When you dunk a piece of meat in this red wine sauce, magic happens
Try this sauce and you will understand why the French are masters of cuisine. Similar to the classic French Bordelaise sauce, this velvety rich sauce makes a classic topping for beef and lamb. I love it on beef tenderloin and filet mignon, which, although they are beloved by many, often have a metallic or liver undernote. The sauce really illuminates a lightly smoked pork chop. As heretical as it may seem, it is great on pulled pork. I like to serve boiled baby potatoes on the side, and I douse them with this sauce too.
- 1 carrot
- 1 large onion
- 1 stalk celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- 5 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves, crushed
- 1 whole bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 bottle dry red wine (750ml bottle, about 3 cups)
- 2 cups beef stock (or a 14 ounce can)
- 1 teaspoon grape jelly
- 1 pinch of salt
- Prep. Peel the carrot, and chop it along with the onion, and celery. Crush or press the garlic.
- Cook. In a large frying pan melt 3 of the 5 tablespoons of the butter and add the onion, carrot, celery, rosemary, sage, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cook over a high heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes or until the onions begin to brown. That's why we use a non-stick pan, when you reduce liquid this much, it can really make a mess of other pans. By the way, the mix of 2 parts onion, to 1 part carrot, and 1 part celery is called a mirepoix (MEER-a-pwah), and is a foundation of French cooking and is common in soups, stuffings, and, of course, sauces.
- Add the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for about 3 minutes until it begins to darken. Add the wine and the beef stock. Boil for 30 minutes. Pour everything through a strainer into a saucepan, and squeeze the juices through the strainer with a ladle or whatever you used to stir the veggies.
- Reduce. Boil over high heat until the liquid is reduced to about 1 cup and keep an eye on things so they don't burn. Add the grape jelly and stir until it is thoroughly dissolved. Turn off the heat, taste and add salt if necessary. It will not be thick and goopy like ketchup. It will be more like egg nog in thickness.
- Use or store. If you are not planning on using the sauce immediately, you can store it in the fridge or freezer. When you need the sauce, warm it and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter, and when it is thoroughly melted, swirl it around with a spoon and serve immediately. Do not whisk in the butter, just swirl it. This is called "mounting it" with butter (yes, that's the correct technical term). If you feel decadent, add another tablespoon.
- Serve. Top steaks and more with this rich red wine sauce and serve immediately.