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    Balsamic Reduction Recipe

    Published June 30, 2020. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

    Enhance the flavor of your food by making this easy to prepare balsamic reduction that goes excellent on steak, chicken, seafood, or vegetables.

    We always joke around how we like a little protein with our sauces when eating a meal.  It doesn’t matter if it’s a tartar sauce, beurre blanc, or a Pomodoro sauce, we always want extra!

    jar of reduced balsamic with a spoon

    Balsamic Reduction

    I’ve been making balsamic reduction for over 20 years.  It’s one the first sauces I learned to perfect as we served it with a number of things on the menus of restaurants I used to work at.  It’s a fantastic way to enhance the flavor of whatever you’re making and is very simple to make with my foolproof procedures.

    When you reduce balsamic vinegar, you’re concentrating the flavors and viscosity into a thick syrup making it extremely flavorful.  If you do make this and use it just know that a little bit goes a long way.

    Is Glaze the Same as Reduction?

    While you can find pre-made glazes at the grocery store, it is actually different than a real reduction.  Companies are in the business of making money so if they reduce all of the vinegar to a small concentrated amount it will be very expensive to make and sell.  Instead, they thicken the balsamic vinegar using a thickening agent to help save costs and preserve some flavor.

    In my personal opinion, you don’t use all that much of it because it’s so potent in flavor so it’s just better to make it homemade from scratch and do a proper balsamic reduction.

    How to Make It

    Many recipes out there will just tell you to reduce the amount of liquid by 75% or until it becomes thick like syrup.  Doing this process becomes a way to hit or miss, so I’ve got it down to the perfect temperature.

    1. Start by adding balsamic vinegar and the juice of 1 lemon to a medium-size saucepot.
    pouring balsamic vinegar into a pot
    1. Cook the balsamic vinegar over medium-low heat until it reaches 226° F.
    balsamic vinegar boiling in a pot
    1. Immediately remove the vinegar and transfer to a bowl and refrigerate until cold and thick, about 2 hours.
    balsamic reduction in a heat-safe bowl

    Make-Ahead and Storage

    Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 week ahead of time.

    How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

    Chef Billy Parisi

    chef notes + tips

    • Since you are reducing the balsamic vinegar and making the flavor more concentrated, there is no need to go out and spend lots of money on a good vinegar.  My advice is to buy what’s on sale.
    • No matter what you reduce the flavors can oftentimes become vinegar and lemon juice not only helps to counter the bitterness but also adds some nice citrus flavors as well.
    • Reduced Balsamic goes excellent with fresh strawberries as well as with vanilla ice cream.
    a spoonful of balsamic reduction

    Here’s What to Use It In

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    Let's Cook - Chef Billy Parisi

    Balsamic Reduction Recipe

    5 from 1 vote
    Enhance the flavor of your food by making this easy to prepare balsamic reduction that goes excellent on steak, chicken, seafood, or vegetables.
    Servings: 20
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 15 minutes

    Ingredients 

    • 2 cups balsamic vinegar
    • Juice of 1 lemon

    Instructions

    • Add the vinegar and lemon juice to a medium-size pot.
    • Cook over low to medium heat until it reaches 226° F.
    • Chill the sauce in the refrigerator until cold, about 2 hours, and serve.

    Notes

    Chef Notes:
    • Make-Ahead: You can make this recipe up to 1 week ahead of time.
     
    • How to Store: Cover and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
     
    • Since you are reducing the balsamic vinegar and making the flavor more concentrated, there is no need to go out and spend lots of money on a good vinegar. My advice is to buy what’s on sale.
     
    • No matter what you reduce the flavors can oftentimes become vinegar and lemon juice not only helps to counter the bitterness but also adds some nice citrus flavors as well.
     
    • Reduced Balsamic goes excellent with fresh strawberries as well as with vanilla ice cream.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 22kcalCarbohydrates: 4gProtein: 1gSodium: 6mgPotassium: 29mgSugar: 4gCalcium: 7mgIron: 1mg
    Course: sauce
    Cuisine: Italian