Buy good quality steak and cook it properly and you don’t need a sauce. However, nothing changes the character of meat like a well balanced sauce while offering a completely different taste experience. With the summer finally here and barbecues being dusted off across the country, now is a good time to talk sauce.
While I am a bit of a steak purist and do think a steak should sing on its own, I can also appreciate that a good sauce can make a huge difference. I use them at home and we sometimes use them at The Stone Grill. A sauce adds flavour and variety and can accentuate the already lovely character of a well-cooked steak.
Here are five of the best steak sauces, according to me.
Peppercorn sauce is my personal favourite. Done well, it adds a real character to a steak and offers a unique flavour. Ideally, you would cook your sauce in a pan where steak has been cooked to add extra flavour. Cook peppercorns in cream, add some shallots, a hint of cognac and season to taste. Lovely!
Béarnaise is a sauce you either love or hate. It’s a thicker, richer hollandaise that works very well with steak. It’s a simple mix that is very easy to get wrong but works amazingly well if you get it spot on. It’s mainly whisked egg yolks, melted butter, tarragon, shallots and a teaspoon of white wine vinegar. Another rich and indulgent sauce if you get it right.
Salsa verde is perfect for barbecues which means its perfect for now. It’s a no-cook sauce so works well for al fresco dining too. It’s parsley, chives, mint, lemon juice, garlic, anchovies and capers mixed with an olive oil base that works amazingly well if you get the balance.
Black bean and sesame sauce
Black bean and sesame is a less traditional sauce but works amazingly well with steak. It’s a lively sauce given substance by those black beans and well worth trying. It’s a mixture of black beans, dark sugar, honey, Chinese five spice, ginger, chilli, tahini paste, cider vinegar, soy sauce and some water for consistency. It only takes five minutes to cook and delivers on the flavour every time.
Diane sauce is a classic that is making a comeback. It’s another creamy sauce that isn’t naturally linked with summer but works. It’s a cream-based sauce but uses onion, garlic and mushrooms instead of peppercorns. Add some mustard and Worcestershire sauce and some brandy to taste and you’re good to go.
Got any favourite steak sauces? Tell us about them below if you do!