Deglaze with Tea
It’s an old Quebecois kitchen habit to use strong black tea, which has tannins similar to red wine, to deglaze a pan. After meat is browned, transfer it to a plate. Add ½ cup strong black tea and an acid (for poultry, 1–2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, and for red meat, 1–2 tbsp. red wine vinegar); cook, scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in 2 tbsp. cold butter, salt, and pepper. Makes ⅓ cup.
Crème de Soja
This sauce, which McMillan learned from legendary Montreal chef Nicolas Jongleux, involves soy sauce, but tastes completely French. It’s a deceptively easy accompaniment to royale of rabbit liver, boudin, and meaty fishes. To make it, whip ½ cup heavy cream into soft peaks. Simmer ⅓ cup soy sauce in a 2-qt. saucepan. Whisk in whipped cream until sauce is smooth. Add a drip of mustard, if you like. Makes 1½ cups.
This quick sauce is a dead ringer for the classic—and quite complicated—bordelaise. Instead of bone marrow, demi-glace, and red wine, Morin uses balsamic vinegar (nothing “noble,” but nothing artificial), beets, and soy sauce, as well. It’s nice on steaks or roasted venison. To make it, melt 1 tbsp. butter in a 10″ skillet. Cook 1 chopped shallot and 1 small chopped beet until soft. Add 3 tbsp. each balsamic vinegar and water, 1 tsp. soy sauce, salt, and pepper; cook until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in 4 tbsp. cold butter; strain. Makes ⅓ cup.