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Finding the best sauce recipe for steak is a simple way to elevate an everyday steak dinner into a restaurant-quality dish! My list of the Best Sauces for Steak includes the perfect sauces for everything from weekday family dinners to dinner parties. You only need a handful of ingredients and a few minutes per recipe! Let the whisking begin!
Best Steak Sauces FAQ
The perfect sauce for steak is completely up to taste. Some people like a simple red wine pan sauce while others like a creamier au poivre or béarnaise. There are so many variations of different steak sauces, and this guide is the perfect place to find a variety of recipes for steak sauce all on one page.
Steak sauce ingredients vary from recipe to recipe, but in general all sauces are made up of a liquid base such as wine or stock, dairy, and aromatic herbs. Some sauces only require mixing, while others will need cooking time to complete the recipe.
In general, when making a sauce, always be mindful of your heat levels (usually medium is the best way to cook a sauce) and take time for each ingredient to incorporate before adding the next. While mixing a sauce, a whisk is your best friend. If you notice a sauce is starting to break, take your sauce off the heat and whisk vigorously until the sauce comes back together.
The 5 mother sauces in French cooking are said to be the building blocks to any other type of sauce you can make. Knowing how to make each of these sauces can lead to so many possibilities. These sauces include béchamel, espagnole, veloute, hollandaise, and tomato sauce. Many steak sauces include these recipes as a base.
How to Choose the Right Sauce for Steak
There really is no way to "correctly" decide which cut of steak should go with a particular steak sauce recipe; it's completely up to your taste! However, it can be daunting to decide which flavor profile will go best with a certain cut of steak.
One solution I have is to think about the fat content of both the steak and the sauce I am wanting to serve with it.
Think of it this way: a béarnaise sauce is a delicious lemon tarragon sauce with a secret ingredient- lots of butter! Though this is truly a magnificent sauce with beef, I prefer it with filet mignon (a leaner cut of beef) over something like ribeye, which has more marbling.
Cuts of beef with lower fat contents (flank steak, tenderloin, sirloin, eye-round) do better with steak sauces loaded with savory flavor like red wine pan sauce, mushroom cream sauce, or au poiver sauce!
Recipes for Steak Sauce
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Red Wine Steak Sauce
- Sauce pan
- 2 Tablespoons drippings from steak or 1 Tablespoon butter if you have no drippings
- 1 Tablespoon minced garlic or garlic paste
- ¼ cup minced shallots or red onions
- 1 cup red wine of your choice or equal amounts beef stock if not using wine
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnish
- 1 cup beef stock
- 4 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley leaves
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- Add steak drippings from a freshly cooked steak to a pan over medium heat. If you do not have steak drippings, melt butter in a cast iron skillet. Then add garlic and shallots and saute, stirring 1 minute until softened.2 Tablespoons drippings from steak, ¼ cup minced shallots, 1 Tablespoon minced garlic
- Add red wine, beef stock, balsamic vinegar, and fresh thyme sprigs. Bring liquid to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 sprigs fresh thyme, 1 cup beef stock, 1 cup red wine of your choice
- Allow the wine mixture to reduce until thickened, approximately 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the thyme from the sauce and turn the heat to low. Whisk in butter.3 Tablespoons butter
- Add parsley and season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve, and enjoy!4 tablespoons roughly chopped parsley leaves
- A drinking wine rather than a cooking wine works best for red wine reduction sauce. Trust me, you will taste the difference in flavor!
- If you are making this recipe and you do not have steak drippings, you can substitute 1 Tablespoon butter to melt in the pan before adding the garlic and shallots.
- When making a pan sauce, always monitor your heat. If the sauce breaks, it is likely because the smoking point of the fat was too high when the wine was added.
- If you notice the sauce starting to break, immediately remove from heat and begin to whisk vigorously.