Bordelaise: An easy and delicious sauce for steak

Venison with bordelaise sauce made in class at The International Culinary Center.

(CBS News) My boyfriend has a very good sense of humor.

He must, or he wouldn't have given me a bottle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce for my 23rd birthday.

"It's the best BBQ sauce you can buy," he assured me, as I looked at the bottle in utter confusion. Uh...thanks? Just what every girl wants.

Video: Bordelaise sauce: Easy and delicious

Lucky for him this wasn't the only gift he gave me, but he let the joke linger on for quite a while.

And it turns out that despite the joke, he was absolutely right - it's so good. Now I try to always have a bottle in my fridge. It comes in handy, particularly since I almost always forget to make a sauce for steak. I'm not sure why, since dry meat isn't exactly enticing. I need something to dip it in.

When I order steak at a restaurant, bearnaise and bordelaise are my go-to sauces. I was excited to learn these recipes in culinary school. I figured they'd be great alternatives to have on hand when the Sweet Baby Ray's runs out.

However, after having made both of these sauces, one thing is for sure: I will never make bearnaise at home. Anything that requires me to whisk until my arm falls off won't be on my "to make again" list.

Bordelaise, on the other hand, is delightfully easy. Throw all your ingredients in a pan, and simmer away. My type of recipe. Who knows, maybe I'll even give it to someone as a yummy "gag" gift. Maybe...

To learn how to make bordelaise sauce, watch the video above.

Sauce Bordelaise
Adapted from The International Culinary Center

Venison with bordelaise sauce made in class.

  • 3 tablespoons shallots, finely diced

  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cup red wine (whatever kind you like)
  • 1 3/4 cup veal stock (beef stock is fine)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter

1. Combine the shallots, thyme, bay leaf, crushed peppercorns and wine in a saucepan.

2. Over medium heat, reduce about 90 percent (until the wine is a syrup) - this will take about 10 minutes. Add stock once reduced.

3. Cook the mixture until thick. You will know the sauce is thick enough when it evenly coats the back of your spoon and you can draw a clean line down the middle. Strain and season with salt and pepper to taste, and swirl in butter off heat.

  • Alison Stravitz

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