Pan Sauce for Steak | Red Wine Reduction Sauce Recipe

By Brian Lemay 6 comments

– Today I’m gonna show
you the basic technique of making a pan sauce for your steak. (cheerful music) The first thing I’m gonna
do is season my steaks, then get ’em in a hot
pan to start searing. Use a little bit of kosher salt and some fresh cracked pepper, (grinder grinding) little bit of a neutral oil like canola. (item clinking) I’ll get these in with
the seasoned side down. (pan sizzling) And these steaks are just a strip filet. So it’s a strip steak split in half. That way everybody gets a little medallion rather than one large steak. So I’m using a stainless steel pan. I like this because it
helps create a little fond. You wouldn’t wanna use a nonstick pan because a nonstick pan will not create the kind of fond, which is where the meat itself starts to stick to the pan, create this little crust on the pan which has a ton of flavor in it. You can use cast iron, but sometimes cast iron has that seasoning that you develop over time, and sometimes that may
bring in some flavors that you don’t necessarily
want in your pan sauce or your pan sauce may take
out a lot of that seasoning. I’m gonna get these flipped real quick. I can tell they were ready to flip because they released easily from the pan. All right, so that’s what I’m looking for, a nice sear, a nice mahogany crust on the outside of that steak. So I’ve taken my steaks out. Now I can build my sauce. So making a pan sauce
has a few basic elements. You’re taking your steaks,
after they’ve been seared, you pull ’em out to rest. You’re building your sauce upon that foundation
that you have in the pan. The first thing I would do is add some kind of flavoring aromatic. So in this case we’ve got pearl onions. I’m getting a brown on these pearl onions. If I was using shallots or garlic, I would add the shallots first, let them cook a little bit before adding the garlic ’cause garlic can burn very quickly. All right, next I’m adding the red wine (pan sizzles loudly) I add this first because
I want it to reduce and I want it to release a
little bit of that alcohol. Red wine has a little acid, it adds a little complexity and a complementary flavor to your steaks. So I’ve let the alcohol
cook off a little bit, and now I’ll go in with the beef stock. So now I’ll bring this up to a simmer and allow it to reduce by about half. Beef stock has a nice, rich flavor that adds a little body to your sauce. If you just had all red wine, it would be too much on the wine. You want something else that’s kind of rich and flavorful to add to the sauce itself. So after the beef stock, I’ll add in the tomato paste, and then allow it to reduce by half. So tomato paste is a nice thickener. Again, it’s rich, it gives body, it adds a little bit of acidity to it and it goes well with a red sauce. You could use a mixture of cornstarch and water like a slurry, you could use a butter and flour mixture known as a roux to thicken as well. So now I’m trying to distribute the tomato paste into the sauce so it’s evenly incorporated. That way it thickens consistently. And by doing this I’m also helping to bring the fond off
the bottom of that pan. Tomato paste is well incorporated, so I’ll add the thyme. I’m gonna turn this down from a hard boil to a nice simmer so it reduces gently. All right, so it’s just
the consistency I want. It’s slightly syrupy, and when I drag my spoon
across the bottom of the pan, I can see it kinda holds a line. So that’s a nice thickness
for a sauce like this. So the next thing I’m gonna do is add in a little bit of butter. Just I wanna finish
this off with a butter. It adds a sheen, it adds a rich flavor, and it makes it kinda luxurious. So you wanna keep the butter moving as you add it to the sauce. It helps to emulsify it in. You don’t want it just
melting and pooling up on top. You want it to emulsify into the sauce. All right, now I’m gonna
add the steaks back. I cooked these steaks to rare, so I wanna put them back, kinda glaze ’em with that sauce and just bring ’em up to that medium rare. These can continue to cook
for just a few minutes while I go get my plates ready. All right, now these are
nice and glazed on that side. I’m gonna flip ’em over just to finish ’em off evenly. All right, so now these
have had a couple minutes, the sauce has glazed them nicely. So I’ll plate ’em up and then drizzle my sauce around, and they’ll be ready to serve. (utensil tapping) (utensil scraping) So once you get the basics
of making a pan sauce, it’s pretty easy to
improvise and play around with all the ingredients that go into it. You just wanna build it nicely and use up all that flavor you’ve already built in
the bottom of your pan. There’s a classic technique on how to make a pan sauce at home. Now you have a great way to impress your friends and family. (cheerful music)



Sep 9, 2019, 9:59 pm Reply

Spectacular! How about a peppercorn gravy and/or mushroom sauce next.

Chris B

Nov 11, 2019, 6:24 am Reply

Yummylicious. Is it okay to use t bone steak and chateaubriand instead of those flat steak?

Little M & BIG D’s YouTube adventures Father & Son

Dec 12, 2019, 1:51 am Reply

WOW! The possibilities to add different liquids are endless. Thanks for the video


Dec 12, 2019, 12:02 am Reply

So where was the sauce for all that meat? Barely enough and a bit too simple for my taste. Could have added so much more flavor but for a start its okay 🙂


Feb 2, 2020, 4:21 pm Reply

Hey. How much stock did you use? It's not in the recipe.

Bryan Toth

Mar 3, 2020, 9:05 pm Reply

Please help. I always burn my brown bits. Can you tell me which fat is best to brown meats? What temp to brown and what temp to make sauce. Thanks, Bltoth

Leave a Reply