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.
Gastriques are easy to make and can be kept in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. They also freeze beautifully, so feel free to make a few different flavors as various fruits come into season.
Which fruit should you use? 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.
- 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
Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-low heat.
Add shallots and cook until they are translucent, about 5 minutes.
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.
Simmer until the fruit is very tender, around 10 to 20 minutes, and remove from heat.
If using berries, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any seeds. Otherwise, purée the mixture in a blender.
Taste and adjust the seasoning and tartness as needed.
Kitchen Tips and 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.