Steak Sauce – How to make the perfect sauce for steak

steak sauce

Steak sauce, when done properly, will turn an ordinary steak dinner into a fantastic banquet. Everybody should have a steak sauce recipe in the armoury and this post is designed to tell you some of my favourite sauces for steak.

How to make a perfect steak every time

Before looking at the different sauces for steak which I will describe, we should just consider the most important element of this meal. Obviously, that is making sure that you have a perfect steak.

It is easy to overdo a steak and this would means your meal will be spoilt. However, if you want a well done steak, there is no reason that it cannot be tender and delicious too. I hate steak snobs and generally use the method below make a perfect well done steak. Steaks are expensive and most people see them as a treat, so by using my method for making the perfect steak every time, you will avoid wasted money and disappointment.

I appreciate that there are many different ways of cooking a steak, but give the method below a try and I’m sure that you will be delighted.

This method works with any cut of steak. I try not to be snobby about them, enjoying a rump steak as much as anything else. Fillet steak is the most expensive and generally the most tender. If I choose any steak to eat, I would usually choose the ribeye because the tender marbling of fat through the centre is so unspeakably delicious!

Ingredients for the perfect steak:
A piece of steak
olive oil, salt and pepper

Bring the steak to room temperature by leaving it covered for about 20 minutes or half an hour

Preheat your oven to 220 centigrade

Heat some olive oil in a solid pan until it is extremely hot

Rub a little bit of olive oil, some salt and pepper onto the steak

Place the steak carefully into the very hot frying pan and let it sizzle and cook for two minutes exactly. There is no need to touch or move the steak at this point

After exactly 2 minutes turn the steak over and cook the second side for two minutes. Again, there is no need to touch or move the steak.

Now lift the frying pan with the steak in it and place directly into the hot oven.

If you want your steak rare, leave it in the oven for four minutes

If you want your steak medium, leave it in the oven for six minutes.

If you want your steak well done, leave it in the oven for eight minutes.

However long you have cooked your steak, when you have taken it out of the oven, place it into a warm plate and cover with tinfoil or another plate for five minutes. This period of resting allows the steak to become even more tender.

That is the simple way of guaranteeing a perfect steak every time. Follow this method carefully and I guarantee that you will have the most delicious steak you have ever eaten. If you want to raise the level of your meal even further, try one of the steak sauces described below.

Peppercorn sauce

pepper sauce

Is there anything nicer to put on your steak than a spicy, piquant pepper sauce? Undoubtedly, pepper sauce is the most popular accompaniment for most peoples steaks.

There are many different ways of making a pepper sauce. Some people will add brandy, some people will add mushrooms. The sauce that I describe below is the simple and effective way of guaranteeing a beautiful peppercorn every time in my view. I cannot remember where I actually first read this recipe. It might have been a Nigel Slater article in the Observer, but unfortunately I cannot remember for sure so I apologise to the original chef.

peppercorn sauce Ingredients:
300ml beef stock
2 tablespoons of peppercorns
300ml cream of creme fraiche

Put a beef stock cube into 300 mL of boiling water in a saucepan and stir it in.

Bring the stock to a full boil and let it reduce down by about a third.

Using a pestle and mortar, grind up about 2 tablespoons of peppercorns (use a few more if you want to make your sauce very peppery). You don’t need to grind the peppercorns very finely, but crush them up enough so that they are broken up a bit.

Put the ground peppercorns into the reduced stock and stir for a couple of seconds.

Then you should reduce the heat and pour in about 300 mL of cream. Frankly, it doesn’t matter if it is single cream or double cream. You can use crème fraîche as well. Gently stir this in and bring the heat down so that you have a gentle simmer. Stir this every couple of minutes and after 10 minutes, your pepper sauce will be ready to pour onto your steak.

Diane Sauce

diane sauce
Ingredients for Diane Sauce:
An onion or shallot
3 tablespoons of brandy
tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
tablespoon of mustard
3 tablespoons of double cream
sprinkle of tarragon (optional)

Gently fry some chopped onions or shallots in a frying pan for two or three minutes until they are softened and lightly browned.

Pour in 3 tablespoons of brandy into the pan and let it sizzle gently for a few seconds.

