What Is Pan Sauce?
Pan sauce is an easy sauce that’s made from the leftover bits in the pan after cooking meat. This sauce is sure to take a beef dish from good to great.
When you pan-fry beef, juice oozes from the meat and then evaporates, and this leaves tasty brown bits in the pan. These bits are actually caramelised crusts with rich and concentrated meaty qualities, and these add great flavour and depth to simple sauces.
To create the foundation of your simple pan sauce, all you need to do is add some deglazing liquid to the hot pan – like wine or stock. This is the start to a delicious, flavour-packed sauce!
Here are some liquids you can use to deglaze the pan:
- Red or white wine
- Stock – to avoid the sauce being too salty, you can use half stock and half water or purchase salt-reduced stock
- Beer or brandy
- Juice – tomato juice or apple juice work with certain beef dishes
Six Easy Steps
- Take the beef out of the pan and let it rest. Drain the excess fat from the pan.
- Return the pan to the stove and heat for a few seconds. Add some crushed garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.
- Add your chosen deglazing liquid. Bring to the boil and scrape the base of the pan to dislodge and dissolve the crusty bits.
- Keep stirring the liquid until smooth. Simmer until reduced by half.
- Add ½ cup cream and continue to cook until the liquid reaches a sauce-like consistency or coats the back of a metal spoon.
- Once the beef has rested, a little of its juices will appear. Add these juices to the pan sauce to give it extra colour and flavour, and then serve with your beef!
Want more beef sauce ideas? Check out:
The information in this post is adapted from Australian Beef (formerly Beef and Lamb), where you can find recipes, cooking tips and more.