Reading the other posts on this, I realize I should have coagulated the myoglobin and removed it before attempting to make a sauce with what's left over. Anyone have a good trick to do that simply?

The issue is that there really isn't much left over. Typically, from 2 prime strip steaks cooked at 130F for 2.5 hours, I'll get 4-5 tablespoons of juice, and that's with the myoglobin. (I also cook the steak with some olive oil.)

I sear the steaks with a good butane torch rather than a pan (primarily so my kitchen doesn't get smoke-filled), so there's no pan fond available.

What do you sous vide steak folks do for a good sauce?

  • If you've done your steak really, really good. I'd just not make sauce. :-) That doesn't really answer your question though.
    – talon8
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 1:06
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    you can strain the leftover juices and thicken with a starch like a gravy or with something like xanthan to give it a nice mouth feel and then finish with butter. I've never felt it necessary to make a sauce when cooking a steak SV though.
    – Brendan
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 3:19
  • Also, are you pre-searing? I highly recommend pre-searing before bagging and cooking and this will give you some fond to scrape up as well unless you want to torch them for the pre-sear as well.
    – Brendan
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 3:20
  • I haven't pre-seared, primarily because I thought it would be messy -- I'd have to ensure the steak cooled down enough to not melt the plastic bag! Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 6:57
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    By the way, I normally pour the unmodified bag juices over the seared steak. The juice itself is a "good" sauce. I wanted to see if I could move to "excellent!" Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 6:59

6 Answers 6

  1. Finely mince shallots, garlic and parsley (or whatever fresh herb you have on hand)
  2. Mix into softened butter
  3. Spoon butter mixture over hot steak
  4. Feel good about the decisions you have made in your life
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    I like to keep a roll of compound butter with these ingredients mixed in the freezer at all times. So good on just about anything.
    – Brendan
    Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 22:00
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    Compound butters are great. Try ketchup, marmite (yeast extract), Worcestershire sauce and smoked paprika: instant umami. Commented Jan 29, 2013 at 22:05
  • I agree compound butter is great, but what does it have to do with the original question of making a sauce from the juices in sous-vide preparation?
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 1:05
  • I was commenting on this answer, since they are basically giving a recipe on how to make a compound butter. But your right it has nothing to do with the original question.
    – Brendan
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 16:17

Forget the pan or bag juices. For the sauce I do recommend cooking up a good beef fond in quantity. You can freeze the stock in portions. I vacuum bag mine (in a chamber vac) in one cup portions and freeze. Frozen stock is easy to use as a sauce base. One of my super simple favourites for beef is a bittersweet sauce made with caramelised shallots, carrot and celery stalk - unpeeled, coarsely chopped and more or less burned in oil, and you can throw in some garlic as well if you like. Add some brown sugar and caramelise further. Deglaze with red wine and port, throw in any herbs you like and reduce (just make sure it is not too sweet). Add the (frozen) beef stock and reduce. Strain and finish off with some diced butter before serving. The key is a good sauce base.

Regarding sous-vide, I always pre-sear the meat for a couple of reasons: 1) Pathogens are on the surface of the piece of meat you are about to cook and pre-searing takes care of them. Torch is fine if you are worried about the mess. I usually use clarified butter and finish off with a torch to cover the whole piece. 2) You start the Maillard reaction and this will continue to add flavour when bagged. I think the produce just tastes better. I usually do a quick post-sear with a torch and/or clarified butter.


The simple solution was for me to heat up the bag juices in a separate saucepan until the myoglobin coagulated, then strain the coagulated protein out and prepare the sauce as usual in a saute pan with aromatics, butter, wine, etc.

  1. Take some shallot, green onion, or white onion and chop fine
  2. Saute in pan with butter and all left over cooked bits and juice
  3. Stir in heavy cream and brandy
  • Welcome to SA. You might want to give some context on what this is meant to produce, and how to make it successful to increase the value of this answer.
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Jan 30, 2013 at 19:35

SousVide Supreme's website has a great post on how to make an easy pan sauce here: http://blog.sousvidesupreme.com/2013/01/tips-tricks-pouch-liquor-pure-culinary-gold-for-sauces/

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    Welcome to Seasoned Advice! Whilst this may theoretically answer the question, it would be preferable to include the essential parts of the answer here, and provide the link for reference.
    – Aaronut
    Commented Feb 1, 2013 at 6:22
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    The issue with that link's advice is that it simply doesn't work if you don't realize you need to strain out the coagulated myoglobin... Commented Feb 2, 2013 at 10:59
  • I see another problem there. In the text on the page it says "3.Add about a cup of pouch liquor [...]" however, the OP states that there are only 4-5 tablespoons of juice available. Will it is possible to simply scale down the other ingredients, it could result in only very little sauce. So it also is a matter of high personal preference.
    – Sono
    Commented Feb 8, 2013 at 13:14

The juices in the bag tend to be watered down too much, particularly after a very long cook. You can make a good sauce, but you need to begin with a super concentrated stock in the bag. Then, reduce further after the cook. I think the general practice, at least at my house, is to dispense with the left over liquid in the bag and create any sauces on the stove top. For steaks, a finishing sear in butter (try coffee butter - see Chefsteps.com), will leave you with a few tablespoons of "sauce".

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