HOW TO USE BALSAMIC
I often get asked ‘what do you do with balsamic, other than for salad’, so thought I would add a few ideas here.
- Raspberry Balsamic makes incredible gravy; after roasting meat, add a tablespoonful of flour to the roasting pan and scrape up all the caramalised meaty bits from the bottom. Add a good glug of balsamic and place on a medium heat on the hob. With a wooden spoon, create a paste from the flour balsamic and bits. Slowly add enough wine and / or stock to create the desired gravy consistency, it should thicken as the flour cooks through. If it does not thicken sufficiently, combine a spoonful of cornflour and mix in cold water, add this to the gravy to help thicken.
- Marinade meats; the cheaper cuts of red meat can benefit greatly from an overnight marinade in balsamic. The vinegar will impart a deep flavour that penetrates throughout and will tenderise the meat. Raspberry Balsamic pairs incredibly well with duck and venison, Roast Garlic Balsamic with lamb, and Peppercorn Balsamic with steak – however there are no rules; try all combinations.
- Add Roast Garlic Balsamic to soups, sauces & stews; tomato based soups & stews, benefit greatly from a dash of balsamic – add, once cooked, to enhance and bring the flavours together.
- Peppercorn Balsamic & tomatoes – a match made in heaven; a favorite dish of mine is to cut cherry tomatoes in half, lightly fry on a medium heat in a small amount of oil. When they are beginning to sizzle, add a generous glug of balsamic (I prefer peppercorn) and the fruits will soften and create a delicious sticky rich sauce. We have it on toasted ciabatta, with a poached egg, for special breakfast.
- Pair with pudding: peppercorn balsamic is incredible with soft fruits, especially strawberries. You can bring some balsamic to the boil and add some sugar, reducing the balsamic to a syrup, which can be drizzled over meringue and ice-cream. Try this with cocktails too (avoid the roast garlic balsamic!)
- Roasting vegetables; add your favourite vegetables to a bowl, add a dash of oil and a generous dash of Roast Garlic Balsamic and mix to coat the veggies. Wonderful with Mediterranean style roasted vegetables.