Cooked skirt steak with a pomegranate gastrique.
Food - Drink
What Is Gastrique And How Do You Serve It?
What is Gastrique?
In its most basic form, a gastrique is a sweet and sour sauce made by reducing sugar and vinegar over heat. The versatile sauce originated in French cuisine, and it can be used to add complexity to a variety of dishes whether in its simplest form or jazzed up with additional ingredients like citrus, herbs, fruits, and more.
Gastrique sauce relies on relatively few ingredients typically including unsalted butter, a shallot, fruit, sugar, wine or cognac, and vinegar, however, not all gastriques contain alcohol or fruit. What all gastriques have in common is vinegar, reduction, and caramelization whether from fruit, honey, or sugar.
Making It
Making a gastrique is a simple process that takes only half an hour and starts with melting butter in a saucepan, adding your shallots, and cooking until transparent. Then begin your caramelization by adding your vinegar, sugar, and optional alcohol and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, simmer, and serve.
Using Gastrique
Gastrique packs a lot of flavor, so it’s best used in smaller quantities whether drizzled over meat and vegetables, cooled and plated with cheese, or even stirred into a cocktail like a Bloody Mary or margarita. If not served right away, store your gastrique in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or in the freezer for longer.
Since there are so many gastrique variations, it’s important to pick sweet and sour flavors that complement each other. As some examples, for red wine vinegar opt for raspberry or grape and pair it with chicken, pork, or seafood, or for cider vinegar opt for citrus fruits and pair it with spicy foods.