How to Deglaze a Pan
We’re almost done learning how to pan fry steak.
In fact, you could just stop right here. There is one major advantage of cooking steak in a pan rather than on a grill however. Apart from avoiding frostbite in the winter, you can make an awesome pan sauce when you’re done.
Making the Sauce
So you’ve taken the steaks out of the pan, and they have to rest for 5 minutes or so. If you look in the pan, you’ll see all sorts of little brown bits stuck to the bottom. This is called the “fond”, and it’s full of flavour. This will make the base of our pan sauce.
- The first step is to pour out or spoon off the fat from the pan. You don’t have to get every last drop off — anything left over will add a bit of flavour. But at the same time, you don’t want the pan sauce to become a greasy mess.
- Next, you need to deglaze the pan. While the pan is still hot, just add a cold liquid like wine, beer, stock, broth, juice or even vinegar to the pan, and stir it very quickly, scraping the bottom. The fond should dissolve into the liquid.
- That’s the basics, the rest is your own creation.
Points of Note
If you use alcohol to deglaze, make sure to take the pan off the burner to avoid any fireball-type incidents. For other liquids, you can leave the pan on the hot burner.
The fond should be made up of brown bits… if it’s black, it’s burnt, and your sauce will taste like burnt, unfortunately. Still, deglazing is a good way to clean the pan if that happens.
If you use wine to deglaze, it’ll have a harsher taste than if you add it to the sauce later. Try both ways to see which you like better.
Now you have the base for a wonderful sauce, but you can make it even better by adding various ingredients.
- Wine gives a nice taste to a sauce and goes great with steak. If you add wine, let the sauce reduce by about one half to get a good flavour.
- Butter, of course, has its own yummy flavour, however it also helps the other flavours blend and carry better.
- You can also add beef stock. It’ll add its own nice flavour, and just like butter, it’ll help the flavours blend better. If you add a good beef stock, you really don’t need butter.
- You can saute some sliced mushrooms or aromatics like garlic or green onions to add a little kick to the pan sauce.
- Herbs and spices can add a nice depth of flavour to your sauce. Try salt, pepper, rosemary, mustard seeds, or any other herb you like with beef.
With this post added to our How to Pan Fry Steak, you can now go out and cook the perfect steak dinner.