Resourcefulness and repurposing

Previously, on –


Last weekend, I had made quite a bit of cabernet chuck roast beef stew.

While most of the stew was finished over the course of a few days, I still had a bit of the stew braising liquid.   Observing that I hadn’t used a roux in the stew, I began wondering if I couldn’t make use of the stew liquid as a sauce.  Realizing I had used equal parts of cabernet, stock, onions, carrots and tomatoes and a bay leaf, I realized I actually had something close to a base for bordelaise sauce.

Looking through my pantry, I realized I might be able to repurpose the stew liquid with the addition of some dried parsley, dried thyme and some grated garlic. To those ingredients, I would also add sliced shallots, sliced shiitake mushrooms, 1 1/2 c of the braise.  So my ingredient list would look like:

4 T grated garlic
2/3 c sliced shallots
1/2 c sliced shiitake
2 T + 1/4t + 1/16t dried parsley
1/4t + 1/16t dried thyme
1 1/2 c beef stew braising liquid
1/4t 4:1 salt/pepper mix

I would combine all of this (except the salt/pepper), bring it to a boil, lower the heat to medium low and let simmer for 20 minutes.  As it would turn out, this would reduce to about a cup of sauce.  All I had to do after that was strain and reserve the sauce, season it with the salt and pepper and I would be ready to use it.

This repurposing of the stew into a bordelaise was then used for broiled striped bass on blanched asparagus.

Broiled Striped Bass, Asparagus, ‘Quick’ Bordelaise

My wife was so surprised how well the sauce turned out and how well it matched with the striped bass.  I now have another kitchen trick up my sleeve in case I need to repurpose a leftover ingredient!


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