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How to thicken braising liquid while keeping it pretty (clear)?

jeremyn | Mar 3, 201010:41 AM

I know of three ways to thicken my braising liquid to serve it as a sauce:

1) flour / roux
2) cornstarch
3) reduction

I don't like method #1 because it turns the liquid an ugly murky color that is just not appealing to me.

#2 is similar to #1, plus the mouthfeel of cornstarch-thickened liquids isn't the best.

I haven't had much success with #3, but it seems promising. Concentrated flavors, no murky thickeners. However, it seems you have to reduce your liquid at least 8x-10x (1 cup to 1 tablespoon) in order to get adequate thickening. But inevitably, then, it ends up too salty or I just don't have enough braising liquid to make enough sauce to coat all of my meat.

Does anyone have any suggestions? Maybe add a ton of homemade stock to give me more gelatin to work with? Maybe then I won't have to reduce it down to nothing. Maybe add in some sheet gelatin? Maybe add like 2 quarts of chicken stock before braising, and then reduce it down to 2 cups before I braise? Any advice will be much appreciated.

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