Mustard and Thyme Red Wine Pan Sauce
This sauce is easy to make and don't take that much time and the quick recipe cuts down the time even more.
In a restaurant, they would have on hand demi-glace or a reduced brown sauce to make these sauces but most of us don't have the time or energy to make them at home. It is a time consuming process but the results are spectacular.
Red Wine Pan Sauce with Mustard and Thyme
- 2 medium shallots minced
- ½ cup dry red wine
- ½ cup homemade stock chicken, beef, lamb, or venison
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves minced
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- After sautéing properly, remove meat or chicken from the pan leaving the residual fat that it was cooked in. There should be some brown bits of meat or chicken in the pan leftover from the cooking. This is called fond or sucs. Leave it right where it is.
- Add the shallots to the pan and cook over low heat stirring frequently until the shallots are translucent.
- Raise the heat to high, add wine, stock, and bring to a boil. At this time loosen any of the browned bits stuck to the pan with a wooden spoon and incorporate them into the sauce. Boil until the liquid is reduced in half.
- Reduce heat to medium, add the balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard and cook until the sauce has the consistency you like. It should be thick enough to coat regular spoon. I hesitate to give cooking times for each of these steps because the amount of heat (Btu's) varies from stove to stove.
- Remove from heat and stir in butter. This will help thicken it a little more and give it a nice glossy appearance.
- Add the fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper to taste and serve over your main course immediately.
Red Wine Pan Sauce with Mustard and Thyme – Quick version
- ¼ cup chicken stock
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- After sautéing properly, remove meat or chicken from the pan leaving the residual fat that it was cooked in.
- Add the chicken stock and red wine and reduce over high heat by half (¼ cup).
- Whisk in the butter, mustard, thyme and serve.
Dear Reluctant Gourmet,
I have learned a lot about making pan sauces from reading material on your website. I was wondering about something though. You mention in your basic pan sauces section that you should have a deglazing liquid and a secondary liquid to balance the deglazing liquid. And that the deglazing liquid should usually go in first, incorporate the fond in the pan and reduce by 1/2 before adding the secondary liquid. But in this Red Wine Pan Sauce with Mustard and Thyme, I noticed that you added both liquids to the pan at the same time (the wine and the stock), and incorporated the fond and reduced by 1/2 both liquids at the same time. My question is does it matter whether you put the liquids in together at the same time or is it preferable to put the deglazing liquid in first, reduce, and then add the secondary liquid? And is there a purpose for adding them both at the same time like you did here in the above recipe or is it just a matter of preference someitmes? Thanks so much for all your wonderful and helpful cooking information!
G. Stephen Jones
Hi Lee and thank you for a great question. This recipe was posted when I was first learning to cook back in the late 1990's and needs to be reworked. Now I would add the wine to deglaze the pan, loosen the fond and when the wine has cooked down to an essence, add the stock. Normally I like to use a beef, chicken or vegetarian demi glace for even more flavor, but stock is great too.
Thanks so much for your response. Yes, I also love the art of sauce making, in particular pan sauces, and want to continue to get better at it. I am just not doing it enough lately due to my crazy work schedule and life. I always want to keep learning to get better and better at it though. Your advice and knowledge is great. I may have more questions along the way as I experiment more. Thanks again and here's to the art of (pan) sauce making!!! -Lee
Just discovered your website and really like how you present the articles with links to the recipes. When using butter, would you ever use clarified butter in your sauces?
G. Stephen Jones
I don't see why not. I don't because I don't often make clarified butter but from what I read, it has a lot more flavor. And if you are using it to saute garlic and/or onion for your sauce, it has a higher smoking point. I found some clarified butter (ghee) at Trader Joe's that I'll have to try in a sauce.