Au jus is a delicious thin French sauce or gravy that’s the perfect accompaniment to your roasted beef. This quick and easy recipe is a family favorite!
Au jus is a type of French sauce that is made from the pan drippings when meat is cooked. It literally means “with juice”. It’s a thin sauce that is meant to enhance the flavor of the meat it’s served with. It’s especially popular with prime rib.
This au jus recipe is a must-try for anyone looking to elevate their beef dishes. The rich flavors and perfect consistency make it a fantastic accompaniment to French dip sandwiches, prime rib, and other beef roasts. Give it a try, and you’ll see why it’s become one of my favorite recipes.
This simple yet incredibly tasty au jus gravy is a game-changer for me. Made with easy-to-find ingredients, this sauce brings out the best in all beef dishes, from prime rib roast to chuck roast, steak to beef tenderloin, and even tri-tip.
The prime rib au jus pairs perfectly with mashed potatoes, making it the best sauce for any roast or steak dinner. The red wine adds a depth of flavor that enhances the taste of the meat without overwhelming it. But the real magic happens when you use the pan drippings from a mouthwatering boneless prime rib roast seasoned with prime rib rub, making this sauce absolutely irresistible.
Even if you’re short on time, this quick and easy au jus can be whipped up without any fuss. The seasoning is just right, giving your beef recipes that extra oomph of flavor. And if you’re a fan of horseradish sauce, I highly recommend serving some with your steak for an extra kick!
A lot of times I’ll make a large batch of this prime rib au jus, then freeze the extras in an ice cube tray. It creates convenient, single-serving portions perfect for those days when I need to whip up a quick meal. Trust me, once you’ve tried this homemade beef au jus, you’ll never go back to store-bought!
What Is Au Jus Made Of?
Au jus isn’t just beef broth, though that is one of the primary ingredients. In my recipe, I use a combination of pan drippings (or butter, if you don’t have any drippings), all-purpose flour, red wine, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and salt and pepper to taste. The key to a great au jus is balancing these flavors to create a rich, savory sauce that complements your meat without overpowering it.
Pan drippings: These add a rich, savory flavor to the sauce and make the most of the delicious beef juices from your roast.
All-purpose flour: This helps thicken the sauce slightly and create a smooth consistency.
Red wine: The red wine adds depth of flavor and a touch of acidity to the sauce, balancing the rich beef taste.
Beef broth: This forms the base of the sauce, giving it a full-bodied, beefy flavor.
Worcestershire sauce: This adds complexity and umami to the sauce, enhancing the overall taste.
How To Make Au Jus
Skim the fat: Remove the excess fat from the pan drippings, leaving a little mixed in for flavor. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Prepare the roux: In a medium saucepan, heat the pan drippings (or butter). When hot, sprinkle the flour over the drippings and mix to create a roux. Cook the roux while stirring to eliminate the raw flour taste.
Add the wine: Gradually pour the red wine into the roux while whisking constantly, giving the mixture a purple hue. Continue whisking and sautéing, allowing the wine to reduce.
Pour in the beef broth: While whisking continuously, slowly pour in half the beef broth. Whisk until there are no lumps, then whisk in the remaining broth.
Boil and thicken: Allow the sauce to gently boil until it has slightly thickened. Carefully taste, and add salt and pepper if desired.
Transfer and serve: Pour the sauce into a serving dish and serve alongside a French dip sandwich, prime rib, or your favorite beef roast. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
- If your pan drippings are too salty, dilute the au jus with additional beef broth to balance the flavors.
- Make sure to whisk the sauce continuously while adding the liquids to avoid lumps.
- For a smoother au jus, strain it through a fine mesh sieve before serving.
- Adjust the consistency of the au jus by adding more beef broth or allowing it to simmer longer.
What Is The Difference Between Beef Broth And Au Jus?
Beef broth is a liquid made by simmering beef bones and other ingredients in water, while au jus is a sauce made from the pan drippings of cooked meat, often combined with other ingredients like wine and beef broth. The flavors in au jus are more concentrated and savory, making it an ideal sauce for enhancing the flavor of your meat dishes.
