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Explain Deglazing

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 6:32 am UTC
by sardia
Every time I've tried deglazing, it's always extra salty, and not very appetizing. What am I doing wrong? Say I had a flank steak, and I salt and pepper it. Then I pan fry it to get a good sear and crusting. That tastes fine, but how do I deglaze it properly? I used a cup of red wine, stirred it up, let it cooked down. Then I added some liquid to thin it out some. I've tried chicken stock, water or milk, but nothing makes it taste good. I thought about adding some floury water, but that just makes gravy, which isn't what I'm looking for. Am I doing it wrong, or do I just not like the deglazed and reduced liquid\sauce? Am I reducing it too much? Not enough? How can I tell the difference between mesing up or if I don't like the flavor?

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:34 pm UTC
by PAstrychef
You may just have too much salt on your steak, which leads to a salty pan sauce. It sounds like you're using the right technique. Perhaps your wine is cheap ass "cooking wine"? It helps to use a wine you like to drink when making pan sauces. They are also often finished with a bit of butter mixed in without really melting it, making a very loose emulsion.
Try wiping your pan with a paper towel before you deglaze, to remove excess salt. If you use stock make sure it's low-sodium kind. Water will tend to make you sauce weak and thin, and milk will make it bland.You could also try using less wine to deglaze, since the more you reduce meat-based liquids the more concentrated the natural salts become.
Perhaps look up a recipe for a steak with a pan sauce over at epicurious.com and see what they do that you don't.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Mon Sep 20, 2010 8:59 pm UTC
by Nath
Don't most low sodium stocks just switch out some of the sodium chloride with potassium chloride? I'd expect them to taste as salty as regular stocks.

OP: one other possibility is that the steaks have an appropriate amount of salt, but it's falling off into the pan. Perhaps a finer-grained salt would work better (e.g. regular salt instead of kosher or sea salt). Patting it down a little may also help. Flank steak could also be marinated in a salty liquid and patted dry.

The more you reduce it, the saltier it will get. If you want it thicker, use a bit of roux instead of flour-water.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 12:14 am UTC
by Azrael
Yeah, I'm seconding the call to use a less salty deglazing liquid (i.e. not stock and oh god why would you use milk it will just scald and taste terrible) and control the salt on your meat. Plus, the good that comes with that fond is often what else you add to it. Au jus is nice, but I'm of the mind that you should use a small amount of intensely flavorful deglazing liquid (meaning ... good booze) and then build on top of it with other ingredients. Reduction is not necessarily the primary key, and your should make sure you add enough other stuff afterward that you can re-season to taste.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 1:02 am UTC
by Thesh
Azrael wrote:i.e. not stock and oh god why would you use milk it will just scald and taste terrible


Yeah, milk isn't a deglazing liquid. Normally you degalze with an alcohol, I find a bourbon like maker's mark is great for this, and then add milk or cream and let it reduce.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:21 am UTC
by Nath
Vinegar also works, I believe.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:54 am UTC
by Thesh
Nath wrote:Vinegar also works, I believe.


I think any thin liquid would work, but I have to say I think vinegar and milk would be a disgusting combination.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 5:49 am UTC
by Nath
Well, yes. Unless you're making paneer. If you're just making a vinegar based pan sauce, you'd just want to finish it with some butter or olive oil (perhaps after diluting it slightly if you want a milder sauce).

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 6:44 pm UTC
by sardia
Thesh wrote:
Azrael wrote:i.e. not stock and oh god why would you use milk it will just scald and taste terrible


Yeah, milk isn't a deglazing liquid. Normally you degalze with an alcohol, I find a bourbon like maker's mark is great for this, and then add milk or cream and let it reduce.

I used dry table wine for my deglazing liquid, and I added milk to make it milder and creamier.
The reason for the table wine is so I don't waste too much money figuring out how to properly deglaze.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 7:06 pm UTC
by Azrael
Ok, so start with wine -- a quarter cup would be more than sufficient. But then think about what you want at the end, and milk makes no sense to me (especially if you're talking anything but whole milk) because it's too much liquid, not enough flavor or thickener. Cream might if you're after a white wine cream sauce. But weren't we talking about steaks and red wine? Milk/Cream and red wine?

