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
  • 17 mins
  • Prep: 5 mins,
  • Cook: 12 mins
  • Yield: about 1 1/4 cups (5 servings)
Ratings (31)

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)
Calories 213
Total Fat 9 g
Saturated Fat 6 g
Unsaturated Fat 3 g
Cholesterol 24 mg
Sodium 47 mg
Carbohydrates 14 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 2 g
(The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)