The Secrets of Glaze


With my Favorite 4 Glaze Sauces

Continue our journey to discover the seasoning. We talked about how creating a rub at home, about how using a marinade, about how exploiting at best an injection, about the times in applying a brine and about realizing very good sauces starting by simple  Ketchup. However, the subject of the sauces has been just touched. It is a much more articulate world than we might think, and there are many types, each conceived for a specific purpose. A particularly interesting family in this regard is that of Glaze Sauce.

Glassatura RibsIf you are a fan of american barbecue you should have understood what I’m talking about. The Kansas City Style Ribs are certainly the icons of glazing, with that thick veal of barbecue sauce, glossy and eye-catching as seen in a few other dishes, obtained by making it dampen on the meat a few minutes before removing it from cooking. The notoriety of glazed ribs is perhaps the main limit to the knowledge of Glaze Sauce. Glazing is a fairly widespread practice in the Anglo-Saxon or Nordic matrix culture in general and there are many dishes in which it is applied but for those as us, who do not have in their culture not even the use of sauces, imagine the glaze, the mistake of not consider even the doubt that there are several uses out of the classic brushing on the ribs is almost off.

Let’s start from the beginning. Glazing Sauces are extremely rich in sugars in all its forms and are therefore extremely sweet. Do not trivialize though, do not think glazing means just putting some jam on the meat. There’s a lot more than that. Imagine you want to make some caramel for your creme caramel: it’s water and sugar, so very sweet but what’s left of this sweetness in the final result? Very little, indeed, acquires a considerable tendency to bitterness and a remarkable aromatics, unthinkable previously if figure the banality of the two ingredients.

Heat causes a very complex and fascinating process in sugars, based on the cleavage of their structure through degradation and oxidation phenomena. We are not in a chemistry course, so it is not necessary to go too far in the specific. It’s enough to know that caramelization involves:

  • The release of volatile substances that make up the characteristic aroma, with possible perception of hazelnut, toasted and rum notes.
  • Browing due to polymerization
  • A rapid dehydration, which exponentially increases the concentration of sugars and hence the density

Do you find some analogy with what happens on your ribs? That’s why the Glaze Sauces are so sweet: it’s for making the meat more aromatic, more eye-catching in color and for making them more shiny and inviting, while losing their character clearly cuddly. And the beautiful thing is now. Not all sugars caramelizes the same way. Simple sugars such as fructose (exemp. fruit juice, honey, molasses) degrade very easily and they glazes at very low temperatures, starting at 110° C. The glucose, rich in many sauces, only at 160° C. Another interesting aspect: the more thesugary ingredients contained in the glaze sauce are pure (exemp., refined sugar) and the more the aromas will be elementary, the more they contain other substances (eg Honey) and the more aromatic they will be rich in amplitude.

Before proceeding with the ranking of my 4 favorite glass sauces, I leave you three tips that may be helpful:

  1. Many people say that it is better to raise the temperature during the glazing phase. In fact it is a consideration that can not be done without evaluating the composition of the sugary ingredients of the sauce.
  2. If you want to increase the shine of your glazed foods, take a sprayer with apple juice and sprinkle it over in a cloud (I said a cloud! you do not have to wet it) as soon as pulled them out of the smoker or grill. Remember what temperature the fructose glazes, right? 😉
  3. Before applying the glaze sauce on the meat, let it warm for a few minutes on the fire. The water contained into sauce, if warm, will evaporate even earlier, facilitating the concentration of sugars

I’m saying goodbye to you with my 4 recipes:

Lemon and Garlic Glaze

3 parts of Honey
1 part of Fresh Lemon Juice
1 mashed Garlic Clove per 4 spoons of Sauce

Suggested Use: Chicken or Chicken cuts, Italian Chicken Wings

Glassatura al Timo

Thyme Glaze

4 parts of Maple Syrup
1 part of Mild Mustard
1 teaspoon of Dry Thyme per 5 spoons of sauce

Suggested Use: Ham, Pork Roast

Glassatura al Timo

 Calvados Glaze

1 part of Brown Sugar
2 parts of Lime Juice
1 part of Calvados
1 teaspoon of Black Pepper per 4 spoons of sauce

Suggested Use: Noble cuts of pork maiale like sirloin or arista

Glassatura Calvados

Triple Sec and Ginger Glaze 

1 part of smooth Apricot Jam
1 part of Triple Sec
1 teaspoon of Ginger per 2 spoon of sause

Suggested Use: Wild Meat. Fabulous on the duck breast.

Glassatura al Triple Sec

I have deliberately avoided gaze sauce made from Barbecue sauce and intended for the Ribs. There’s a lot more than that! And how do you enjoy glazing?

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