Posted on 24 January 2012 by

Tomato-Red Wine Steak Sauce

By David Harbilas

Homemade steak sauces are an odd thing–not many people make them, but if they knew just how easy they were to make they would stop buying the stuff out of the bottle.

The easiest way to make a “homemade” steak sauce is to take one out of the bottle and doctor it with some additional ingredients like roasted garlic, peppers, or tomatoes.

The slightly more labor intensive method might involve reading the label and trying to approximate the real thing.

Seeing that the proportions of those recipes are a guarded secret it might in fact be easier to come up with one’s own version.

That might seem even more daunting than imitating the real thing, but it’s a lot of fun to play around with and not nearly as hard as one might think. The key is to identify the major flavor components, like salty, sour, sweet, and bitter. (I refrain from mentioning umami, since it’s a relatively new and complicated notion to cooking).

Most steak sauces have a good deal of salty, sweet, and slightly sour flavors in them, and if one looks at some labels it’s obvious where that set of flavors come from. Worcestershire, vinegar, and, oddly enough, raisins are some of the major contributors, not to mention tomatoes. This version makes a little use of all those items, plus a few more.

Makes about 4 cups

  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 head of garlic
  • ½ cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire
  • 2 dashes Tabasco
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees. Cut the stem end out of the tomatoes and place in a small roasting pan. Cut the head of garlic in half cross-wise and place in the roasting pan. Peel the shallots and add to the pan. Coat all the vegetables with a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and cover with foil. Roast the vegetables for 4-5 hours, or until the tomatoes have given off a lot of juice and the garlic and shallots are very soft.

Remove from the oven and cool. Place the remaining ingredients in a saucepan and add the roasted vegetables. Stew the mixture for 1-2 hours, or until slightly thick. Cool the mixture and place in a blender. Process the mixture until smooth and pass through a fine mesh strainer. Season the sauce with salt and pepper as needed and serve.

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