Let's back up a bit: Find a recipe and follow it. I've pimped Alton Brown's steak au poivre before and it can be adapted for more reasonably priced steaks quite easily. Notice the ratios: A sprinkle of salt, 2 tablespoons of pepper on the steaks. Unsalted butter & olive oil mix for the pan. A spirit based deglazing liquid and cream (not milk) to create the sauce, then season back up to taste.

I don't think deglazing itself is the faulty step here.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 9:39 am UTC
by voidPtr
sardia wrote:
Thesh wrote:
The reason for the table wine is so I don't waste too much money figuring out how to properly deglaze.


When you say table wine, do you really mean you're using cooking wine? If so, I don't want to sound like a food snob, but I think that could be your problem and I wouldn't grace my toilet with cooking wine. Try having a few sips of the wine and I bet that 'saltiness' you were tasting is the taste of the wine. I'm not sure what is in cooking wine, but something is in it which makes it it last longer than drinking wine. A good rule of thumb is don't cook with anything you wouldn't drink. If you're like me and live in a place where wine isn't cheap, I think you're just better of doing without the wine in the deglaze except for special occasions.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Sep 22, 2010 1:28 pm UTC
by Belial
Azrael wrote:I've pimped Alton Brown's steak au poivre before and it can be adapted for more reasonably priced steaks quite easily.


I think he originally presented that recipe as part of his "buy an entire beef loin from costco, butcher that shit yourself, and get incredibly good beef dishes for really cheap" tv special. AKA my favorite hour of Food TV ever.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 4:51 am UTC
by sardia
voidPtr wrote:
sardia wrote:
Thesh wrote:
The reason for the table wine is so I don't waste too much money figuring out how to properly deglaze.


When you say table wine, do you really mean you're using cooking wine? If so, I don't want to sound like a food snob, but I think that could be your problem and I wouldn't grace my toilet with cooking wine. Try having a few sips of the wine and I bet that 'saltiness' you were tasting is the taste of the wine. I'm not sure what is in cooking wine, but something is in it which makes it it last longer than drinking wine. A good rule of thumb is don't cook with anything you wouldn't drink. If you're like me and live in a place where wine isn't cheap, I think you're just better of doing without the wine in the deglaze except for special occasions.

What's a cheap wine to cook white meats, and a wine for red meats? The white meats I cook more often. And, yes, it's an 8-10$ bottle of table white or red wine.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:24 pm UTC
by voidPtr
sardia wrote:What's a cheap wine to cook white meats, and a wine for red meats? The white meats I cook more often. And, yes, it's an 8-10$ bottle of table white or red wine.


That's probably around what I would pay so it sounds like I'm wrong and it's not the wine you're using. I thought you may have been using the 2-4$ cooking wine we can buy here at the grocery store. The test is really easy, have a glass of the wine, is it drinkable? if yes, it's cookable. Try having a glass of cooking wine..yuck.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Thu Sep 23, 2010 9:09 pm UTC
by Telchar
Belial wrote:
Azrael wrote:I've pimped Alton Brown's steak au poivre before and it can be adapted for more reasonably priced steaks quite easily.


I think he originally presented that recipe as part of his "buy an entire beef loin from costco, butcher that shit yourself, and get incredibly good beef dishes for really cheap" tv special. AKA my favorite hour of Food TV ever.


Yeah, Alton is great. Which makes it weird that his only show is on late at night (I don't count IC because it's not his show).

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Fri Sep 24, 2010 9:26 pm UTC
by Bakemaster
So, regarding "table" wine and "cooking" wine - the former just means your default wine to keep around for drinking with a meal. Most people are not rich, so "table" wine tends to be inexpensive; high enough quality to enjoy with a meal, probably not special occasion wine. But "cooking" wine refers to wine that's not to be drunk at all, but only used for cooking. It's cheap, it has added salt and sometimes other flavorings, and many people follow the rule, "Never cook with wine that you wouldn't enjoy drinking" so they never buy "cooking" wine.

