When you order a steak for dinner, you know that you're going to enjoy it. It's one of the dishes that is always guaranteed to be freshly made - it's not something that can be made in advance.
A steak dinner also has that sense of occasion about it; it's in a different league than, say, ordering a pizza or a burger. It's no wonder steak restaurants are so popular here in the UK. Sometimes the other options on the menu seem superfluous. After all, who goes to a steak restaurant and chooses to not eat a steak?!
Whatever you have on the side - a salad, a bowl of chips or a portion of mac n' cheese - it always seems to work. Steak goes well with pretty much any side. But the thing that can elevate steak dining to the next level is the sauce that you choose to go with it.
Some people like to slather their steak in the sauce, while others prefer to cut a piece of steak and just add a small swish of sauce to each mouthful. However you like to eat yours, we've rounded up some of the best steak sauces available in London.
1. Bone marrow gravy
Bone marrow is used in many different cuisines. For instance,it's a constituent ingredient in the Italian dish ossobucco - braised veal shanks - and in the French pot-au-feu, the marrow is often eased out of the bones, to be eaten on toasted bread with salt as a side dish. In Vietnamese cooking, the soup base for the national dish pho is beef bone marrow. In many British households, bone marrow has always been enjoyed as a little extra in a meat stew - not only does it give the stew flavour, but there's something caveman-like about picking up the bones and sucking the marrow out!
Many steak restaurants are now serving bone marrow gravy as a sauce that you can choose to go with your steak in the same way that you might pick a black pepper sauce or béarnaise. Bone marrow gravy is on PJ's Bar & Grill menu and can be paired with any of the steaks ordered from their Kopa Grill.
Of all the different sauces you can dress your steak with, the Béarnaise has to be one of the most popular choices. It's a smooth and creamy sauce that can be a perfect complement to a steak, with the slight vinegary backdrop of the sauce contrasting the richness of a steak's flavour. Similar to Hollandaise sauce, as you can make it by first preparing a Hollandaise and then adding flavouring, this dish has its origin in southwestern France, in the province of Béarn.
There are many versions of Béarnaise sauce but the essentials are clarified butter that has been emulsified in egg yolks with white wine vinegar. The sauce is flavoured using herbs like tarragon and chervil, along with shallots and peppercorns. At Gaucho, Bearnaise is one of the most popular steak sauce choices - and for good reason, we'd like to add.
3. Red wine and shallot
A red wine and shallot sauce is a reduction of red wine with the added flavour of herbs and shallots. It's a classic steak sauce. It's made by cooking sliced shallots in a small amount of oil, along with a crushed garlic clove and herbs such as thyme or rosemary. Red wine is added and then reduced by two thirds. At this stage, stock and cornflour are added, then simmered for further reduction. Just before serving, butter is added, sometimes with the addition of cooking juices from the steak it will be served with - yum!
There are four steak sauces on the menu at Branded Steak and Burger and it's not surprising to see that Red Wine & Shallot is one of them. It's a perfect partner to any of their steaks, all of which are hand-cut and dry-aged for up to 35 days.
Most steak sauces are cooked, and that's what makes chimichurri stand out from the crowd. It may not feature so much on European steak restaurant menus, but chimichurri is a favourite in South American cuisine. Made of finely minced parsley, garlic, oregano, oil and vinegar with red pepper flakes, it's a fresh sauce that cuts across the rich red meat flavours. Chimichurri comes in two versions - green or red.
While meat can be basted with Chimichurri during cooking, at Beef and Brew it's one of the sauces you can choose to have served alongside your steak, so you can add it as you see fit while you're eating. Like most steak sauces; it's also great for dipping your chips in.
What sauce will you pick to go with your next steak? Maybe you'll stick with tradition and order a béarnaise, or give your dinner that Latin vibe by getting a chimichurri sauce to go with your ribeye or rump instead. Whatever style sauce you're after, you can order them all at Deliveroo.