Is It The Same As Gravy?
Au jus and brown gravy are similar, but not quite the same. The main difference is that au jus is thin and light sauce, while gravy is substantially thicker thanks to roux. Both can be delicious sauces to serve with your favorite meat dishes, but au jus offers a lighter option that complements the beef rather than coating it.
What Is A Good Substitute For It?
If you don’t have the ingredients on hand to make it, you can try using a store-bought beef broth or beef consommé as a substitute. These options won’t have the same depth of flavor as homemade au jus, but they can still add a tasty touch to your meal.
How Can I Thicken Au Jus Without Flour?
To thicken it without flour, use cornstarch or arrowroot powder mixed with a small amount of cold water, then whisk it into the sauce and simmer until thickened.
Can I Use Other Types Of Meat Drippings For Au Jus?
Yes, you can use drippings from other roasted meats such as pork or chicken, but the flavor will be different from the traditional beef-based au jus.
What Can I Use Instead Of Red Wine?
You can make it without wine by substituting an equal amount of beef broth, but the flavor profile will be slightly different.
Can I Make It Ahead Of Time?
Yes, it lasts in an airtight container for up to 3-4 days in the fridge. Just reheat it gently over low heat before serving.
How To Store Leftovers
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Reheat gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.
How To Freeze Au Jus
To freeze it, simply pour it into an ice cube tray and place the tray in the freezer. Once the cubes are frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe bag and store for up to 3 months. When you’re ready to use it, reheat it in a saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally until it reaches your desired consistency and temperature.
What To Serve With It
Aside from the classic combination of serving au jus with a French dip sandwich, this recipe is best with some sort of beef roast. My favorite beef recipes to have it with are:
- Boneless Prime Rib
- Air Fryer Prime Rib
- Instant Pot Frozen Roast
- Bottom Round Roast
- Top Round Roast Beef
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If you like this recipe, be sure to check out our entire section of sauces! Some reader favorites are:
BEST Au Jus Recipe (With OR Without Drippings)
Au jus is a delicious thin French sauce or gravy that’s perfect with your roasted beef. This quick and easy recipe is a family favorite!
- 1/4 cup pan drippings (or 4 Tablespoons butter, see notes)*
- 1 1/2 Tablespoons all purpose flour (optional, see notes)**
- 1/4 cup red wine (or beef broth)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Skim the excess fat away from the surface of the pan drippings (some fat left mixed in is ok).
- To a medium saucepan over medium heat add 1/4 cup of pan drippings (or 1/4 cup of butter).
- Once the drippings are hot (or the butter is melted), sprinkle the flour over the drippings and mix to create a roux. Cook the roux while stirring for about 2 minutes (to cook off the raw flour taste).
- Next, while whisking constantly, slowly pour the red wine into the roux (the roux will look purple). Continue whisking while sauteing for 2 minutes (until the wine has reduced and there’s no longer a strong alcohol smell). Continue whisking while you slowly pour in half the beef broth. Whisk until there are no lumps, then whisk in the remaining broth.
- Once the au jus begins to boil, let it gently boil for 3-4 minutes, or until it has thickened a little bit. Carefully taste, add salt and pepper if desired, then transfer to a serving dish.
- Serve hot with a French dip sandwich, prime rib, or your favorite beef roast.
*This recipe can be made with or without pan drippings. If you are not using pan drippings, I would suggest adding 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves, and 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder to give the au jus some beef roast flavor. Add the seasonings to the pan drippings and cook until aromatic before adding the flour, then continue with the recipe as written.
**If you want the sauce to be slightly thicker, you can use flour to thicken it. If you care about the sauce having a clear look, I’d recommend using 3/4 Tablespoon of cornstarch instead.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 54Total Fat: 4.7gCarbohydrates: 1.2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0.1gProtein: 0.7g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
I hope you enjoy this delicious au jus recipe! It’s sure to become a family favorite for all your beef dishes.