Sauce or Not? Say Yes to these 5 Sauces to Elevate your Steak
Updated: Nov 1, 2021
It's easy to say that Certified Piedmontese beef is of high quality and is good on its own. Just a little salt and pepper to enhance the taste and enjoy its true flavor. But with beef of exceptional quality, it can be treated to a little more extravagance. “Certified Piedmontese beef is a meat that’s okay to use those expensive ingredients on – the ingredients that most cooks struggle to find reasons to use,” says Chef Eric Leyden, former Executive Chef at the Nebraska Club.
“Try a gourmet spice blend, mushroom powder, small-batch oil or vinegar, fresh herb butter, or finishing salt. Feel free to try a more elegant sauce than during a typical meal.”
What comes to your mind when you think of “steak sauce”?
Nowadays, if you ordered a prime steak at a steakhouse and request for A1 sauce, it’s highly likely that you would receive some side-eyes from other patrons or even the chef. This phenomenon stems from the idea that “good steak” doesn’t need any strongly flavored, generic sauce, as it would drown out the nuanced flavor of the beef.
Consumer tastes are evolving as they continue to pursue high-quality beef and the natural flavor of the meat. The modern food landscape has taken on the concept that “more doesn’t mean better.” We want the perfect fusion of beef and sauce, where the sauce becomes a compliment as it amplifies the flavor of the beef instead of overpowering it.
It’s hard to beat a perfectly seared steak with a juicy, medium-rare center, but here are 5 great sauces to elevate your perfectly cooked Certified Piedmontese steak.
Diane sauce is an American classic – the quintessential pan sauce for seared steak. We give you an easy version, full of flavor yet still elegant and classy.
Steak pictured above: Seared Flat Iron Steak
1 tsp butter
½ cup shallots, finely chopped
⅓ cup water
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1½ tbsp lemon juice
1½ tbsp dry Sherry
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
Salt, to taste
1. After cooking steak in a heavy skillet on medium-high heat to desired doneness, remove from pan to cover and keep warm.
2. Add butter to the same pan over medium heat.
3. Add shallots and cook for 2 minutes or until soft, stirring occasionally.
4. Add water, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and Sherry. Stir with a whisk.
5. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 minute before seasoning with salt.
6. To serve, spoon sauce over steaks and sprinkle with parsley.
Mushroom Pan Sauce
Rich brandy is used to deglaze the pan, while mushrooms impact deep, earthy flavors into this creamy sauce. It’s the perfect dinner at home.
Steak pictured above: Sirloin Steak
1 cup chopped assorted mushrooms
1 tbsp shallot
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste
1. After cooking steak in a heavy skillet on high heat to the desired doneness, remove from heat to let rest.
2. To the same pan, add mushrooms and shallot and cook for a few minutes.
3. Deglaze with brandy, add Worcestershire sauce and mustard.
4. Add heavy cream and let simmer to thicken.
5. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper. Serve with steak.
Brandy Au Poivre Sauce
Au Poivre is a French term meaning peppered. This rich sauce includes a generous dose of loosely cracked pepper and works well with seared steak and nearly any side.
Steak pictured above: Ribeye
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup shallots or sweet yellow onion, minced
¾ cup brandy
¾ cup chicken stock
4 small sprigs fresh thyme
1½ cup heavy cream
2-4 tsp coarsely cracked black pepper, to taste
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt to taste
1. In a 3-quart saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter.
2. Add shallot and cook until translucent and tender, approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Remove the pan from the heat and add ½ cup brandy and any pan drippings from seared steak, if available.
4. Return the pan to medium-high heat, add chicken stock, beef bouillon cube, and thyme and bring to boil.
5. Continue cooking at a low boil until liquid is reduced by half, approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
6. Remove the thyme sprigs, lower the heat and add the heavy cream and black pepper.
7. Keep the sauce at a gentle boil, occasionally stirring until reduced and thicker than heavy cream, about 10 to 20 minutes.
8. Remove mixture from the heat and whisk in grated cheese to melt.
9. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Serve with steak.
The vibrant flavors in the pomegranate sauce add a hint of fruity tartness to lean cuts of beef. The seeds also add a fun texture to the dish while the acidity awakens your taste buds.
Steak pictured above: Pecan-Crusted Filet Mignon
4 tbsp butter
2 shallots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups port wine
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 spring each rosemary, sage, and thyme
1 tbsp cornstarch, diluted in
3 tbsp cold water
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add butter, shallots, and garlic, sauté until golden brown, then deglaze with port wine.
2. Add pomegranate juice and herbs and continue cooking until reduced by half.
3. Strain out the solids, then bring the sauce to a boil.
4. While whisking, add the cornstarch mixture. Continue whisking until thickened.
5. Season with salt and pepper and add pomegranate seeds. Serve with steak.
Cabernet Mustard Sauce
It has a deep, rich flavor without being high in fat. Elegant and simple enough for any home cook to prepare. This sauce can even be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. The best wine pairing for steak with cabernet mustard sauce is a Bold Cabernet Sauvignon.
Steak pictured above: Seared Bavette Steak
1 shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 tbsp olive oil
½ bottle hearty Cabernet
⅓ cup brown sugar
½ cup fresh or frozen blackberries or blueberries
¼ cup Dijon mustard
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
½ cup beef stock
1. In a saucepan over medium heat, lightly brown the shallots and garlic in oil.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients and continue cooking until reduced enough that the sauce coats the back of the spoon.
3. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, reserving the liquid. Squeeze ingredients to release all juices.
4. If a thicker consistency is desired, continue cooking the sauce until desired consistency is achieved.
5. Serve at room temperature over your favorite Certified Piedmontese steak.
Remember: "A dish is perfect when you cannot remove anything from it, not when you've only added everything that makes it better."
Elegant and versatile sauces aside, all food is something to be enjoyed. Please eat your Certified Piedmontese steak however you please, with or without sauces!