Steak with red wine sauce is a classic for a good reason. Steak School explains that the fat in the steak combines with the astringency of red wine, resulting in a perfectly balanced contrast. Boeuf Bourguignon is a classic French recipe made with beef, mushrooms, and wine, and a great example of this combo creating magic in the kitchen.
Before making a red wine sauce for steak, there are a couple of rules to remember. It’s tempting to use an open bottle of wine, but if it’s been sitting around long enough, beware. Chris Morocco at Bon Appétit explains that exposure to air changes a wine’s flavor, and ultimately alters the sauce’s taste. Reducing a wine-based sauce to thicken it is necessary, but avoid eliminating more than half the volume or it will become bitter from the tannins. Finally, buying cheap wine for cooking is not a bargain. Remember that your sauce is only as good as its ingredients, so use a wine you would drink. A good quality steak is a splurge, so don’t ruin it with cheap wine.
Wine sauce is a terrific choice for steaks seared on the stove since you will deglaze the pan once the meat is cooked. Residue from the meat enriches the sauce, as will butter, shallots, fresh herbs, red wine, mushrooms, ketchup, Worcestershire, vinegar, and brown sugar. The sauce comes together quickly and while it simmers, you can let the meat rest.