The online magazine
dedicated to the
discussion & revival
of British foodways.


Elizabeth Craig’s gravy with beer for steak.

This sauce takes a classic English array of strong flavors and combines it with the pan drippings and debris of the steak. Quite obviously you will need to fry your steak in a standard (nonridged) skillet to make the sauce this way. Enough to sauce about six smallish steaks.

Beef_roasts.jpg-generous teaspoon anchovy paste or a pair of mashed anchovies
-generous teaspoon lemon zest
-generous teaspoon minced parsley
-cayenne to taste
-about ¼ teaspoon mace
-½ teaspoon dried thyme
-generous Tablespoon minced shallot
-10 oz pale ale, porter or stout (but not an IPA; too bitter for this purpose)
-1 teaspoon unsalted butter or, better, beef dripping
-1 teaspoon flour

  1. Mix together the anchovy, lemon, parsley, cayenne, mace, thyme and shallot, then pour the beer into the mess and stir it about.
  2. After cooking the steaks, reduce the heat under the skillet to medium and cook the butter until it froths or the dripping until it sizzles, then whisk in the flour until it loses its raw edge.
  3. Stir any juices that have escaped your resting steaks into the roux. Once the mixture is hot, dribble aromatic ale mixture deliberately into the thickened juices, whisking while the sauce thickens.
  4. Once you obtain a consistency that you like, strain the sauce and serve it up fast.



-This is the kind of thing, steak with a pungent sauce, that any sturdy self-respecting eighteenth century Englishman without airs would relish, and so should we.

-If you want to make the sauce ahead, and if you do not mind some dilution of flavor, then substitute a few ounces of beef stock or consommé for the juices and debris from the steak and proceed apace. You can reheat the premade sauce for service. In this case the dripping becomes paramount more than preferred.

-The sauce is good with lamb or pork chops too, or any kind of roast red meat or game for that matter.