The Best Thing To Make With Pan Drippings From Steak

Cooking steak on a grill may be a great way to get a beautiful char, smoky flavor, and perfect doneness, but there's one thing you're missing out on if you don't use the stove: pan drippings. Cooking steak on the stovetop means you'll be left with little browned bits of steak, some rendered fat, and leftover meat juice at the bottom of the pan. While this might seem like something you should toss, it's actually worth saving.

According to The Kitchn, it takes just four extra steps to go from pan drippings to steak sauce. Once you remove the steak, leave the stove on and deglaze the pan with wine or stock. Let this cook down until the consistency becomes rich, then add an emulsifier. The Kitchn recommends good quality mustard such as Dijon. After adding an emulsifier, you'll go in with cold butter, and whisk the sauce until it thickens further. When you try it with steak, you'll never want to go back to A1.

Properly made pan sauce shouldn't be oily

If the sauce you made with your steak drippings looks more like a vinaigrette than an actual sauce, unfortunately that's an indicator that it's been over-reduced. Chef and restaurateur Sohla El-Waylly shared in a Serious Eats article that when too much water has been evaporated out of a pan sauce, it won't emulsify properly. As a result, your sauce won't be able to achieve a rich, creamy consistency.

To fix a broken sauce, per El-Waylly's instructions, you'll simply need to add the moisture that has evaporated out. Start with a splash of water, and allow the sauce to simmer. Then, stir it continuously to evenly distribute the butter particles. Just make sure to turn off the heat when the sauce appears glossy, because any longer and the milk solids in the butter will burn, leaving you once again with an over-reduced sauce. 

Making a sauce out of pan drippings is a great way to take your steak to the next level, but you definitely want to make sure you do it right.