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Recipe: Red Wine Steak Sauce

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SERVES:
makes 2 cups

INGREDIENTS:
for the roux:
4 Tbs butter (unsalted if you have it)
6 Tbs plus 2 tsp all-purpose flour
1 1 /2 cups red wine
2 large sprigs fresh thyme (see hints below)
1 bay leaf
6-10 whole black peppercorns
4 cups unsalted beef broth (see hints below)

PROCEDURE:
Add 1 1/2 cups red wine to a deep, heavy bottomed stainless steel pot and add a couple of big sprigs of fresh thyme, or 1/4 - 1/2 tsp dried thyme, add a bay leaf and about 1/2 dozen whole black peppercorns, turn the heat to high and let that reduce down to about 1/4 to 1/3 cup.
While you're keeping your eye on that, use another heavy bottomed stainless steel pot to make the roux.

Add 4 Tbs butter to that pot and let it melt on medium to medium high heat and then whisk in 6 Tbs all-purpose flour.

Turn the heat down a bit and use a wooden spoon to stir it occasionally and cook it along for 4 - 5 minutes.

I turned the heat down to pretty much the lowest setting, while I was cooking the roux, and cooking it along for 4 -5 minutes will help get rid of the flour flavor.

Once the red wine has reduced down to 1/4 - 1/3 cup, add 4 cups unsalted beef broth and cook that down to about 2 cups total.

Once the roux has cooled down, use a rubber spatula to transfer it to a smaller container.

Once the broth has reduced down by half, carefully pour it through a strainer into the empty pot that had the roux in it and then whisk in a little of the room temperature roux at a time until it thickens up to a good sauce consistency and then turn the heat off.

HINTS:
It is really important to use unsalted beef broth for this. Otherwise, it would be too salty after reduction.

Make sure the roux has cooled down to room temperature before adding it to the wine and beef broth reduction.
Depending on the amount of beef broth you end up with after reducing it, you may or may not use all of the roux.

You could make this without the thyme, bay leaf and pepper if you like.

Substitute white wine and unsalted chicken broth for a sauce for chicken or turkey or pork.

In reality, you could leave out the wine and just reduce the broth before adding the roux, it would just have less dimension that way.

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