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How to make a great pan sauce for beef or lamb

Don’t make a good a sauce, make a GREAT sauce

While you are pan-frying beef or lamb, the heat will cause some of the juices to ooze from the meat. As you continue to cook the juices will evaporate, leaving what looks like brown caramelised bits in the base of the pan. These ‘bits’ that have begun to stick to the pan have concentrated flavours. And this is just what you need to make a great sauce.

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To make the most of this flavour, you add liquid like wine or stock to the hot pan – this is called deglazing. These deglazed juices form the foundation of a sauce to accompany the pan-fried meat.

To make a sauce with the pan juices

  • When meat is cooked, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest.
  • Drain off excess fat from the pan. Return the pan to the cooktop and let it heat for just a few seconds. You can add a little crushed garlic; let this cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the liquid – stock is good choice as it will season and add richness; you will need about 1 cup.
  • Use a wooden spoon to scrape the base of the pan, helping to dislodge and dissolve the brown bits as the liquid comes to the boil.
  • Keep stirring until the mixture is smooth; let it boil until the liquid has reduced by half.
  • Add about ½ cup of cream, continue to cook until it is sauce like in consistency. A good guide is when it coats the back of a metal spoon.
  • Once meat has rested, a little of its juices will appear, add this to the simmering pan sauce, it will add both colour and flavour.