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How To: Sauté and Create a Pan Sauce

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Sautéing is a minimalist art when it comes to preparation, ingredients, and time. It’s a one-pan technique that gives tender cuts of meat and poultry a flavorful and crusty exterior with a juicy interior in a matter of minutes. And, when you remove the item from the pan, you’ve got the makings of a pan sauce to grace your presentation.

Thin cuts of boneless meat and poultry are the best candidates for sauteing, including tournedos of beef, minute and tenderloin steaks, boneless chicken breasts and thighs, veal scaloppine and medallions, pork tenderloin medallions, and fresh sausages.

For cuts thicker than 1/4-inch (except fresh sausages and tournedos of beef), place the meat between two sheets of parchment or wax paper and pound flat to a uniform thickness.

As for equipment, a straight-sided sauté pan or a traditional slope-sided frying pan of stainless steel, copper, or aluminum are the best choices for a pan that reacts quickly to changes in temperature from the heat of sautéing to the gentle simmer of the pan sauce.

Cooking Method:
Sautéing Sautéing
Servings :
Prep Time :
15 - 25 min
  • Ingredients
  • Buy ingredients available from Lobel's


    Assemble all your ingredients before beginning to cook. Remove meat from refrigerator. Pat dry and let rest between paper towels. Allow it to come up to room temperature, about 5 to 10 minutes.
    Season meat with salt and pepper.
    Heat grape seed oil (or olive oil) and butter over medium-high heat. (Use about 1 to 2 tablespoons of each, depending on size of pan and amount of meat.)
    Sauté meat on each side in a single layer until golden brown. Do not crowd. Cook in batches, if necessary.
    Remove the sautéed items from the pan and place on a platter. Set platter into a 180°F oven to keep warm.
    Add stock to the pan.
    Raise heat and cook 2 to 3 minutes until the liquid has reduced by 1/4 to 1/3 of the starting volume, or until the sauce coats the back of a spoon.
    To finish the sauce, swirl in a pat of butter to bind and thicken the sauce as well as to add richness and sheen.
    To serve, place the cooked meat on individual plates. Nap with a small amount of sauce and serve the remaining sauce on the side at table.


To watch a video of this tutorial, click here.

Serving Suggestions:

Try this recipe with veal scaloppine or pork tenderloin medallions.