Basic Red Wine Sauce for Beef or Lamb

lamb shank with red wine sauce
Lamb shank with a red wine sauce and vegetables. Tony Briscoe/Getty Images
  • Total: 17 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: about 1 1/4 cups (5 servings)
Ratings (32)

A red wine sauce is a simple reduction, and it is an excellent sauce to serve with lamb, steaks or roast beef, or duck. If you are making a pan sauce after roasting beef or lamb or searing a steak, use the same pan for the sauce. 

Use a good quality red wine, one you enjoy drinking, for this sauce. A cheap or low-quality wine could produce a rather bitter sauce. Use this sauce with grilled or broiled steaks or roasted pork or beef.

What You'll Need

  • 4 tablespoons butter (divided)
  • 2 tablespoons shallots (finely chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups dry red wine
  • 1 dash salt (kosher, to taste)
  • 1 dash pepper (to taste)

How to Make It

  1. In a saucepan or the pan in which meat was seared, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the refrigerator until you need them. Saute the shallots until tender, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for about 1 minute longer. Add the oregano and tomato paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  2. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by about half and thickened, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  1. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and strain the sauce. Discard the solids. 
  2. Return the sauce to the pan over low heat. Cut the remaining 3 tablespoons of cold butter into small pieces. Whisk the butter pieces into the sauce a few at a time.
  3. Taste and season with salt and pepper, as needed.
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
213 Calories
9g Fat
14g Carbs
2g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)