Okay, I lied … just a little: you can use this sauce for almost any kind of beef, lamb or venison roast (and for steaks), the big exception being pot roast (you want something more appropriate for that). But that butterflied and marinated leg of lamb that you’re going to grill this weekend? Oh yeah. You can use it for that. Maybe that crown roast of pork you’re making for your dad’s birthday. That venison roast you want to make in the autumn, just for you? YES: start with this, then add two tablespoons of red currant jelly, a few crushed juniper berries, and a bit more red wine right toward the end (or take the au jus sauce you already made a few weeks earlier from the freezer and add the extra splash of wine, juniper berries, and jelly as you reheat the sauce). Just saying: au jus is a mainstay, and you want to have a staple like that in your kitchen portfolio. Word to the wise. And it’s easy: you’re mostly just watching nine cups of liquid plus seasonings reduce to three cups. You can do that, right? Sure you can. Confidence! Now go try this.
Au jus style gravy for standing rib roast and steaks makes 3 cups
1 quart (32 oz. = 4 cups) unsalted beef stock, preferably Swanson’s
1 quart low-fat, reduced sodium beef broth, preferably College Inn
1 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. Lea & Perrins reduced sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. aged Spanish sherry vinegar
1 tsp. light soy sauce, preferably Chinese
1-2 drops Tabasco (no more!)
1 tsp. Knox unflavored gelatin powder
2 small bay leaves, preferably Turkish
½ tsp. garlic powder
½ tsp. onion powder
1 shallot, trimmed, peeled and minced
1 tbsp. unsalted sweet butter
½ tsp. ground thyme
½ tsp. ground savory
sea salt or fine Kosher salt, to taste
- In a 3-quart saucepan, combine stock, broth, wine and liquid seasonings. Sprinkle on gelatin and mix into the liquid. Over medium heat, bring broth mix to a boil, then lower heat to medium low and simmer, uncovered.
- Add bay leaves, garlic powder and onion powder to broth. Keep simmering until you have reduced the liquid to about three cups (by more than two-thirds; this could take a while).
- In a 1-quart saucepan, melt about half a tablespoon of butter over very low heat. Add minced shallots and cook slowly until caramelized, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- When broth has reduced to about 3 ½ cups, pour it into the smaller saucepan with the shallots. Add thyme and savory, taste for salt and add some if necessary. Keep simmering over low heat until you have about 3 cups of gravy. Add last bit of the butter and briskly whisk it in to finish off the sauce. Remove bay leaves and serve hot in a preheated sauceboat.