The Secret to Making a Quick Green Peppercorn Sauce Recipe
The big difference between this shorter version of the Green Peppercorn Sauce recipe and the longer version is the use of Demi-Glace. Demi glace is a brown sauce reduction made from beef and veal stock that has been reduced for hours and hours down to a glaze. There are some other ingredients in a classic demi glace and if interested you can read about making your own demi glace at home here.
I have made classic demi glace a couple of times from scratch because it is essential for preparing classic sauces like the ones you get in gourmet restaurants but it is a lot of work. Once I found a commercial brand that is as close to homemade as you can find, I now make a lot more classic and everyday sauces when cooking beef, chicken, lamb and even fish.
The commercial brand I like to use is called Demi Glace Gold and is available at some gourmet markets but I found the best price for it on line. To learn more about this product, how to use it, what’s in it, where to buy it, along with dozens of recipes using it, go to GatewayGourmet.com. This is a great site if you want to learn more about making sauces at home.
I also wrote a short eCookbook with the help of my favorite chef, Ricco DeLuca, about how to make Chicken Marsala Perfected, a 25 page guide to making chicken, veal, and steak Marsala. It’s more than a recipe but a mini-cooking lesson on making sauces using demi glace as a base. Ok, enough “shameless marketing.”
So here is a shorter version of the Green Peppercorn Sauce using the Demi Glace Gold.
Green Peppercorn Sauce – 20 minute version
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium shallots
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar
½ cup decent brandy (I used a Cognac because I didn't have any brandy in the house)
¼ cup red wine
¼ cup port
1 cup of homemade demi glace ( I use 1 ½ oz of Demi Glace Gold reconstituted in 1 cup of hot water)
½ cup heavy cream (half and half if you are counting calories)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons green peppercorns in brine
How To Prepare At Home
Mince the shallots. To prep the green peppercorns, I removed them from the jar, drained any of the brine and placed them into a Ziploc bag. I then proceeded to smash them with a meat mallet I use for pounding chicken breasts or veal into scaloppini. You could also try using your heavy bottomed saucepan or even a can of soup.
This recipe is very similar to the longer version except there isn't as much time spent making reductions because you are already using a stock reduction with the demi glace.
Heat your saucepan over medium-high heat, add the oil and let it get hot but not smoking. Add the shallots and cook until they are a golden brown but pay attention and keep stirring so they don't burn and you have to start all over again. Should take about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the mustard and sherry vinegar. Reduce this combination by half, which takes only about 1 minute. Add the brandy or Cognac and cook to burn off all the alcohol. About 3 minutes. I like to remove the pan from the flame on the stovetop before adding any liquid that contains alcohol and can potentially blow up in my face. It shouldn't happen if you remove the pan, but be careful.
Next, add the red wine and port and reduce again by half. This should only take about 5 to 10 minutes since you are reducing a lot less liquid. You want the sauce to be simmering so if starts to boil, reduce the heat to medium or medium-low.
Add the reconstituted Demi Glace Gold and continue reducing until the sauce is the consistency you like. I use a spoon to check for the right consistency. When it is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, I'm there.
When the sauce is reduced to your liking, remove it from the heat and add the cream, butter and crushed peppercorns. Taste and season for salt. It should be a good consistency at this point but you can always reduce it a little more if you like.
The whole process should take about 20 minutes or 30 minutes less than the "longer" version and in my opinion will have a lot more flavor by using a real demi.
Copyright 1997 - 2016 The Reluctant Gourmet