• 2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • ¼ cup cognac
  • ¾ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh tarragon leaves
  • table salt
  • ground black pepper


1. Follow recipe for Pan-Seared Steaks. To same skillet used to cook steaks (do not clean skillet or discard accumulated fat), add shallots and sugar off heat; using pan’s residual heat, cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are slightly softened and browned and sugar is melted, about 45 seconds. Return skillet to high heat, add cognac and broth; bring to boil, scraping up browned bits on pan bottom with wooden spoon. Boil until liquid is reduced to 1/3 cup, about 4 minutes. Add lemon juice and mustard; cook to blend flavors, about 1 minute longer. Off heat, whisk in butter until melted and sauce is thickened and glossy. Add tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper; spoon over steaks and serve immediately.
2. Makes about 1/2 cup. enough to sauce 4 steaks


STEP BY STEP: Making a Pan Sauce

1. Pan-sear the steaks in a heavy-bottomed, nonreactive skillet.
2. Use the residual heat in the pan to sauté the aromatics until they just begin to caramelize.

3. Return the pan to the heat, add the liquids, bring to a boil, and reduce the total volume to about 1/3 cup.
4. Off heat, whisk in the butter until it is melted and incorporated, then add fresh herbs and season to taste.



MacGourmet downloadCognac and Mustard Pan Sauce. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.


Americas Test Kitchens


4 servings