Red Wine Reduction (Pan Sauce)

Pan Roasted Lamb Chops with Pan Sauce
When you turn the steak or chop after searing it, you’ll see some seasoning and brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan and floating in the liquid. This is called fond, and it delivers great goodness in a pan sauce to go over your steak or chop. Here’s an easy method to create a delicious pan sauce.

3/4 cup of red wine
Tablespoon of minced shallots or green onions
1 Sliced mushroom (optional)
1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley leaves
1 tablespoon of cold butter cut into two pieces (store in refrigerator)
1 sprig fresh parsley


1. Remove all but 1/2 tsp of the liquid from the pan.
2. Turn the burner up to medium high, add the shallots and mushroom, give them a few seconds to absorb some heat
3. Add the wine. As soon as the liquid hits the pan, it will start to sizzle, loosening the fond, and deglazing the pan.
4. Start stirring up the fond with a metal spatula or spoon or a whisk to get all of it off the bottom of the pan.
5. Stir the fond into the wine and stir constantly for one minute. Reduce the liquid down to 1/3 the original volume (2-3 minutes).
6. Add half the parsley. Add one piece of the butter to the pan, and swirl pan to whirl the liquid and keep it moving to form a sauce.
7. When the butter is half melted, remove from the heat, and add the second piece of butter. Keep swirling until the second piece is entirely melted and incorporated. Serve while hot.
8. Spoon the sauce carefully over the steak. Let a small amount trickle over the side of the steak into the center of the plate. Garnish as desired.

Larry ladles sauce into hotel panDon’t have red wine, or looking for a substitute for your pan sauce? It’s good to have an idea why the wine is in the recipe. Sometimes wine is used to add acidity or sweetness, to deepen the flavor, or add brightness to a dish. Other times its purpose is merely to provide moisture, tenderize meat, or just simply to deglaze a pan.

Here are some substitutes for Red Wine:

1. Red wine vinegar – The acidity in vinegar makes it a good substitute for deglazing the pan, but won’t add sweetness. 2. Grape, pomegranate, or cranberry juice – These rich-flavored juices will add depth of flavor to a recipe. For less sweetness, mix a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of juice. 3. Chicken, beef, or vegetable stock – Even though it’s less acidic, and more mild in flavor than red wine, stock is an ideal candidate for adding flavor to a dish. For extra flavor, mix a tablespoon of vinegar per cup of stock. 4. Balsamic Vinegar – Rich in flavor and deep dark brown in color, it adds depth of flavor, earthiness, and sweetness to your sauce.