Hey there, fellow food enthusiasts! Today, I'm thrilled to share with you a recipe that's close to my heart: the Balsamic Red Wine Reduction. This isn't just any sauce; it's a magical concoction that elevates your steak from good to "Oh, wow!" Trust me, after you try this, there's no going back.
1 - Why You Will Love This Recipe
First off, let's talk about why you'll fall head over heels for this recipe. It's all about depth and richness! Imagine the full-bodied flavor of your favorite red wine intertwining with the sweet and tangy notes of balsamic vinegar. This sauce adds a gourmet touch to any meal, making it perfect for special occasions or a romantic dinner at home. And the best part? It's surprisingly simple to make, with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.
2 - The Best Cut of Meat For This Recipe
Recommended Cut For This Recipe
When it comes to the perfect partner for this sauce, I'm a big fan of filet mignon. It's tender, juicy, and the subtle flavors really allow the sauce to shine. You can find excellent quality filet mignon at local butchers or online, especially from places like Snake River Farms. Their Wagyu beef is just out of this world! When picking your cut, look for a nice, even shape and a good amount of marbling.
Other Cuts You Can Use For This Recipe
Not a filet person? No worries! Rib eye steaks, beef tenderloin, or even salmon fillets work wonderfully. Just remember, thicker cuts like rib eye might need a bit longer on the heat, and salmon will cook much faster.
Using Wagyu Beef, Grass-Fed Beef, or Dry-Aged Beef
Now, if you want to really elevate your dish, try Wagyu beef, grass-fed, or dry-aged options. These premium meats bring an unparalleled richness and flavor depth to your plate. For Wagyu, cook it over medium-high heat but be careful not to overdo it; you want to preserve its delicate flavors.
3 - Tools Needed
To create this culinary masterpiece, you'll need a few key tools:
- Cast Iron Skillet: Perfect for achieving that beautiful sear on your meat and ideal for making the sauce in the same pan to capture all those delicious flavors.
- Sharp Knife and Cutting Board: Essential for prepping your ingredients. A sharp knife makes a world of difference, trust me!
- Small Saucepan: If you're making the sauce separately or in advance, a good saucepan is your best friend.
4 - Seasoning
Seasoning is simple yet crucial. I recommend sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. They enhance the meat's natural flavors without overpowering the star of the show – our balsamic red wine reduction.
5 - Cooking Methods
On the Grill
Grilling adds a smoky depth to your steak, complementing the rich sauce. The challenge? Managing flare-ups and ensuring even cooking. To adapt, consider searing your steak on the grill, then moving it to a cooler part to finish cooking.
In the Oven
Oven-roasting is a more controlled method, ideal for a consistent cook. Adapt the recipe by searing your steak in a large skillet on the stovetop, then transferring it to the oven to finish.
6 - Cooking Tips
- Dry Brining Your Steak: A sprinkle of salt left to sit on the steak before cooking will enhance its flavor and tenderness.
- Perfect Doneness with a Thermometer: Invest in a good meat thermometer to nail that preferred doneness every time.
- Resting Your Steak: Let your steak rest for a few minutes after cooking; it redistributes the juices and makes for a more succulent bite.
7 - Storage Instructions
- In the Fridge: Store your cooked steak and sauce in airtight containers. They'll last for about 3-4 days.
- In the Freezer: Freeze separately in airtight containers for up to 3 months.
- Reheating: Thaw, then reheat gently in the oven or on the stove. You want to avoid drying out or overcooking the meat.
8 - Side Dishes
Pair this dish with sides that complement but don’t overpower. Think garlic mashed potatoes, roasted Brussels sprouts, or a simple green salad. Each offers a different texture and flavor that pairs beautifully with the rich sauce and tender meat.
Final Take Away
Creating this balsamic red wine reduction isn't just cooking; it's an adventure in flavors. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just treating yourself, this recipe is sure to impress. Happy cooking, and enjoy the journey of flavors!
For the Steaks:
- 20 oz Filet Mignon steaks 2 units of 10 oz each
- Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of room temperature butter
For the Balsamic Red Wine Reduction Sauce:
- 1 tablespoon of drippings from searing the steaks or 1 tablespoon of butter if you have no drippings
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic or garlic paste
- ¼ cup minced shallots or red onions
- 1 cup of dry red wine of your choice I recommend using a cabernet sauvignon
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 units sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 cup beef stock
- ½ teaspoon brown sugar
- ¼ cup roughly chopped parsley leaves
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Step 1: Prep Your Filet Mignon Steaks
- Start by taking the Filet Mignon steaks out of the refrigerator and allowing them to come to room temperature. This usually takes about 30 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Season both sides of the steaks generously with kosher salt and black pepper. Let them rest while you prepare the cast iron skillet and sauce.
Step 2: Prepare the Balsamic Red Wine Reduction Sauce
- In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter (or use the drippings from searing the steaks if available).
- Add minced garlic and shallots to the saucepan and sauté, stirring until they become tender, which takes about 1 minute.
- Pour in the red wine, balsamic vinegar, sugar, and add the fresh thyme sprigs. Bring this flavorful mixture to a rapid simmer over medium-high heat.
- Allow the wine mixture to reduce until it thickens, which usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it, and when it reaches a syrupy consistency, remove the thyme sprigs and reduce the heat to low.
- Mix together 3 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour to create a smooth paste. Whisk this mixture into the red wine reduction sauce. Continue to whisk until the sauce thickens further.
- Once it's done, add the roughly chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper if desired. Set the sauce aside.
Step 3: Sear and Finish the Filet Mignon Steaks
- In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium high heat. You want the skillet to be nice and hot.
- Place steaks into the hot skillet. Sear each side for about 3-4 minutes, or until you achieve a beautiful crust on the outside. This high-heat sear will lock in the juices and flavor.
- After searing, transfer the cast iron skillet with the steaks to the preheated oven at 350°F.
- Roast the steaks in the oven for about 30-45 minutes for medium. Remember to use an internal thermometer to check the steaks' internal temperature. For medium, aim for about 140°F.
- Once the steaks reach your preferred degree of doneness, remove them from the oven and let them rest for a few minutes. This step is crucial for a juicy and tender result.
Step 4: Plate and Serve
- Place the seared Filet Mignon steaks on serving plates.
- Drizzle the rich and flavorful Balsamic Red Wine Reduction Sauce over the steaks.
- Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme for a pop of color.
- Serve this amazing dish with your favorite side dish or seasonal ingredients for a complete and elegant meal.
- When making this sauce, opt for a drinking wine rather than a cooking wine for the best flavor.
- If you don't have steak drippings, substituting 1 Tablespoon of butter works perfectly.
- Be mindful of your heat when making a pan sauce. If it starts to break, remove it from heat and whisk vigorously to save it.