Steak #7: Pan Cooked with Bourbon Sauce and Celery Root

The Big Idea: I enjoyed the first pan cooked steak I had, and liked the pan sauce option it provided, so another one seemed in order. The first pan sauce I made was supposed to be made with red wine, and for this one I went with another alcohol – bourbon, as suggested here.  To soak up that tasty looking sauce, I planned on some mashed celery root.


The Steak: I let the steak rest for a while covered in ground black pepper and a few light shakes of red pepper, too. I forgot the salt, which seemed like it might be noteworthy, but then I forgot that I forgot about it – I think the salt in the sauce made up for it in the overall flavor, and if the lack of pre-salting had any effect on the meat, my palate was not sensitive enough to detect it.

I got my trusty 8 inch cast iron pan nice and hot with a little butter, cooked it, poked it, flipped it, poked it again, and ate it. It was pleasantly rare on the inside, and pleasantly crisp in places on the outside. Not really sure what else to say about this, except that I do seem to be getting the hang of this.


The Sauce: As the recipe suggested, I sauteed a shallot in the steak drippings and butter for a few minutes, then added a little bourbon and let it cook down. Then I added a little more beef broth than I had bourbon and let that cook down. And no one ever needs to tell me twice to add a little heavy cream, I put in about a tablespoon at the end. Tasty!


The Side: I’ve had celery root a number of times recently, and I’m really enjoying it. I’ve been told that it’s good as a gratin, but it’s also great simply cooked and mashed, as I did here. I cubed it and boiled it for about twenty minutes, then food processed it. It has a nice, light flavor, and was great for soaking up the sauce

The Verdict: A successful meal! I’d make every part of it again. I might even make a little more of the sauce, because I sopped it all up between the steak and the celery root and wished there were a little more.


Notes for Next Time:

  • I can tell this was a very good meal, because I can’t think of much that I would change! And I can always come up with something.
    Better photos would have been nice, I guess.
  • I’m excited about pan sauces, but I’d like to find some other approaches to sauces for steaks. Any suggestions?

2 responses to “Steak #7: Pan Cooked with Bourbon Sauce and Celery Root

  1. I can’t help with sauces, but I have these observations: salt on raw meat helps it to brown better, and is particularly noticeable when roasting chicken; I am now cooking everything in my cast iron skillet –try it for meatloaf; celery root rocks; will you come to SF and teach us how to tell when meat is done by poking it? We really need that lesson.

    • Interesting on the browning-salt connection! I’ll have to experiment further. I want to hear about celery root rocks, too! I haven’t prepared it that way yet. And all I can tell you about the poking method is that it takes practice 🙂

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