Make Your Own French Gastrique

French sweet and sour sauce

The Spruce

  • Total: 30 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 20 mins
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups (6 servings)

French gastrique is, essentially, a sweet-and-sour sauce. The primary flavor (and some of the sweetness) typically comes from fruit and the sour, from vinegar. You will find that this sauce is an amazing addition to roasted or sautéed pork and poultry dishes.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot (peeled and minced)
  • 2 cups fruit (whole berries or larger fruit peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 tablespoons wine (or cognac)
  • 3 tablespoons vinegar

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for French sweet and sour sauce
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  2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.

    Melt the butter
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  3. Add shallots and cook until they are translucent (about 5 minutes)

    Butter in pan
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  4. Add the fruit, sugar, wine or cognac, and vinegar to the pan. Bring the mixture to a very light boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low

    Strawberries
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  5. Simmer until the fruit is very tender, around 10 to 20 minutes, and remove from heat

    Simmer
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  6. If using berries, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds

    Strain the mixture
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  7. Otherwise, purée the mixture in a blender

    Puree the mixture
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  8. Taste and adjust the seasoning and tartness as needed

    Adjust the seasoning
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  9. Serve with your choice of meat

Tips

  • Gastriques are easy to make and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  • These sauces also freeze beautifully, so feel free to make a few different flavors as various fruits come into season.
  • While gastriques are most often used with meats, they are also wonderful with fish or vegetables.


Recipe Variations

  • The wine, cognac, and vinegar also can be switched out with flavored brandies, cooking wines, vermouth, apple cider vinegar, or your favorite version of any of these ingredients.
  • Almost any fruit will make a great gastrique. Apple, blood orange, peach, mango, and berries are popularly used in France. If you like, combine two fruits like apple and cranberry or skip the fruit altogether and make a simple brandy gastrique.
  • The beauty of a gastrique is its versatility. With this one simple recipe, you can create endless flavors and experiment with different fruit and meat pairings to see which you enjoy most.