Shallot & red wine sauce

Shallot & red wine sauce

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(58 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 20 mins


Serves 4
This classic French sauce from Gordon Ramsay is just perfect with a rib-eye steak

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 250g shallot, sliced



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 garlic clove, lightly crushed
  • sprig rosemary



    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • 5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • 400ml red wine
  • 400ml beef stock or brown chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • knob of butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…


  1. Sauté the shallots in a medium saucepan with the oil over a high heat for about 3 mins until lightly browned, stirring often. Season with ground black pepper and add the garlic and rosemary. Continue cooking for a further 3 mins, stirring often to prevent the shallots burning.

  2. Pour in the vinegar and cook until evaporated away to a syrup, then pour in the wine and cook until reduced by two thirds.

  3. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer until reduced by two-thirds again, to around 250ml. Remove the garlic and rosemary. Add a little salt to taste and finally 'monte' (whisk) in a knob of butter. Add any juices from the steaks just before serving.

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Comments, questions and tips

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17th Feb, 2014
Mostly followed the recipe, used a quality Pukara Estate Black current Balsamic (2 &1/2 tbls) & a superb South Aussie Shiraz...bloody beautiful...only thing did differently was to press flavours through a sieve as we like a smooth sauce....served this with the tenderest Rump steak & went a bit retro & made a pocket, filling it with some plump Sydney rock oysters....Very nice indeed ...Thank you Gordon Ramsay :-)
1st Feb, 2014
This is close to a classic recipe, not a Gordon Ramsay 'special', so it's difficult to understand the negative comments. My suggestion would be.... Use echalion shallots, otherwise known as banana shallots., and fry these on a slightly lower heat initially (without colouring) for 5-7 minutes to release the sugars, then turn the heat up a little and brown slightly before continuing. This will ensure you don't get a bitter taste in the end result. When you reduce the balsamic vinegar, do this to the point that the oil 'floats'. This will not look like a syrup in the pan; rather, it will look like lumpy brown bits mixed with the shallots in the pan. Then add the wine and follow the remaining instructions. If you reduce too far and get an overpowering 'jus' then just add a little water. Personally, I prefer a smoother 'jus' so would put the end result through a fine sieve at the end of cooking. I also prefer a thicker 'jus', so rather than add a knob of butter, I would use the butter to make a small amount of roux (i.e. equal quantity of butter to flour) and then strain the reduction into this, cooking through to thicken. Quality ingredients do matter, but you should still get a good quality 'jus' from using average quality balsamic vinegar and red wine. The type of grape (for the wine) can make a difference. I would typically use a Pinot Noir, which gives a slightly fruity 'jus'.
19th Dec, 2013
I was expecting the sauce to reduce to a nice, thick jus but instead it remained the same watery consistency throughout. After 40 mins of boiling away I was left with the 250ml as in the recipe but hadn't thickened in the slightest. Very bitter taste. Won't be following this recipe again.
28th Oct, 2013
I find it hard to understand the comments on the vinegar aspect. I made this and reduced the vinegar thoroughly before adding the wine, it was certainly not overpowering. Overall a hit but getting the reductions right was a lot of effort but overall everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. We paired it with the recipe for Tom Kerridge Black Treacle Beef and it was outstanding.
23rd Oct, 2013
Having a big dinner party next week and gave this sauce a try last night to make sure it would be ok. We ate it with sirloin steak and it was absolutely gorgeous. I noticed, when reading the comments, that a few have said that they didn't like it...perhaps down to personal taste of the cooks but I would strongly suggest that the wine and balsamic vinegar HAVE to be very good quality....the balsamic vinegar is more important than the wine in my opinion.....don't forget who's giving you this recipe...Gordon Ramsay wouldn't use just any old cheap balsamic ! and yes, it does take longer to reduce than stated but you can make it in advance and just add the juices before warming it up
6th Sep, 2013
I agree with others on the vinegar front. It was all I could taste, however my father loved it, but the taste made me cringe. So glad I tasted before serving. I will try this recipe once more, but cutting the vinegar down to 1 tbsp. Served with Pan roasted duck breast, mashed potatoes and wilted asparagus.
6th Aug, 2013
I agree with Andy, tastes like vinegar, takes ages to cook - 60 mins or so and was a waste of a good bottle of red wine, why oh why do you publish recipes that do not work as stated?
12th May, 2013
Excellent flavour, used with Chicken (for the wife) and Duck breast 4 me - lovely!
27th Apr, 2013
Love this recipe....everyone keeps saying how much longer it takes than 20 mins but doesn't specify how long?! So I thought I'd let you all know, prep takes 10 mins with 55 mins of cooking, the sauce takes ages to reduce. Enjoy!
31st Mar, 2013
A disappointing to be honest. But it had the virtue of being easy to make! Thought it made a lot of sauce, almost too much for our needs.


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