Steak with Balsamic Buerre Noir

Mark Hughes Dips & sauces, Main Courses, Rubs 0 Comments

It would be easy to think the steak is the star of this dish, but we’d argue it’s actually the sauce! Just as a simple buerre noisette can lift any fish dish, this beurre noir gets its name from the addition of a gorgeous balsamic vinegar. Once mastered, this rich, glossy, intense sauce gives such an incredible hit of flavour in just a few drops & you’ll find yourself relying on this for other dishes too. With it’s sweet/sour balance, it goes brilliantly with pork or salmon and a tiny drizzle on sautéed greens, sprouting broccoli or asparagus will lift them to a new level.

BlackberryBalsamicWe usually cook one bigger steak & slice it – that way it’s more than enough for two & it’ll cook better without drying out if it’s bigger. This is a great tip for when you’re cooking for larger parties too – 2 or 3 large steaks, sliced like this, is normally enough for 4 people & better value than giving everyone their own big steak. It’s not being mean, it’s about eating well but still on a budget. Plus less meat leaves more room for more veggies or dessert!

We’ve partnered this simple sauce with steak for our Valentine’s Day treat because this is a celebration of simple food with bold flavours that won’t have you spending all night in the kitchen. Because the sauce only takes a few minutes, you can cook the steak first & let it rest while you finish off the dish. Oh, it’s always good to serve food on warm plates but even more so with a butter sauce!

Don’t skip the tomato puree if you can help it because it will give the sauce some body & that umami flavour that will make the meat taste meatier. In an emergency you could use a dash of ketchup instead, but try the tomato puree on its own if you can.

Serve our Steak with Balsamic Buerre Noir with our Truffle Fries, vine-roasted tomatoes & a simple watercress salad for the ultimate treat!


Balsamic Buerre Noir

[*Note re Balsamic: we’ve already reduced ours, but if you do use a ‘regular’ one from elsewhere, you’ll need to use twice as much – 6 tbsp – & reduce it back down to 3 tbsp] 


  • 1 large steak or 2 individual steaks of your choice; we like ribeye
  • Watercress, washed
  • 2 tsp Steak rub
  • splash of rapeseed oil


  1. Add the Steak rub to a bowl with a splash of the oil & stir to a marinade; add the steak and leave to marinate for 1-2 hours
  2. Cook to your liking – this is how we do ours: heat a dry griddle pan until fiercely hot then add the steak. Leave it alone for a minute, turn it over & leave for another minute. Keep turning every minute until cooked; depending on how thick the steak is, this should take around 6-8 minutes. Leave in a warm place to rest for 4-5 minutes while you do the sauce
  3. Heat half the butter & the garlic in a frying pan over a medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the Balsamic vinegar & the tomato puree, stirring well & turning down the heat a touch if it’s boiling too quickly (our balsamic is already thicker than most, so you’re not looking to reduce it here, just heat it). After a minute, stir in the rest of butter one cube at a time until you get the consistency you want
  4. Slice the steak at an angle & drizzle over the sauce (you’ll only need 1-2 tsp) & serve with the watercress or Truffle Fries & sautéed greens; keep any remaining sauce for a few days in the fridge to drizzle on pork, salmon, anything really!

Tweaks for the sauce

SteakRubIt’s easy to jazz things up a bit & tweak the sauce to your liking, so add any of these to the pan to give your sauce an extra flavour dimension:

  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • Pinch of red chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Finely chopped shallot
  • Chopped parsley

Don’t forget to see our post about pairing a wine to the Steak rub

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