A basic red wine pan sauce was the thing I really wanted to know how to make when I was first learning to cook. It takes a meal from homemade to restaurant quality in 5 minutes flat. O.K. – maybe 7 minutes. But you get the idea, a red wine pan sauce is fast, easy and delicious.
I spent a few years asking people who I thought knew how to cook, how to make a delicious pan sauce. The answers went mainly like this “Oh just add some liquid to the pan and reduce it.”. Yeah, um … that doesn’t exactly work. But thanks for pretending like you know.
For three years I walked around in a fog, with the big sad eyes of a child lost at the mall, without their mother’s credit card. There had to be a way to make a pan sauce like the ones I’d tasted in restaurants. I mean of course there was … but where WAS this magical recipe?
I’ll tell you where. It was in the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook.
Truth is, it’s not that much harder than adding some liquid to a pan and reducing it.
Red Wine Pan Sauce
1. After pan frying any red meat in a non-stick pan, (tenderloin steaks are my favourite) heat oil in skillet over medium-high. Add shallot and cook until softened (about 2 minutes)
2. Stir in broth, wine and brown sugar, scraping up any brown bits on bottom of pan. Simmer until thickened.
3. Finish by whisking in cold butter one piece at a time. Off heat, stir in thyme, salt and pepper.
Serve over, on and with meat. Or just eat all of the sauce out of the pan … your choice. For sure you can lick the pan, just maybe wait for it to cool off first.
Click here to see what the heck I’m talkin’ about with the whole frozen cubes of wine thing.