Rich and easy bordelaise sauce

Rich and Easy Bordelaise Sauce for Beef

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Make steak sing with this rich and easy bordelaise sauce recipe. In less than 30 minutes, you can prepare this classic French sauce for beef. It’s great with grilled steak, roast beef and other red meats too.
 
As I’ve written about before, I love the bone marrow bordelaise at Chiltern Firehouse. It’s rich and smooth, with a concentrated hit of red wine flavour. But unless you know a good butcher, bone marrow can be hard to get hold of. In my simplified version, I’ve swapped it for a little butter. You still get a velvety consistency to the sauce and a glossy sheen that looks and tastes like the real deal.
 
Try it with a side of pommes boulangère or dauphinoise potatoes for the full French experience. Or go simple with thick-cut chips and seasonal greens. Whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy with a glass of Bordeaux!

Beef bordelaise: what is bordelaise sauce?

Bordelaise is a classic French sauce created with dry red wine. The sauce originates from the Bordeaux region of France, which is world famous for its wine. As well as red wine and butter, bordelaise is often made with bone marrow, shallots, and demi-glace. Much like bordelaise, demi-glace is another rich, classic French sauce. It is often made with beef or chicken stock, sherry and sauce Espagnole – another French sauce! Bordelaise is usually served with beef. It’s particularly good with filet mignon or ribeye steak.

Rich and easy bordelaise sauce

Bordelaise sauce recipe: how to make Sauce Bordelaise

To make a classic French Bordelaise sauce, you will need butter, a shallot, fresh thyme, a bay leaf, red wine and demi-glace. As well, as some salt and black pepper to season the sauce.

Place the finely chopped shallot into a small saucepan, with a small sprig of fresh thyme, a bay leaf and a knob on unsalted butter. After about five minutes, pour in about 100ml of dry red wine and bring to the boil. Bordeaux wine is, of course, the classic choice, but any French red wine will do.

Keep on stirring the saucepan occasionally, as the red wine sauce reduces in volume. Once the liquid has reduced by about half add 100ml of demi-glace sauce to the mixture.

Continue to boil, while the liquid concentrates further and starts to thicken. From time to time, use a tablespoons to collect and remove any foam that dares to make an appearance on top of the sauce.

The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Coat a tablespoon into the mixture and turn it over as you hold it above the pan. If the sauce runs off straight away it needs more time to thicken, but it if coats the back of the spoon, you’re good to go.

To get the bits out of the sauce, pour it through a fine sieve or chinois. Using a spoon, squeeze the last of the liquid out of the shallot. To season, add salt and pepper to taste. And serve straightaway with a few slices of rare roast beef or a juicy steak.

French sauce for beef: an easy Bordelaise sauce recipe

Rich and Easy Bordelaise Sauce for Beef
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
Course: Sauce
Cuisine: French
Servings: 2 people
Ingredients
  • 1 knob of unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1 small sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 100 ml dry red wine or Bordeaux
  • 100 ml demi-glace sauce
Instructions
  1. Place the shallot into a small saucepan, with the thyme, bay lead and butter. After about five minutes, pour in the wine and turn up the heat to bring the pot to a boil.
  2. Stir the saucepan occasionally, as the red wine sauce reduces in volume. Add the demi-glace once the liquid has reduced by about half. Continue to boil, while the liquid concentrates further and starts to thicken.

  3. Test the liquid after about 20 minutes. The sauce should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it's too runny, continue to boil the liquid so it thickens.

  4. Pour the liquid through a fine sieve or chinois. Squeeze the last of the liquid out of the shallot with a spoon. 

  5. Season with salt and pepper, and serve straight away.

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