Our friend Andy welcomes the opportunity to visit Denver, so he can pop in at Vesta Dipping Grill, known for the variety of creative sauces it offers with its entrées (here’s the current menu).
For Father’s Day, forget the Worcestershire or A-1 and treat Dad to a choice of three homemade steak sauces. It’s like “steak three ways.” Here are a Baker’s Dozen of suggestions.
HERB SAUCES FOR STEAK
These quick herb sauces require no cooking: Toss everything into a food processor and pulse (purists can get out the mortar and pestle).
Chimichurri Sauce.The steak sauce in Argentina, chimichurri is made from parsley, garlic, green or red chile, olive oil, red wine vinegar. You can add other herbs. Mario likes cilantro, Emeril likes oregano and basil. Recipe and more.
Gremolata. If you want bright herb flavors without heat or tang, make gremolata. This simple condiment from Italy consists of fresh chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic—zingy without being spicy. Recipe and more.
Pesto. The “original” is made from basil, olive oil, pine nuts and Parmesan cheese, but there are many variations that switch out the herb, nut and cheese. Recipe and more information.
Salsa Verde. Layers of flavor without heat, this Italian herb sauce is made from chopped chives, mint and parsley with capers, chopped anchovies, garlic and lemon juice. Some recipes add tomatillos. Recipe and more information.
This 32-ounce steak is served with three sauces and a head of roasted garlic at The Fillmore Room in New York City.
Shallot Vinaigrette. Use your best vinegar and olive oil, minced shallots and parsley or other herb of choice. As a bonus, serve it warm. Recipe.
Mushroom sauce with red wine is a classic steak sauce (photo Hannah Kaminsky | Bittersweet Blog).
CLASSIC FRENCH SAUCES
Aïoli. Aïoli is a Provençal garlic mayonnaise that is typically served with seafood. But it’s delicious with steak, too, and is also a yummy dip for French fries. Recipe.
Béarnaise Sauce. Thick and creamy like aioli but laced with tarragon and shallot instead of garlic, this pairing has been revered by French steak lovers for centuries. Recipe.
Compound Butter. Another innovation of French cooks, compound butter has been flavored with anything the cook likes, from anchovies to Cognac to Roquefort cheese. The butter is rolled into a log, and a slice is cut to top a steak. The heat from the just-cooked steak turns it into a flavored butter sauce. Recipes.
Mustard Sauce. Mix Dijon mustard with crème fraîche and gently heat this creamy, tangy steak sauce. Recipe.
Mushroom Sauce. Different interpretations include mushrooms with beef stock and brandy or wine, to a cream sauce with a Dijon accent. Recipe.
Peppercorn Sauce. Another creamy classic, this steak sauce is made with heavy cream, chicken stock, red wine vinegar and green peppercorns, simmered briefly.
MORE STEAK SAUCES
There are many more options, but we’ll conclude today with global influences:
You can also make Piri-Piri Sauce with this recipe from Emeril. Piri-Piri is from Africa; Peri-Peri is the version brought back home by Portuguese sailors, and became the Peruvian version of Chimichurri. Both get their heat from fresh chiles.