Now for the fun part, but please do take care! Light a match and carefully ignite the brandy. You don’t actually have to do this and you could just let the brandy simmer for about 10 or 15 seconds in the pan but the flame adds to the fun of the steak sauce. When the flames have gone down, add a tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce and a tablespoon of Dijon mustard to the pan, constantly staring

Then pour into 100ml of beef stock and bring it to the boil, cooking everything for two minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. You need to keep staring during this period.

Now stir in 3 tablespoons of double cream and bring the sauce to a simmer. Stir until the sauce is thick enough so that it lightly coats the back of your spoon at this stage, if you want you could add a tablespoon of fresh tarragon leaves and then pour it over your beautiful steak.

Mushroom Sauce

Is a seriously easy steak sauce and using mushrooms is perfect, because they go so brilliantly with steak.

Ingredients for mushroom sauce:
2 tablespoons of dried porcini mushrooms
1 onion or 2 shallots
200g chestnut mushrooms
200g creme fraiche

First of all, pour 100 mL of boiling water over 2 tablespoons of dried porcini mushrooms and let it stand for about five minutes.

While that is happening, heat a tablespoon of butter in your pan and add a chopped onion or two chopped shallots. Fry them gently for two or three minutes until they are soft and then add 200g of sliced chestnut mushrooms and cook for about another five minutes.

Now pour in 1 tablespoon of the liquid from the porcini and throw away the rest.

Chop the porcini and add it to the pan.

Fold in 200g crème fraîche and bring to a simmer for a couple of minutes until the sauce is at the thickness you are looking for.

It is now ready to add to your steak. Enjoy!

Red wine sauce

red wine sauce for steak

If you thought some of the earlier sauces for steak recipes were easy, you should look at this red wine sauce. It is delicious and unbelievably simple.

Ingredients for red wine sauce:
1 onion
butter or olive oil
1 tablespoon of plain flour
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
150ml red wine (any type will do!)
1 tablespoon of mustard
200ml chicken or beef stock
parsley (optional)

First of all fry one onion in a couple of tablespoons of butter or olive oil for two or three minutes until it has softened.

Now stir in 1 tablespoon of plain flour and stir until it is mixed in. Pour in 1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar and mix it together for a moment while simmering.

Then pour in 150 mL of red wine and stir for about a minute while boiling and bubbling.

Now whisk in 1 tablespoon of mustard and 200 mL of chicken or beef stock.

Let the mixture boil down by about half and then season with salt and pepper. If you want, you can whisk in a nob of butter and a handful of parsley leaves.

This steak sauce is now ready to add to your perfect steak dinner. 

Garlic Butter as a steak sauce


This one needs to be planned ahead but once you’ve done that, there is nothing easier to add to your steak.

Garlic Buter ingredients:
About 100g of butter
3 or 4 cloves of crushed garlic
dash of soy sauce (optional)

Mix together a small handful of butter, some chopped parsley, some crushed garlic and maybe dash of soy sauce.

Mix this together well in your hands until you have all of the ingredients mixed into a ball of butter. Roll it into a sausage shape and then wrap it in clingfilm or tinfoil and keep it in the fridge.

Once your steak has been cooked, simply get your sausage shaped garlic butter and slice off about a large coin size piece and place it onto your hot steak while it is resting for the final five minutes.

After five minutes you will have amazing garlic butter oozing over your delicious steak making it even more inviting and tasty.

Blue cheese sauce

blue cheese sauce

I am not a fan of cheese myself, but I have included this recipe because so many people have told me that it is delicious.

Blue cheese sauce ingredients:
25g butter
1 tablespoon flour
150ml milk
50g stilton or other blue cheese

All you have to do is melt 25 g of butter in your frying pan over a medium to high heat.

Once the butter is foaming, add in 1 tablespoon of flour and then slowly add 150 mL of milk. You need to keep staring all the time to stop it sticking.

When the sauce is smooth, Bring it to a simmer and add 50 g of chopped stilton or any other blue cheese that you like and stir. Keep cooking until the cheese is melted and the sauce has thickened slightly.

This sauce is now ready to serve with your steak. I hope you like it more than I do!

Please let me know if you have other suggestions for great steak sauces.

Other recipe books and online resources to find steak sauce

There are some wonderful places to find recipes and ideas for cooking. Some of my favourite sites and chefs are below:

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