Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My "I'm Back Baby!" Bordelaise Sauce

I just got back into San Francisco last night after a fun, hot, and too-short visit with my family in upstate New York. It's hard to keep posting new video recipes when you've been traveling as much as I have, but luckily I had some footage saved from a delicious Bordelaise sauce I made when we tested the dry-aged beef.

Bordelaise sauce is one of those classic old school sauces that many chefs learn in culinary school, and then unless they end up working in a traditional French restaurant, or m
aybe some large hotel, they don't really make on a regular basis. It's a shame since this is such a fantastic sauce, and really very easy to make. When you factor in the availability of really good, really affordable red wine at the local market, this sauce makes even more sense.

The one key ingredient you'll need to track down is a nice rich (and real) veal stock. Many of your higher-end grocery chains now sell it, but you may have to ask a local butcher to find you some. There are NO thickeners in this sauce. It is simply reduced until concentrated. Substituting beef broth just will not cut it, since we are relying on the gelatin in the stock to give us the beautiful sticky viscosity the sauce is known for.

I mention in the video that real, classic Bordelaise usually calls for the addition of beef marrow to add richness to the sauce. I've had it that way, and it is wonderful, but this version is very nice also, even without that unctuous addition.

One problem with this post is no real "money shot." I was so busy that day with filming the potatoes and dry-aged beef test that I never took any decent pictures of the sauce! That explains the flickr photo I found (credits below), and recycled photo from the dry-age post. Photo esthetics notwithstanding, this is a great sauce recipe, which I hope you try soon. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
1 tsp butter
4 large shallots
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1 cup good red wine
2 cups real veal stock

Top Photo (c) Flickr user adactio
Steak on Fork Photo (c) ChezUs

13 comments:

Chanelle said...

What do you do with the left over shallots? I would imagine they takes incredible!
Also instead of bone marrow would beef soup bones work?

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef John! That looks like a great Sauce! Please correct me however if I am mistaken but I thought Bordelaise sauce was made heavily with just garlic, wine and some herbs in it (bay leaf, parsley, Thyme etc) and also was finished after straining with butter sauteed mushrooms and marrow? I saw you said we don't need marrow here--which I think is great and I like the Veal Stock..but I am a bit confused. Is this recipe just a better simpler variation or am I mistaken in understanding what Bordelaise sauce was? Regardless it looks great and I shall try it, I just wanted to make sure what I thought was Bordelaise sauce is not another type of sauce. Thanks for all your vids!

Chef John said...

There are other versions like the New Orleans Bordelaise which is what i beleive ur referring to. check it out...http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bordelaise_sauce

Chef John said...

yes, you can add beef marrow bones if you have them.

Asian Malaysian said...

Veal stock? I cant even get fresh beef stock. I guess Im just living wrong side of the planet. Talk about your painful deal breakers.
:(

Yum && Dawn said...

hey chef john, i had no idea you were from SF. I was just there like last week and flew back only yesterday. In fact i was trying to contact the dry bag people on the possibility of sending a set to my hotel but luck would have it, my internet connection got disrupted so yeah.i'll still be gettin it flown to singapore though.

anyway, i have a query about the potato truffle gratin. i was out today but can't seem to find sottocenere anywhere (also tried the rainbow cooperative in folsom st, SF but they ran out. Is it possible to sub with a brie cheese? the only two versions they have here are soft cheeses made with cows milk with a truffle embedded centre. The third version has truffle studded all over but is made of unpasteurized sheeps milkfrom trouchon, spain and is semi hard.

Oh btw, whats your take on Scoma's cioppino? I had it like twice and i thot it was good.

Yum && Dawn said...

hey chef john, i had no idea you were from SF. I was just there like last week and flew back only yesterday. In fact i was trying to contact the dry bag people on the possibility of sending a set to my hotel but luck would have it, my internet connection got disrupted so yeah.i'll still be gettin it flown to singapore though.

anyway, i have a query about the potato truffle gratin. i was out today but can't seem to find sottocenere anywhere (also tried the rainbow cooperative in folsom st, SF but they ran out. Is it possible to sub with a brie cheese? the only two versions they have here are soft cheeses made with cows milk with a truffle embedded centre. The third version has truffle studded all over but is made of unpasteurized sheeps milkfrom trouchon, spain and is semi hard.

Oh btw, whats your take on Scoma's cioppino? I had it like twice and i thot it was good.

Chef John said...

brie is quite different. I would use a regular cheese like cheddar or gruyere. The harder truffle cheese would also work.

I've never had their ciopino!

Edward said...

What do you do with the left over shallots? I would imagine they taste incredible!

If they were still flavorful I might blend them into a vinaigrette dressing.

It's funny, I'm not a chef I'm just a home cook. I've been making this for a long time and never knew the name of it. I just cook things I feel might taste really good together.

One good dish I make this with is a basil and Fontina cheese stuffed flank steak.

Nice post Chef John. I love your site.

Chef John said...

that would be good, or many don't strain and just serve them on the steak

Yum && Dawn said...

hmm, i take that as a bad reference from you. don't worry i won't tell them if i ever go back.

by the way, do you ever give your beef steaks a rinse down before you cook them? I always do for hygiene sake. But will it in any way affect the taste of the meat?

Anonymous said...

Your great mystery is solved. Obviously you were flying very high which brought you perilously close to the food god. Getting 3 extra bags of chips was a sign that you will be welcomed by the food god for making so many people happy with your blog. Be assured however,that the airline has already docked the attendants' pay 3 bags full!

Cheryl said...

I can't wait to try this at home. I work with La Cense Beef, they are an all natural grass fed beef ranch located in Montana. They sell all of their "Black Angus Beef
" cuts on line. They are a wonderful company and their beef is very tasty. There are so many benefits to eating all natural grass fed beef, everyone should make the switch.