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How to deglaze a pan

November 8, 2009

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De-glazing is a term most often associated with cooking meat, but can also be done when carmelizing a vegetable in a pan. For this example I have used steak, but you can apply the same principle to most any meats. It will also work with certain vegetable dishes, things like carmelized onions or sautéed mushrooms. When cooking meat in a pan a thin layer of dark caramel will form on the bottom your pan. This caramel is full of the rich flavor of the meat and should be used to make a simple sauce to go with your dish. When your meat is done cooking and you have set it aside to rest, toss a tablespoon of butter, a pinch of salt and a small handful of minced shallots or onions into the pan and return it to medium heat on your stovetop. When the shallot begins to soften and turn brown, add about a cup of chicken stock or white wine. you could also add cream or half and half for a thick cream sauce, or sweet liquers like port, sherry and vermouth for a slightly sweeter sauce. This process of adding liquid to pick up those flavors is called deglazing. Let the sauce simmer for 3-4 minutes until the liquid has reduced pretty far. Turn off the heat, slice your meat and pour your pan sauce around the meat or over some rice or potatoes. Employ this trick every time you cook meat.

*IMPORTANT NOTE! ALCOHOL IS FLAMMABLE! when deglazing with wine or liquor remove the pan from the flame first then add your liquor. if the liquid catches fire it is not a problem, you can blow it out or just let it burn out. just try not to set yourself on fire!

Remove cooked meat from pan
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Add butter
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Shallot or onion
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Salt
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Sautee
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Add liquid
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Reduce
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Serve
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