Red wine jus is a rich, flavourful sauce made with red wine, chicken stock, and herbs. Serve this classic French sauce with roasted meats, such as beef or lamb. The word “jus” comes from the French language and means “juice” or “sauce.”
Jus has its origins in French cuisine and has been used in cooking for centuries. The technique involves reducing a liquid, usually meat stock or wine, to create a concentrated, rich sauce. This process allows the flavours to intensify, and the sauce to thicken.
Isn’t ‘jus’ just a posh word for gravy?
Not really! Jus is different from gravy in several ways. Gravy is a sauce made from the drippings of cooked meat, usually beef or poultry. You usually thicken it with flour or cornflour, and perhaps season it with herbs and spices. You’d typically serve gravy with meat, potatoes, and vegetables, and it’s a staple of traditional comfort food. I often add red or white wine to my gravies, depending on the meat I’m serving it with. For special occasions, though, I nearly always make this jus.
Make red wine jus using a combination of meat stock, red wine, and herbs. It is thinner than gravy and is often used as a finishing sauce rather than a main dish accompaniment. Drizzle the jus over meat, such as a perfectly cooked steak, and it adds a burst of rich flavour to the dish.
What red wine should I use?
When it comes to making red wine jus, the choice of wine is crucial. A full-bodied red, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, is a great choice for a red wine jus. The tannins and fruit flavours in the wine will complement the chicken stock and herbs and create a rich, complex sauce. Some of the best regions to look for this sauce are Bordeaux, Burgundy, and the Rhone Valley in France. If you can find a sulfite-free wine, your finished sauce will taste even better. Many good supermarkets and grocery stores stock organic wines you can use. Don’t worry too much if you can’t find one, the jus will still taste delicious.
Make red wine jus by simmering chicken stock with red wine, butter, and herbs such as tarragon, parsley, and thyme. Start off by sautéing shallots, carrots, and celery for extra flavour. Add wine and stock, and reduce. When the sauce has reduced by half, add the herbs. Cook until the jus thickens and the flavours have melded together. Then strain it and reduce further, before finishing the sauce off with a little butter to make it rich and glossy. The result is a delicious, velvety sauce that adds depth and complexity to any dish.
Red wine jus is a classic French sauce that is a must-have in any home cook’s repertoire. Made with chicken stock, butter, tarragon, and thyme, this rich, flavourful sauce is the perfect finishing touch to almost any meat dish. Understanding the meaning and origins of the word “jus” and the differences between jus and gravy can help you appreciate this classic French sauce even more.
Red wine jus
- 1 bottle red wine good quality, full-bodied wine
- 500 ml chicken stock
- 50 g butter unsalted
- 200 g shallots peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 carrots roughly chopped
- 2 sticks celery roughly chopped
- 1 sprig fresh thyme
- 1 hanfdul fresh tarragon
- 1 handful fresh parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsps sugar
- in a large saucepan, melt half the butter and sauté the shallots until soft and translucent
- add the carrots and celery and sauté for a further 2 – 3 minutes
- add the wine, chicken stock and bay leaves and bring to the boil
- once it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and reduce by half
- add the thyme, tarragon and parsley and cook for a further 20 minutes
- next, strain the mixture into another saucepan, through a fine-mesh conical sieve and add the sugar. Discard the herbs and vegetables
- further reduce the sauce, until it has thickened to the desired consistency. The viscosity of the finished jus will depend upon how much body the wine you used had and on whether you want to use it as a pouring sauce, or as a thicker reduction
- add the remaining butter, a bit at a time, stirring it in to make the jus glossy
- serve with your preferred game, fowl, pork, beef (or even sausages!) dish