Garlic and Oregano Balsamic Reduction

Yesterday I was in the mood for something quick and cheesy, so I made a quick grilled tomato & cheese sandwich, one of my favourite things to eat.  There was one big problem though, I was out of balsamic reduction!!  Grilled cheese just isn’t the same without some of the black gold!

I decided there and then that I will learn how to make the stuff, purely to spite the gods of empty squeeze bottles! I did some quick research (Google is a cook’s best friend) and jumped in.  It turned out really well.

I find it so rewarding when you make something for the first time, opens up a world of possibilities. Next time I’ll try some different flavours etc, although I must admit the garlic and oregano worked GREAT!

Garlic & Oregano Balsamic Reduction

You will need:

  • 500ml Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Brown Sugar
  • about 10 or so cloves of garlic
  • a couple of branches of oregano

Obviously you can play with the ratios to suit yourself.

To start off with, empty the vinegar into a heavy bottomed saucepan, and put in on the stove on low heat.  I used the number 2 setting on my stove.

NB Be careful, you have to stir the mixture every couple of minutes or it may burn to the bottom of the pan.  Also, the fumes given off by the vinegar as it reduces can be quite hectic, so open up the windows!

Next I added the brown sugar, again, keep stirring this every couple of minutes, the sugar would love to burn to the bottom of the pan.

Next pop in the garlic

And the fresh oregano

Let this mixture simmer (I did mention that you should stir it frequently right?) You can taste it as you go along.  In the beginning it will probably taste quite strong and vinegary, but it gets better as it reduces I promise!

I did not time the whole process but I think it was close to an hour when this happened.

While stirring I found that the liquid was sticking to the side of the pan better, thicker and more syrupy.  It’s important to note that the consistency will thicken considerably when it cools so bear that in mind.  I scooped some up in a teaspoon and laid it out on a saucer to let cool.  After a couple of seconds it cooled and felt like the dark brown goodness I adore so much.

Well thats pretty much it, I strained it into a mixing bowl and it is busy cooling off right now.  Later I will pop it into a squeeze bottle and then its ready for action when a dish calls for some black gold!


Ok I couldn’t help myself, had to try it out.  Made a quick grilled cheese sandwich, my black gold rocks!!!

Tags: , , ,

Author:Fritz Brand

Passionate Foodie, Blues Man, Photographer, Technology Geek and all round cool dude.

8 Responses to “Garlic and Oregano Balsamic Reduction”

  1. January 28, 2011 at 5:25 pm #

    Great instruction on reducing the balsamic and delicious looking grilled cheese sandwich. I’m going to try this out today.

    I import a premium quality balsamic reduction – made from an award winning 400 year old Modena family recipe. As someone who appreciates great food and great Balsamic – you would enjoy this.

    Off to the kitchen.
    Buon appetito,
    Janet Mandarano
    Mandarano Balsamic Glaze & Sauce

  2. Veronique
    January 30, 2011 at 5:01 am #

    Hi! I just discovered your website, and I love every single recipe you have put! I must have bookmarked at least 5 or 6 recipes to try. And this one right here seems really good. I’m from Quebec (Canada), and I’ve never heard of it. So I really want to try it, but I don’t know how! Where do you put the balsamic reduction on the grilled cheese? You also seem to use only one slice of bread for your sandwich. So it’s sort of an open face sandwich?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Fritz Brand
      January 30, 2011 at 9:36 am #

      Hi Veronique

      Yea it is an open face sandwich, you just drizzle the balsamic over it once done. It goes well with all sorts of things, try in with butter on a boiled potato!

  3. Celia
    May 26, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    Lovely! I was wondering how long can one keep the reduction?

    • Fritz Brand
      May 26, 2011 at 10:30 am #

      Thanks! I do not have an exact answer for you but I have never had any go off before, it last for ages, keep it in the fridge and you’ll be fine!

  4. October 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    Hells bells Fritz, is it really that simple? Nice one dude. A good way of taking some ordinary balsamic vinegar and turning it into something frikken awesome. *copy & paste*

    • Fritz Brand
      October 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

      Hi Tami

      Yup, it is that simple, give it a go and come up with your own flavours!


  1. Springbok Carpaccio with Rooibos Balsamic Reduction | Real Men Can Cook - October 3, 2012

    […] the same technique I used for the Garlic and Oregano Balsamic Reduction, just replace the ingredients with the ones listed […]

Leave a Reply