Au Jus is the prefect sauce compliment to prime rib, roast beef, French dip, and many other beef dishes. This is a flavorful, thin sauce made with red wine, pan drippings, and beef stock and a couple other flavorful additions. You can make it easily even when you don’t have pan drippings.
Au Jus Recipe
This easy pan drippings sauce pairs beautifully with so many different beef entrees, it’s a thing of wonder. While I think my favorite way to enjoy homemade Au Jus is with prime rib, it’s also downright delicious when a French dip sandwich is dunked into it! When you have a holiday roast beef dinner that you want to jazz up a little, serve it with some Au Jus as well.
This classic recipe features simple, yet bold ingredients that create the best signature beefy flavor. It is SO rich and savory! Ingredients like red wine, beef stock, and pan drippings really deepen the flavor while other enhancements like Worcestershire sauce and simple seasonings seal the deal. If you don’t have any pan drippings, fear not! You can just add a few extra splashes of beef stock and still have a great Au Jus.
Afraid you won’t have time to make Au Jus? If you’re planning a big feast for the holidays or for a dinner party, you won’t have anything to worry about because this recipe takes just less than half an hour! In fact, I usually whip it up while my prime rib is resting so it’s ready to go as soon as the meat is ready to slice. The steps for making Au Jus are incredibly simple and easy to follow, so much so that I’m happy to call this recipe foolproof!
What is Au Jus?
“Au Jus” is a French term for thin sauce made with the pan drippings after cooking meats like beef, chicken, lamb, or veal. Literally translated, it means “with juice.” Au Jus is incredibly rich in flavor and is meant to use the meat drippings from cooking to enhance the flavor of the meat that you serve it with.
Au Jus should have a strong meaty flavor and often includes the addition of red wine to further deepen and enhance it. It is much thinner than gravy, so you should use only a little (if any) flour to thicken it. You should also simmer it for a few minutes to cook out some of the liquids, thus intensifying the flavor of the sauce.
These ingredients are simple staples that you may already have in your kitchen right now.
- Butter – I prefer using unsalted butter so I can avoid an overly salty Au Jus.
- All-Purpose Flour – you will need just a couple tablespoons to thicken the sauce slightly. Use gluten free all purpose flour if needed!
- Red Wine – Do not choose a sweet red wine! A dry red wine that you like to drink is what works best in this recipe. (See more notes on wine below.)
- Pan Drippings – Try to get as much pan drippings out of the roasting pan as you can.
- Beef Stock – If your pan drippings yield about half a cup, you’ll need about a cup and a half of beef stock. Combined, you should have two cups of pan drippings and beef stock together.
- Worcestershire Sauce
- Black Pepper – For the best flavor, use freshly cracked black pepper.
- Salt – Add just enough kosher or flaky sea salt to taste. (Remember that pan drippings will already be seasoned, so taste before adding more salt.)
Prepare the pan drippings.
Try to get as much pan drippings as you can. Then, strain the drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup through a fine mesh strainer.
Here’s the BEST tip for pan drippings – when getting the pan drippings out of the roasting pan, make sure to scrape the bottom of the pan (or the foil) to get all of the fond off. That’s where the most flavor will be!
Whisk together the ingredients.
In a pan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Keep whisking slowly as you pour in the pan drippings.
Pour in the red wine, still whisking as you go. Add the beef stock next in the same way and make sure the mixture is nice and smooth.
Conduct a little taste test of your Au Jus and add salt and pepper as desired.
Bring the mixture to a simmer, then lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer for 15-20 minutes and stir often! Remove the pan from the heat when you’re ready to serve.
To serve, you can portion the Au Jus into individual ramekins or serve it in a sauce cup.
Frequently Asked Questions:
No problem! If you don’t have any pan drippings to use, just make sure to use 2 cups of beef stock.
Absolutely! You can use all-purpose gluten free flour instead of regular flour or omit it altogether. As always, I recommend that you check the ingredients labels on your gluten free flour to make sure it’s truly gluten free.
Yes, Au Jus is supposed to be a very thin sauce that is somewhat reduced while cooking. While I like to add a little bit of flour for richness and depth of flavor, it is not traditional or even necessary.
For the best results, always cook with drinking wine, not cooking wine, and choose one that you actually like to drink. Go for a red wine that is dry and rich in flavor. Do not choose a sweet wine!
Make sure to store homemade au jus in an air-tight food storage container, in the refrigerator. Properly stores, it should last up to 5 days. Remember to use a clean spoon every time you need to get some out, but it’s always best to pour some out rather than scoop out.
You can also freeze it! I like to freeze it in portions so I can thaw exactly how much I need. You can do that in large ice cube trays (like the large square trays that can hold up to 1/2 cup of liquid in each cup.) It’s also easy to freeze au jus in zip-top freezer bags, or freezer storage containers with a lid. Make sure to let it cool down first and remember to label the date. Au just will last up to 3 months in the freezer.
Note: If you are freezing Au Jus in ice cube trays, make sure to wrap it air-tight after it freezes or transfer the frozen cubes into an air-tight freezer zip-top bag!
Red Wine Au Jus
Red Wine Au Jus:
- 2 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup drippings from the roasting pan *
- 1 1/2-2 cups beef stock*
- 1 1/2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- salt to taste
- *Get as much pan drippings out of the roasting pan as you can. You may get the 1/2 cup or you may get more or less. Use enough beef stock to get 2 cups of stock and pan drippings combined. (So if you got 1/2 cup of drippings, use 1 1/2 cups of beef stock.)
- You can prepare au jus while prime rib is resting.
- Strain the pan drippings from the roasting pan into a measuring cup through a fine mesh strainer. (When getting the pan drippings out, make sure to scrape the bottom of the roasting pan (or foil) to get all the fond off. That's where a lot of flavor will be!)
- Preheat the cooking pan over medium heat. Add butter and let it melt. Whisk in the flour and while you're whisking slowly, pour in the pan drippings.
- Keep whisking and pour in the wine. Pour in the beef stock, still while whisking, and make sure that everything is mixed nice and smooth.
- Taste and season the au jus with salt and pepper.
- Bring it to simmer and lower the heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for about 15-20 minutes, stirring often. Take off heat when ready.
- You can portion au jus into individual ramekins for serving or serve it in a sauce cup.