It was on a cold and snowy Sunday when I made one of my first proper pan sauces. Thankfully, it did not suck.
Frankly, that’s all I aim for as an amateur chef, and the cooking Gods will smack me down if I associate the word ‘chef’ with my name ever again. This dish turned out fantastic but I have two recommendations if you try it that will make it even better.
Chef John’s Bourbon-Pepper Pan Sauce requires a single once of bourbon, which provides one with a great excuse to pick up a liter of Jim Beam. I am always looking for a good excuse to buy liquor so this recipe served a second purpose, which was to expand my collection of intoxicating elixirs. The video, as usual, is easy to follow but make sure you have all the pan sauces prepped to use as it cooks in a flash.
After searing these two gorgeous slabs of meat on one side, here’s trick number one. Right after you flip both of them (after five minutes), turn down the heat and cover it for about 3-4 minutes if the strips are thicker than average. You need that time to ensure it’s cooked through. Then, uncover and blast them with high heat to properly sear the other side.
The pan juices will evaporate quickly. Sear the sides of the meat for a minute or two and then let them rest while you cook the pan sauces.
This recipe also calls for kosher salt when you prep the raw meat. Here’s the second tip – don’t add any more salt. There’s plenty left over in the pan and when you get the sauce cooking, it will absorb it.
I served this with a fantastic Malbec and for the sides I used baked potatoes, grilled onions and I gave this asparagus recipe a try. It takes fifteen minutes to bake and all I used was olive oil, table salt and a light dusting of both cracked pepper and granulated garlic. The key with this dish – serve it with foods that are light on the tongue, otherwise, your palette will be overwhelmed. The meat and sauce combined are indulgent with flavors.
I’m fortunate that my wife is not a vegetarian and even more so because my five-year-old son is a carnivore at heart.
Give it a try and let me know what you think!