Celebrated Michelin Star Chef and James Beard Award recipient Michael Mina operates over 40 restaurants worldwide, has cooked for three United States Presidents, and is touted for having influenced modern dining in the US. More importantly for our purposes, he is a steak master and everything that goes along with it.
When it comes to settling on shareable side dishes for your steak, he suggests letting seasonality be the guide.“The first thing I would do is to think about what is in season and only really available this time of year. Thinking about whether it’s sweet like corn or earthy like mushrooms, so you can layer other flavor profiles. If the cut of steak is rich, like a juicy ribeye, then maybe serve with a cream corn to balance it. If it doesn’t have a lot of fat, like a filet mignon, a rich sauce will stand out. Or, I might add a spicy component to contrast the sweetness and then add some acidity to balance the richness of a steak. The idea is to hit all the flavors of the palate in one composed bite.”
We asked him to share his Bordelaise Sauce. In Bordeaux, this sauce is ubiquitous on menus as an accompaniment to grilled or roasted beef and lamb. Try it with hanger steak or filet mignon. We also like it on polenta and mashed potatoes, and have even dipped French fries into this addictive, versatile and elegant sauce.
“What I like about a classic, French Bordelaise sauce is it’s very rich and packed with flavor, so it takes just a small drizzle to perk up a simply grilled steak or medallion filet and is excellent with roasted potatoes. Find a good quality red wine to use. No need to go for the top shelf here, but just remember: the better the wine, the better the sauce. Use something you would drink with your meal. You’ll only need one glass of wine for the sauce and can drink the rest when you eat.”
- 6 tablespoons beef or veal demi-glace (See Note)
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 shallots, finely diced
Note: Demi-glace is available at specialty grocers and butcher shops, or can be ordered online.
- In a medium saucepan, add wine, shallots, thyme and bay leaf and reduce over medium-high heat until about 2 tablespoons remain.
- Remove from heat and discard the thyme and bay leaf.
- Return pan over low heat. Stir in demi-glace, whisking gently.
- Divide into 4 equal portions among plates when saucing dishes, or serve in ramekins for dipping.