Food - Drink
Why Your Homemade Pan Sauces Don't Look Like A Restaurant's
By ANNA STAROPOLI
Most home cooks know not to waste the drippings and meaty bits left over after cooking a steak, since they can be turned into a delicious sauce in the same pan you used for the meat. However, if your pan sauces don't turn out as rich and smooth as those found in restaurants, this is the ingredient you need.
You may think of gelatin as the stuff that makes Jell-O, jam, and not much else, but it's really the secret weapon for the best pan sauce. When collagen in meat breaks down, it becomes rich gelatin, which creates the rib-sticking sauces found in stews and braises; at restaurants, even the all-purpose stock used for pan sauces is full of gelatin.
To create a great pan sauce — without making your own restaurant-quality stock — simply dissolve one packet of plain powdered gelatin per one cup of stock, then add the stock to your pan of meat drippings, along with some butter and whichever flavorings you like. Stir to emulsify and you'll have a rich sauce that isn't thin and runny.