Gabrielle Hamilton of Prune NYC was heard saying 'don't leave anything behind, we can save it, sell it, eat it, use it, but don't throw it away.' So when we made a couple of pork shoulders for pulled pork sandwiches and tacos recently, we tried the slow cooker method. We rubbed the shoulder with our spice mixture, sliced up a couple of onions, threw in a smashed clove of garlic, a cup or so of chicken broth, and let it cook for 12 hours, slowly rendering out all the flavorful fat and making one of the most delicious shoulders ever.
What I had left over in the slow cooker was about a quart and a half of liquid. I used some for gravy, some for sauce and still had more than a quart. So I strained out the onions and solids and poured the liquid into a pot and reduced it down by 2/3 or more. After it cooled, I poured this rich, reduced leftover liquid into an ice cube tray, froze the cubes and sealed it tightly in a freezer bag. I forgot about it until Kristy made Beef Bourguignon and used a couple of these cubes after the braising liquid had been reduced by hours of cooking. The result was a wonderful flavor that was unbelievably good. It elevated the flavor remarkably.
Thomas Keller's French Laundry book tells of a similar lesson. He says to reduce, reduce, skim, reduce, skim and reduce, etc.... Or something like that.
Consider what time does to ordinary things that make them great.
Got a big box of chicken broth but only need a cup of it for a sauce or recipe? Reduce the whole box down to a cup. The flavor will be worth it. The simple things that make life more enjoyable.
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