am hoping to try something similar at home.

Have any of you made such sauces? Is there a protocol for doing it? I would imagine that there needs to be some kind of broth base for making it, and that this might preclude making the sauce in advance of actually cooking the meat.

Any pointers as to methodology would be appreciated.
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Bob Ross

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Re: Anyone make a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce?

by Bob Ross » Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:06 pm

Paul, here's an Italian version I got from a chef in Tuscany four years ago. I keep it on hand in the refrigerator together with a balsamic reduction sauce. Both work well with a variety of different foods.

2 TBS butter non salted
1 TBS Juniper berries [I pick these myself from Junipers in our yard]
1 small onion, diced fine
1 TBS chopped thyme
1 TBS chopped rosemary
3 cups dry white wine -- I use an Austrian Riesling
2 cups beef or chicken stock -- no salt versions
Salt and pepper to taste -- optional.
[I don't add salt or pepper to the sauce, but let folks add those condiments if they choose at the table.]

Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the juniper berries and onion, and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the herbs*, wine and stock, and reduce by two thirds about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, and serve warm.

*I've used both fresh and dried thyme and rosemary with good results -- the long cooking time seems to make the dried herbs work well. If I use fresh herbs, I add them during the last ten minutes or so of reducing the sauce.

Regards, Bob
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Paul B.

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Re: Anyone make a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce?

by Paul B. » Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:13 pm

Much appreciated Bob - many thanks.

Cheers,

Paul
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Bob Ross

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Re: Anyone make a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce?

by Bob Ross » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:12 pm

Paul, couple of thoughts.

The last two times I added 2 cups of brown sugar and then adjusted the quantity about ten minutes before finishing the reduction. The Juniper is so dominant that a bit of sweetness is quite attractive.

Juniper berries take two to three years to ripen, so you will usually find blue and green berries on the same branch. Pick the nice big blue ones -- we have many shrubs in the neighborhood so I can be very picky. Let them dry for a few days -- they turn black.

Or, buy them -- I think the Hungarian berries are better than our home grown, but it's fun to pick them. :-)
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Re: Anyone make a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce?

by Paul B. » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:16 pm

Thanks Bob.

But you know me and sugar ... we don't get along much. I think I would be tempted just to skip the sugar entirely. Last night's sauce was gently salty, but had no sugar that I could ascertain.

I bought lots of Hungarian juniper last year in fact - and used it in my venison stews. I really enjoy that juniper flavour, and in fact the only liquor that I enjoy is gin - precisely, again, because of that lovely coniferous taste.
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Re: Anyone make a rosemary-juniper reduction sauce?

by Bob Ross » Fri Sep 01, 2006 4:33 pm

Makes sense, Paul. Janet can't have salt, so I only add it to my own food at the table.

Sweetness adds balance when there isn't any salt. But the recipe would be fine without sweetness, particularly for a juniperoholic like myself. I like sucking on the berries right off the bush.

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