It's not necessarily that the cooking wine is the worst wine on the face of the earth, though. Hey, who knows, it could be great wine - but it's got a bunch of salt in it. Would you drink a glass of expensive, high quality wine if someone had just dumped a teaspoon of salt in? Most people wouldn't.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 4:02 pm UTC
by voidPtr
Bakemaster wrote:So, regarding "table" wine and "cooking" wine - the former just means your default wine to keep around for drinking with a meal. Most people are not rich, so "table" wine tends to be inexpensive; high enough quality to enjoy with a meal, probably not special occasion wine. But "cooking" wine refers to wine that's not to be drunk at all, but only used for cooking. It's cheap, it has added salt and sometimes other flavorings, and many people follow the rule, "Never cook with wine that you wouldn't enjoy drinking" so they never buy "cooking" wine.

It's not necessarily that the cooking wine is the worst wine on the face of the earth, though. Hey, who knows, it could be great wine - but it's got a bunch of salt in it. Would you drink a glass of expensive, high quality wine if someone had just dumped a teaspoon of salt in? Most people wouldn't.



Yeah, this is a more articulate version of what I was trying to say. I've never actually heard the expression "table wine" before, which is why I brought up the cooking wine thing to begin with.

Not to veer of the OP's original topic, but does anyone actually use cooking wine? It's very cheap (I don't think the alcohol content is taxed here), but I'd rather just do without the wine.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 8:46 pm UTC
by Bakemaster
I used to use cooking wine all the time, because it's not treated like alcohol when you buy it from the supermarket. So when I was underage, I couldn't buy any other kind of wine to cook with.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Sep 29, 2010 12:29 am UTC
by SurgicalSteel
I use cooking wine all the time to add a bit of flavor to plain, cheap pasta sauce. Also to cook sausages in. I imagine whether to use cooking wine or drinkable wine is largely dependent on what you are doing with it, like cocktails. When I make a heavy, creamy drink like a white russian I'm happy with the cheapest vodka I can find (almost) but if I'm making a martini or cranberry screwdriver I use the good stuff. I use cooking wine with heavy, thick pasta sauces. I'd probably want to use something better if I was making a thinner sauce where the wine flavor would be more at the front.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:52 pm UTC
by dubsola
Bakemaster wrote:It's not necessarily that the cooking wine is the worst wine on the face of the earth, though. Hey, who knows, it could be great wine - but it's got a bunch of salt in it. Would you drink a glass of expensive, high quality wine if someone had just dumped a teaspoon of salt in? Most people wouldn't.

Do they add the salt so that kids won't drink it?

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 2:58 pm UTC
by Thesh
dubsola wrote:
Mr. Bakerstein wrote:It's not necessarily that the cooking wine is the worst wine on the face of the earth, though. Hey, who knows, it could be great wine - but it's got a bunch of salt in it. Would you drink a glass of expensive, high quality wine if someone had just dumped a teaspoon of salt in? Most people wouldn't.

Do they add the salt so that kids won't drink it?


They add salt as a preservative. Wine will go bad after opening, and with cooking wines you generally don't use the entire bottle when you cook.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Oct 06, 2010 3:50 pm UTC
by ImagingGeek
Thesh wrote:They add salt as a preservative. Wine will go bad after opening, and with cooking wines you generally don't use the entire bottle when you cook.

Its also a tax thing - if the wine is rendered undrinkable b the addition of salt, its no longer subject to liquor taxes. At least, that's the way it works up here...

Bryan

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Thu Oct 07, 2010 1:15 am UTC
by Bakemaster
There's also the fact that any dish in the world you make with wine will also want for some salt.

A lot of things that add flavor have quite a bit of salt in them. Soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning blends. This is because salt is a flavor enhancer, and even if the particular mix they're selling isn't potent, the salt in it will make most people think it's good stuff.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 4:01 am UTC
by iChef
If you're willing to put in the work the following technique will make you the deglazing god.

