Top | Meat
(recipe, Anna Conley)
The sauce base recipe yields more than called for in the steak recipe; leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to one month. Our preferred brands of beef broth are Rachael Ray Stock-in-a-Box and College Inn Bold Stock.
Why this recipe works:
In our Sauce Base recipe for Pan-Seared Steaks, roughly chopping the aromatics increased their surface area, which offered more opportunity for flavorful browning when we sautéed them. Mushrooms ramped up the savory flavor, and browning ground beef with tomato paste gave our demi-glace meatiness. And to mimic the glossiness that real demi-glace gets from collagen-rich bones, we used powdered gelatin.
- 1 small onion, peeled and cut into rough ½-inch pieces
- 1 small carrot, peeled and cut into rough ½-inch pieces
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, stems trimmed and caps wipes clean and halved
- 2 (medium) cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 8 oz. 85 percent lean ground beef
- 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 cups dry red wine
- 4 cups low-sodium beef broth, (see note)
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp. whole black peppercorns
- 2 packages unflavored powdered gelatin, (5 tsps)
- Process onion, carrot, mushrooms, and garlic in food processor into ⅛-inch pieces, 10 to 12 one-second pulses, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
- Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium-high heat until shimmering; add beef and tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, until beef is well browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until any exuded moisture has evaporated, about 8 minutes. Add wine and bring to simmer, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen browned bits. Add beef broth, thyme, bay leaves, and peppercorns; bring to boil. Reduce heat and gently boil, occasionally scraping bottom and sides of pot and skimming fat from surface, until reduced to 2 cups, 20 to 25 minutes.
- Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over small saucepan, pressing on solids with rubber spatula to extract as much liquid as possible (you should have about 1 cup stock). Sprinkle gelatin over stock and stir to dissolve. Place saucepan over medium-high heat and bring stock to boil. Gently boil, stirring occasionally, until reduced to ½ cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm.