Sauce for dummies

Inspired by Omniho's post on broth, I decided to confess to some fruitful cooking about which I have little clue. I've been making sauces lately without really knowing what I'm doing, but the results have been tasty.

Yes, I have cookbooks that discuss sauce-making, not to mention Sokolow's The Saucier's Apprentice, which I have yet to read. This recipe has worked well with various cuts of lamb and beef.

The meat:
Season one side of the meat - lamb or beef steaks.
Sear the unseasoned side, reduce the heat to medium low, and turn the meat so the seasoned side is facing down. Cover the meat. Cook for about 10 minutes.

In a separate sauté pan, combine the following:
2 cups of liquid - red wine or heavy broth or both
2 T of chopped herbs - rosemary, pepper and lavender for lamb, and rosemary, sage and pepper for beef
2 T of butter

Heat the liquid over medium heat, allowing the butter to melt. Raise the heat to a mild boil and reduce the volume of the liquid by half.

After 10 minutes, remove the meat from its pan and pour the juices into the liquid pan. Whisk together the liquid. Bring the sauce to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, until the liquid thickens again.

Pour the sauce over part of the meat and the accompaniment. Bread, steamed veggies, or roasted potatoes are good. Leave some of the meat untouched by sauce, so the diners can judge the meat by its own merits.

The recipe works well with chicken, too. Use a white wine or a rosé instead of red wine.

2 Responsesto “Sauce for dummies”

  1. cookingchat says:

    I love making pan sauces this time of year. I've posted several for steak, and just posted a pesto cream sauce for pork tenderloin I made recently. Similar approach to this, my twists would be: I always sautee garlic, onion or shallots in the butter for flavor, and put some pan juices in toward the end.

  2. Man of La Muncha says:

    Scapes are another fine addition, when they are in season. I think the sauce above works as a nice building block for more complex sauces.