5 Ingredients or Fewer

America’s Test Kitchen’s Instant Aged Balsamic Vinegar

October  5, 2016
2 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes about 1/4 cup
Author Notes

If you really wanted to try this hack and were missing the port—say you were in need of an impressive, very-last-minute dinner party dessert, or something else to throw on your cheese plate or to pep up your steak or soup or salad (or you know, your fancy, well-priced quarterly balsamic delivery from Food52 had run out)—you absolutely could. You could just leave the port out, or splash in a fruity red wine, or honey, or cherry juice and tweak the flavor and consistency as you like. Or you could just surrender as I did, and commit this formula to memory, knowing that it will be your new tool to have this elixir anytime, near instantly. Adapted slightly from Kitchen Hacks: How Clever Cooks Get Things Done (Cook's Illustrated, 2015). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon port
  1. Combine ingredients in shallow, nonreactive pan and slowly reduce over extremely low heat. Mixture should be barely simmering. Continue until mixture is reduced to half its original volume. Let cool to room temperature and use immediately.
  2. Serve over vanilla ice cream or panna cotta, on ripe pears or strawberries, with cheeses (especially, but not limited to, Parmesan), stirred into soups and drizzled over grilled steaks and pork chops—or anywhere else your food could use a hit of bright, sweet tang.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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  • patricia gadsby
    patricia gadsby
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

2 Reviews

Read October 11, 2016
The review of supermarket balsamics that's not behind a paywall is at https://www.americastestkitchen.com/taste_tests/1609-supermarket-balsamic
patricia G. October 9, 2016
I save my best balsamic vinegar to serve unadorned. But with a less precious brand? I've made something like this reduction for years, with a savoury twist, to use as a drizzle for meat or a meaty fish like striped bass, or a tray of roasted root vegetables. Not-your-best balsamic vinegar, slowly reduced, not-your-best port, a smidge of honey or maple syrup, a little soy sauce to balance the sweetness and acidity, a sprig of thyme or rosemary. For a final gloss I may whisk in a little butter at the end of cooking.