Perfecting The Art of Pan Sauces

When you hear the word pan sauce, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Maybe it’s a deliciously decadent dish that you recently enjoyed at a restaurant or perhaps a cooking technique that sounds like too much effort?

If you answered the latter, we’re here to clear the air – a pan sauce is a very easy element that adds so much flavor and lusciousness to a piece of seared meat. You can easily take your dinner from boring to restaurant quality in the amount of time the cooked meat should set to rest.

Here are the basics:

  • Sear your meat in a hot, stainless steel pan coated in neutral oil (such as vegetable).To get the flavor for the base of your sauce, you need the meat to stick to the pan. We promise, the brown bits that you’d usually look at with disgust come off the bottom of the pan easier than you think. Cook until both sides of the meat are deeply browned and cooked through, then set aside to rest.
  • Pour off any extra fat from the skillet, but keep all the brown bits you can. You’ll want to leave a tablespoon of the fat in the pan, or add olive oil. Reduce the heat and add your aromatics (such as garlic or shallots) and the spices you’re using. Make sure to keep stirring, and cook for 3-4 minutes until your garlic or shallot softens.
  • Deglaze that beautiful pan! Red or white wine (or chicken or beef broth) work wonderfully, or even a combination of the two. Start with a ½ cup or so, and scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to loosen the bits stuck to the pan (known as ‘fond’). Add fresh herbs or lemon and let the sauce simmer until it begins to thicken and reduce by about half. This should take 5 minutes or so.
  • Once your sauce is reduced and thickened, turn the pan to low and reintroduce fat to the pan – butter or cream, your choice. Both add a silky finish. Season with salt and pepper according to taste, and serve over or alongside your meat.

Not that hard, huh? Now, put your knowledge to good use with these Pork Medallions with Roasted Apple Grille Cream Sauce. Our pan sauce has a touch of butter and flour added for an extra creamy sauce. A tip from our kitchen: this sauce is also delicious served over butternut squash or pumpkin ravioli for a seasonal side. Caramelized apples, onions, sautéed mushrooms or a tablespoon or two of brandy are excellent additions for an extra touch.

Pork Medallions with Roasted Apple Grille Cream Sauce

Pork Medallions with Roasted Apple Grille Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 ¼ pounds pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • 3 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon flour
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¾ cup light or heavy cream
  • ½ cup Stonewall Kitchen Roasted Apple Grille Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • Caramelized apples, onions, sautéed mushrooms or 1-2 Tablespoons brandy added to sauce, optional

Directions:

  1. Cut pork into 1-inch thick medallions. Place between plastic wrap and pound to ¼-inch thickness.
  2. Heat 1 Tablespoon butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add pork medallions and season with salt and pepper. Sauté until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil. Drain fat from pan.
  3. To make sauce, add a few Tablespoons of the chicken broth to the sauté pan to deglaze.
  4. Combine the remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter and flour in a small dish. Add this mixture to the sauté pan. Over medium heat, melt butter until it bubbles for about 1 minute.
  5. Slowly add the rest of the chicken broth and simmer until slightly thickened.
  6. Stir in the cream and Roasted Apple Grille Sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, and any optional additions. Continue to heat until sauce is slightly thickened.
  7. Serve sauce over plated pork medallions.

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