Oops, it’s too runny…



There are a lot of reasons that a saucy dish can be runnier than intended – the water content of vegetables, for example, varies a lot. Or you may have been a bit heavy-handed with the cooking wine (hic). There are two main ways to solve the problem:


* Paying careful attention and stirring constantly, increase the heat of the pan. It may help if you hold the pan at an angle and push the solids up away from the liquid, stirring the liquid over the high heat at a rapid boil. This is obviously much easier on a gas-hob than electric. The idea is to get some of the water to evaporate. The advantage of this method is that the flavour of the sauce actually becomes more concentrated. The disadvantage? A lot less sauce!


* Real cooks would be horrified at me suggesting this technique. It’s just NOT the done thing. But it’s easy and you end up with lots of nice thick sauce to coat your pasta or rice or whatever. The way to do it is to mix a few tablespoons of cornflour in a cup with a bit of the liquid until it makes a paste. You then slowly add more of the hot liquid into the cup, blending it well to avoid lumps. You then add this mix back into the main saucy dish, stirring until it thickens. The disadvantage is that it tends to make the sauce much more bland. You can fix this by adding extra seasoning.

* The REALLY cheating way is even easier – sprinkle powdered instant-potato over the too-runny sauce and stir it in. You’ll definitely lose taste and texture, so don’t blame me!