Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club

Gastrique À l’Orange

French sweet-and-sour sauce

This quintessential French sweet-and-sour sauce is a wonderful way to dress duck and beef, especially when the meat is seared. The ingredients are simple: sugar, vinegar, and fruit juice or purée. Here is the classic gastrique recipe, but have fun experimenting with different combinations using this basic technique. 


  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, such as Vinagre de Touriga Nacional
  • Juice of one orange


Step 1

In a sauté pan over medium heat and without stirring, slowly heat the sugar until it caramelizes. Lower the heat and carefully whisk in the vinegar.

Step 2

Next, add the juice, whisking continuously (if the mixture hardens, the heat will melt it again). Continue cooking until the liquid reaches a syrupy consistency, but don’t let it get too thick or it will solidify—take it off the heat just before you think it’s done.

Yields about a 1/4 cup, enough to sauce two portions of your chosen protein