Ultimate Pan Sauce

How many times have you made a gravy or pan sauce that ended up in the trash, a soup or made excuses for? More than once I’ll bet. Well, if you start with a beef sirloin roast wrapped in bacon you’ll almost be assured of victory.

Get yourself a nice sirloin beef roast, and see if you can find one with some fat on one side. Wash lightly and pat dry (oil and water don’t mix and your browning will be spotty at best). Poke some fresh garlic into it, rub it with extra virgin olive oil, and rub with your favorite spicy rub. At this point you want to get some fresh herbs, rosemary is a nice hearty one, but thyme works nicely as well. Then find some applewood smoked bacon, nitrate free if you can find it. Lay a few strips over the top. Pick up the pieces of bacon and turn them over, leaving some of the oily rub on the bacon itself exposed to the oven heat. Which, by the way, is about 350 on the bottom rack. Please get yourself a trivet and roast it sitting on said beast. I have been doing most of my roasts of pork, beef and chicken in old cast iron skillets or dutch ovens. You can use what you want, just get the meat out of the swimmy goodness that will become your pan sauce. While your roast is roasting pull out a nice little shallot and dice it as finely as you can. Maybe a little fresh herbies as well. Set aside. Oh and find your corn starch along with a steel sieve.

Roast it until it looks like this, or until about 135 to 140 internal temperature. Pull it out, set it aside and let it rest for maybe 15 minutes or so. Do it.
Pull out the trivet and let the juicy goodness drip off, knock off any roasted goodness back into the skillet.
At this point any self respecting chef or book will tell you that you need two tablespoons of liquid in there. Well, I say that’s crap. I’m going for max sauce/gravy and max flavor. If I have three tablespoons of drippings I’m damn well going to use them. If it turns out that you come up short of liquid, add some lard or butter. And here we go …
Heat up the skillet under medium heat or so and get the fat & fond going. Toss in your shallots. Actually you could dice up mushrooms and/or sun dried tomatoes as well. But let’s get the basics down first.
Now that you have the shallots rolling nicely, keep them moving. You don’t want them to burn. Just let them go for a minute or two. They’re small and the fat is hot. Grab a tablespoon of corn starch and sprinkling that in. You’re looking for the corn starch to be absorbed and ‘some’ liquid left. Not a complete paste. For this roast I added some lard to the pan and got it hot before I tossed in the shallots. Then I ended up with two tablespoons of corn starch to make the sauce.
Slurry the starch and goodies around until you feel you have it right. Then grab some of your home made or organic/natural beef stock. Start with a cups worth and get the hot and cold to emulsify. Then add another cup or so. What you’re looking for is a somewhat clear, dark brown, rich pan sauce that will barely yet smoothly coat the back of a spoon. Add a sprinkle of good salt and a grind or two of good pepper. Simmer a bit and pour through a steel sieve to remove bits. What you’re left with is a SMOOTH, RICH, dark brown pan sauce that will cause you to smile. I’m smiling even now, just thinking of it.
Get to it !!!

One thought on “Ultimate Pan Sauce

  1. Now that is a recipe even I can follow and feel like I will be successful in completing! Being a non-chef of any description, you understand.
    Really, that pan sauce makes my taste buds yearn for some live samples! Maybe it is the apple wood bacon drippings, or maybe it is the sirloin roast. Probably all of it.