You need a few more perfect sauces in your repertoire and you know it. No matter what you’re making, there’s a sauce out there just waiting to make it better, enhance its natural appeal and make you look like a rock star of a chef. This red wine and fig pan sauce will enhance any protein you drizzle it on.
This combination of figs and full-bodied red wine is also prepared using the classic method for pan sauce. Because of its sweeter, jammier flavor profile, this is an ideal sauce for pork chops, pork loin, tender cuts of beef or even turkey, which are often served with jammy compotes, or sauces. It’s important to use a rich wine such as a zinfandel.
If you are preparing your meat using a pan-seared or roasting method, then use the fat drippings to replace the oil called for in step one. A tip when making any wine-based sauce — use the wine you’d want to drink. Lesser quality wines make lesser quality sauces. A pat of butter is added once the sauce is completed to add creaminess and a high gloss. This traditional finishing step is called monter au beurre or “mounting with butter” and adds a velvety sheen and texture to the sauce.
- 1 tablespoon pistachio oil or pan drippings
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced thyme leaves
- 1/2 cup good quality zinfandel, merlot or Rioja
- 1 cup beef or veal stock
- 1 tablespoon fig jam
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
For the sauce
Heat a medium frying pan over medium-low heat and add the pistachio oil or pan drippings. Add the shallot and thyme leaves and sauté until the shallot begins to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes.
Pour in the wine. Simmer the mixture until it is reduced by half, about 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the stock to the pan and continue to simmer until the mixture reduces by about two-thirds or until there are bubbles across the entire surface of the pan. Add the fig jam, whisk well to combine and simmer 30 seconds more.
Test the consistency of the sauce by dipping the back of a spoon in the sauce and running one finger through the middle of the spoon to form a channel. If the sauce doesn’t ooze back across the area you swiped, then it is at the nappé stage and is ready. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Stir the butter into the pan until it melts. Serve 2 to 3 tablespoons (30 to 45 ml) of sauce per serving of sliced roast beef or prime rib of beef.