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How to Make a Pan Sauce

How to Make a Pan Sauce

  1. Sautee some finely chopped shallots or onions. 
  2. Add liquid to the pan and simmer.
  3. ‘Deglaze’. 
  4. Reduce.
  5. Add butter.
  6. Season. 


A decent non-stick pan is essential for searing/browning meat without resulting in burnt fond (what’s left in the pan). These are so much cheaper online but be sure to read the reviews!
Non-stick pan

How to Make a Pan Sauce

Knowing how to make a pan sauce can provide exciting depth of flavour and a professional finish to home cooking. The below ‘how to’ sets out the proper technique for creating a pan sauce.

Photo Credit: Designlazy.com


1- Sautee some finely chopped shallots or onions. Add some chopped shallots, or other aromatics for added flavor, either in the fat leftover from browning the meat or, if more moisture is required, add in a little extra olive oil or butter.

2-Add liquid to the pan and simmer. You can use wine, stock, vinegar, juice, or any other flavored liquid. 

3- ‘Deglaze’. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the fond from the bottom of the pan and incorporate it into the sauce. 

4- Reduce. Reduce the sauce by letting it simmer and cook down, which concentrates the flavours and thickens the sauce. Continue simmering until you reach the desired consistency.

5- Add butter. To finish, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in cold cubes of butter, which will further thicken the sauce and add extra richness.

6- Season. Season it with salt and pepper.


Remember that pan sauce is about capturing the enhancing the flavour of the meat, not overpowering it, so be sure not to use flavours that are too strong!

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