Peter Agostinelli is raising the steaks at Grill 23 with his sauce inspired by A.1. “Everyone grew up with A.1. When dad got overtime growing up, ‘Oh, we got red meat in the house—so exciting,’ ” quips the executive chef, who often whips up the sauce at home when grilling steak tips, a hanger or a bavette. Agostinelli suggests using it to add more flavor to leaner cuts: “It’s complex, it’s smoky, meaty and it finishes a little sweet. There’s a lot going on—you really kind of have to think about it.” His recipe includes raisins—one of the “secret” ingredients to the centuries-old sauce—plus applewood-smoked bacon, tomato paste and Worcestershire. And don’t forget a couple of components that Agostinelli jokes are two of his favorite things: bourbon and beer.

Steak Sauce at Grill 23 & Bar

YIELD: 1 quart

2 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 onion, julienned
1 rib celery, chopped
2 ounces smoked bacon
8 ounces lager
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup raisins
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons Worcestershire
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
3 ounces chili sauce
1 cup beef broth
1 pint water
1 tablespoon ground pepper

PREPARATION: Saute the garlic, onion, celery and bacon in a pan over high heat until the ingredients turn dark brown. Add the lager and bourbon and reduce by half. Mix in the remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Puree everything in a blender. Add salt to taste.


Grill 23 & Bar 161 Berkeley St., Boston (617-542-2255)

SAUCEPassion Fruit Caramel SauceBlack Garlic and Sweet Miso Tomato SauceBBQ sauce | Steak Sauce | Strawberry Habanero Sauce

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