Top | Sear, Sauce, and Serve

Brandy and Dried Cherry Pan Sauce

(recipe, Tony Rosenfeld)


I don't drink brandy, but like everybody else, I have a couple of dusty bottles kicking around in the liquor cabinet. It usually goes into pan sauces like these for steaks or chops. Dried cherries give this sauce a tart twist and heavy cream (if you decide to use it) imparts richness. If you're working over a gas range, pull the pan from the heat before adding the brandy to avoid jumping stove-top flames (and singed eyebrows).


  1. ⅓ cup brandy
  2. ¼ cup dried cherries, coarsely chopped
  3. 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  4. 1 large shallot, finely diced (about ¼ cup)
  5. ¼ tsp. kosher salt
  6. ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  7. 2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
  8. 2 Tbsp. heavy cream (optional)
  9. ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Set the brandy and cherries in a small bowl so the cherries start to plump up. Heat the butter and shallot in the empty pan (with any fat remaining from the sear) over medium heat, sprinkle lightly with salt, and cook, stirring, until the shallot softens and starts to brown at the edges, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the brandy and cherries, raise the heat to high, and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until it almost completely reduces, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and thyme and cook, stirring, until it reduces by about half, about 2 minutes. Add the cream, if using, and pepper and cook until the sauce returns to a boil, 1 minute. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.


The fruit in this sauce directs it toward pork or beef. Drizzle it over center-cut pork chops or a dressy cut of beef like filet mignon. Pair with Herbed Goat Cheese Polenta and some sautéed greens.