The bottom line is that those silky, spoon-coating sauces and jus that Dominique craves require stock. “The way chefs do it is by reducing the stock, passing it through muslin, then whisking in butter,” says Richard Turner, former executive chef of the Hawksmoor restaurant group, and the man behind the annual Meatopia festival and butchers Turner & George. “That’s what makes it glossy.” If juices, and therefore gravy-style sauces, aren’t in play, however, Dominique is going to have to look elsewhere.
Try a hollandaise-based number, says meat Yoda Turner. “I’m simplifying the recipe here, but basically, whisk egg yolks with a little reduction of white-wine vinegar and shallots [over a pan of gently simmering water] and some water, then [off the heat] whisk in warm, clarified butter. Then you can fold all sorts of stuff into it.” Turner, who has just launched Dickie’s, delivering the likes of kimcheeseburgers and steak sandos to south London (it’s set to expand soon), has been known to add stilton (plus a few drops of Tabasco) or anchovies. (Speaking of which, in his cookbook, Hog, Turner pairs anchoïade – a Provençal dip made with anchovies, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, herbs and red-wine vinegar – with slow-roast pork shoulder.)
Alternatively, try a boat of butter sauce, such as a beurre blanc. “They don’t go so well with roast red meat,” says chef Tom Kerridge, whose restaurants include Michelin-starred The Hand and Flowers in Marlow, “but an emulsified white butter sauce with cider works really nicely with chicken or pork, say.”
For a sidekick that welcomes all, meanwhile, you’ll need fresh tomatoes. “They work with both red and white meat,” says Kerridge, whose latest book, Outdoor Cooking, is out in May. He chops garlic, onion and tomatoes (“cherry toms are fine”) and whizzes with a hand blender, adding a squeeze of tomato puree and, if you’ve got one to hand, a crumbled stock cube. “Stick that in a pan, bring it up to a boil and reduce it a little, then throw in a load of chopped herbs; harder ones such as thyme and rosemary work really well with red meat, and use lighter parsley, basil or coriander for chicken or pork.” This sauce could accompany fish, too, but if you take that route, Kerridge recommends stirring through a load of capers as well.
“Do you know what else is really good with meat?” Turner says. “Onions.” You’ll need a lot of them, mind (“about a dozen”), as well as a fair bit of time. “Cook them down in a little butter with some salt for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring often, then puree.” The sugars in the onions will intensify and you’ll be left with a deliciously smooth sauce to which you can then add thyme, rosemary or, Turner’s favourite, bone marrow. “That goes amazingly with almost any grilled meat.” A straw is, of course, optional.