Obtain:

Beef bones from a butcher, a shop in my area sells them for .50 / lb. get 2 - 4 pounds
Some nice small steaks tender loin if you want to go all out but sirloin or strip steak is ok too, just nothing tough that you will need to cook a long time.
Enough for 2 servings. (12 - 16 oz. or so of meat)
1/2 c. port
Some fresh rosemary (1 sprig don't over do it)
A small bit of flour Salt and pepper
About 1 oz. butter (not marg use the real deal, yes it matters)
Some carrot, onion and celery. You can use the trimmings from these carrot peels, the ends of the onions and celery, save them from other things you make
you will need about a cup of each.
3 bay leaves
Some fresh garlic cloves (yes fresh do not use that canned pre cut swill sold in jars) or shallots if you want to get fancy. Save the trimming from these as well.

The day before:
Take your beef bones and slowly roast them at about 300 F until they start to brown on the edges, you don't want them black, it is better to slightly undercook than overcook.
Scrape any bit of fat, gristle and marrow stuck to the bones, they don't have to be totally clean but you don't want huge chunks hanging off.
Place your bones in a large heavy bottom stock pot, add COLD water. Enough so the top of the bones are at least 4 in. deep
Place the pot on the stove and bring it up to a light boil. Then reduce the heat to very very low so the water id barely simmering.
Let this simmer for 6-8 hours. I leave mine on overnight. Add your bay leaves, carrot, celery, onion and garlic or shallot trimmings. Do not at any time add any salt to your stock you are going to reduce it and this would make it too salty. Allow this to simmer
for another hour and a half. After this is done strain your liquid into a new pan. Let it sit in the fridge until cooled. Skim off any fat that hardens on top. Gratz you have just made stock!!! This is a very important step to any very nice pan sauce. After this place your fancy new stock back on the stove. Bring it to a low boil. Reduce the liquid until you are left with about 1/8 of what you started with. Now you have glace the wonder magically substance that will change your life forever and allow you to thicken your pan sauces lightly without starch. You can make glace in large batches and freeze it in ice cube trays to be used when needed I make a bunch at once every few months, it is a lot of work but totally worth it.

Now for your steaks. Trim them into about 2 - 3 oz. cutlets wrap them in film and pound them lightly with a mallet or the side of your knife. Add a little salt, about 1 t, and some pepper 1 T to your flour in a mixing bowl. Coat your steaks in the seasoned flour. Heat up a saute pan (not teflon you want something that will get bits of food (called fond) to it). Add a little butter to the pan. saute your steaks until nice and golden. Now, finally here's where you gain entry to deglazing Olympus. Remove your steaks from the pan and set them aside to rest. Drain any extra butter from the pan, just pour it DO NOT scrape or wipe anything out. Add some finely diced garlic or shallots and let them get soft, careful not to burn your fond. Add your port wine. Let this flame up, and reduce a bit then add about a cup of the glace you made earlier. Stir your pan to lightly scrape all the bit of goodness from the bottom of the pan so nothing is left sticking to the bottom. Add your sprig of rosemary. Let this simmer until it is reduced by half. Turn off your flame and add a T of cold butter and whip it in to suspend it in your sauce (this is called monte au burre and with make your sauce creamy and delicious). Strain your sauce and pour it over your steak.
Trust me all of this is well worth it and the time consuming part of making the glace can be done far ahead of time. Your friends/family will be amazed. You can apply this technique to many pan sauces, all of which will be delicious masterpieces.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Oct 20, 2010 6:57 am UTC
by Ulc
iChef wrote: You can make glace in large batches and freeze it in ice cube trays to be used when needed I make a bunch at once every few months, it is a lot of work but totally worth it.


Making a good stock like this isn't only for deglazing though, it is equally wonderful for soups, risotto and basically anything that involves stock, instead of buying it premade!

I always* make stock this way, and leave it in the freezer. It's wonderful to be able to take it out of the freezer, and half a hour later you have a delicious soup ready.


*Okay, I ran out a couple of days ago.

Re: Explain Deglazing

Posted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 4:47 pm UTC
by sardia
Holy crap, that's a long recipe. I need to get cracking.