One of the many things we learned from Anthony Bourdain is the importance of making a good pan sauce. In the Les Halles Cookbook, he uses this method over and over again (often with veal stock) to get rich, delicious sauces that pair perfectly with what they’re served with.
The technique is simple. Once your meat is out of the pan (non-stick cookware doesn’t work here), pour in some kind of alcohol to deglaze the pan. White wine, red wine, bourbon, brandy, etc. all do well. Usually, red wine and liquors are best for meat, but in the recipe we’ve included today, we actually used white wine for steak and it did well. Once you pour in the alcohol, use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the fond- that’s the brown bits that the meat left behind.
Now that your deglazing is done, you can continue with the rest of your pan sauce. Add whatever other ingredients work with your dish – veal stock, chicken stock, cream, juice, spices… anything you can think of. With this technique, we’ve had fun creating new dishes and sauces by trying new additions to the simple technique.
For today’s recipe, we converted a recipe for a mustard cream sauce to a mustard cream pan sauce. Drizzled over rare slices of sirloin steak, it was perfect!
Oh, by the way. We have a recommendation for you about a needed kitchen tool. We love our meat thermometer and think you would love one too. It allows us to cook great, rare steaks every time and with pinpoint precision.
Stock Your Kitchen: Meat Thermometer