Simple Sauces for Steaks

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Have you ever noticed how, at restaurants, even lean cuts of steak come to the table glistening?  Then, with the first bite, they taste so rich--and they're never dry! No matter what you do, you just can't figure it out. Is it the professional stove that does it? A wood-fired grill? A fancy cut of meat?

Nope. The secret's in the sauce--and I'm about to spill.  The secret is butter.
Maître d’hôtel butter is a mixture of raw butter, parsley, and lemon juice.  The butter is spooned over a steak just as it leaves the grill, then melts onto the surface to leave behind only a sheen.

While I'm sharing a major trade secret here, I feel it’s my duty to report to all those trying to make healthy and positive changes in food they eat.  

The next time you order a lean steak at a restaurant ask your waiter if the chef finishes the steaks in butter and just say, “No, thank you.”  Better yet, save money and grill at home--then add color and flavor to your lean meat with these easy ideas and recipes. (We think these ideas are perfect for a simple Valentine's Day meal!)

Keep it simple: Pick up a prepared sauce
Leave the bottled steak sauce on the shelf. Most brands are prepared with loads of salt (280 mg per 1 tablespoon serving to be exact). Choose one of these instead.  Just spoon it over your just-cooked steak, then serve!
  • Pico de gallo
  • Salsa verde
  • Barbeque sauce (thin it out with a bit of orange or lemon juice)
  • Olive tapenade (thin out a teaspoonful with lemon juice)
Easy "cream" sauces: Just one more step
Start with 1/2 cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt as a base, then stir in…
  • Mustard Sauce: Add 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar to thin to desired consistency
  • Creamy Salsa Sauce: Add 2 tablespoons prepared salsa and chopped fresh parsley
  • Wasabi Sauce: Add 1 tablespoon prepared wasabi paste (or to taste) and juice of one lemon
  • Creamy South of the Border Sauce: Add 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium taco seasoning and chopped cilantro
Start from scratch (but still ready in no time):
  • Pan reduction sauces are so simple and flavorful.  Use when cooking a steak in a grill pan or sauté pan.  Remove the cooked steak from the pan, and set aside.  Quickly add 1/4 cup red wine vinegar and 4 ounces low-sodium beef or vegetable stock to the pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon to remove any fond (crust), then swirl in 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or 1 tablespoon miso paste.  Finish the sauce with drained and rinsed capers, chopped thyme or parsley.
  • Try a fresh green sauce on any sliced flank or flat-iron steak for a burst of color and citrus.  My recipe for chimichurri will make enough for dinner and then some.  Use leftover sauce as a spread for a sandwich the next day.
  • Some like it cool.  If you season your steak with a heavy dose of black pepper or spices, try this cooling cucumber sauce.  Thin to desired consistency with lemon juice.
  • Some like it hot.  Try this chili-garlic paste recipe then thin out with red wine vinegar to turn it into a heat lover’s sauce. (Perhaps this is the best choice for Valentine's Day!)
Here's a bonus recipe for you: Peppercorn Steak with Herbed Blue Cheese
Keep your steak sides simple: steamed broccoli or asparagus and boiled potatoes with herbs are great choices.
What is your favorite way to top your steak?
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CATNAP6291 8/25/2020
good article Report
Thanks for the great article! :) Report
I like most of these ideas Report
Thanks for your ideas Report
Thanks Report
Thanks for the ideas Report
Thanks! Report
thanks Report
I don't eat steak because it sits in my stomach too long. Report
Thanks Report
Thanks Report
Thanks! Report
thanks for sharing Report
Great ideas. I love sauces but not the calories. Report
I had to pin this, to spread the good chews, -er-, news! I must admit I enjoy sauces, whether on steak-meat-veggies-roots/grains. Chimichurri, cuke-yogurt, and pan sauces are my regular stand-bys. Thank you for the data and the encouragement. Report
If it is a good steak, I would just put salt and pepper on it, but these sauces sounds great for the cuts of meat that need it! Thanks for a great article! Luved it! Report
I wouldn't put anything on steak, either, but all of these sauces will make great dips for my home-made oven wedges (potatoes with paprika, garlic and black peper) Thanks Report
they sound good, but since I developed diabetes I use no sauces Report
I know some that put ranch dressing on their steaks! YUK!! Report
Why in the world would anyone put Pico de Gallo on steak? YUK! Same with most of these "sauces"

I had a filet mignon last week when I found the store having a 50 percent off sale and usually I do like A1 but this steak was melt in your mouth yummy! Nothing needed at all. Report
Thanks for sharing! Report
On the rare occasion that I would splurge and eat steak, it would be a good enough cut that doesn't need any extra sauce or flavorings, however, if I were going to use something, it would be mushrooms sauted in the juices from the steak. Yuuummmmmy! Report
Freshly ground pepper only!! Let the taste of the meat shine!! Report
@ANN5497: Chef Meg meant PLAIN Greek yogurt. :) Report
I work at a steakhouse, and if the steak is right, you dont need sauce,, or butter, or any of the extra additives! Report
I don't eat any red meat. Might put it on fish. Report
Greek yogurt is not necessarily healthier for you than butter. It can be loaded with sugar. And I can't imagine putting yogurt on a lovely ribeye or filet. Sounds terrible Report
Yummy!!! Will have to try some of these Sauces. God Blessings To Everyone. Have a Wonderful Week. Take Care. Report
Mushrooms and onions cooked with spray "Pam" Report
A1!! Report
these are great ideas for steak. I usually marinate them or just use salt pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. Report
It sure good to know about what they do to the steak and that there are other things to try.Thanks for the new ideas. Report
I love steak. These ideas are exciting and can keep these flavors 'healthier'.
Can't wait to try the Peppercorn recipe. Report
What a horrible thing to do to a GOOD cut of meat. If prepared properly a good steak only needs to rest for 5 minutes then add a pinch of sea or kosher salt before serving to bring out the flavor of the natural juices. Report
Sounds interesting. Report
Mushrooms added to the pan juices while steak rests is a quick and easy fave.
The cucumber sauce sounds great. I can't wait to try it. Report
I actually prefer my steak with a little salt and pepper sprinkled on and grilled, no sauce. Report
Yummy Report
Those sound delicious. Thanks for the ideas! Report