Dinner Tonight: Skirt Steak with Homemade Steak Sauce Recipe

Photograph: Blake Royer

Steak sauce is a controversial subject: some love it, and some judge those who use it. Even at mighty steakhouses like Peter Luger in Brooklyn, where some of the best beef in the country can be found, they always bring it out. But to some a steak sauce is a crime: Why cover up the taste of great beef with a sugary ketchup-like goop? If you have good beef, leave it alone with just salt and pepper, and leave the condiments to the lesser joints.

Still, I had to trust a recipe from a book called Steak with Friends by celebrated Chicago chef Rick Tramonto. He augments the ketchup base with umami-rich dried shitake mushrooms, soy sauce, dry mustard, and dark brown sugar, plus a few more secret ingredients. Everything simmers together for 45 minutes, which is enough time to roast some oven fries and cook the steak with time to rest. The result is round and rich, sweet and tangy, and quite balanced.

If you like steak sauce, this is a serious winner. And it might make a few converts, too.

Recipe Facts

Cook: 60 mins
Total: 60 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 1 cup ketchup

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup dried shiitake mushrooms

  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • 1/4 cup white vinegar

  • 1/2 cup chopped white onion

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard

  • 2 to 2 1/2 pounds skirt steak, preferably outside cut, trimmed of excess fat

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • Kosher salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Combine the ketchup, water, mushrooms, Worcestershire, lemon juice, and vinegar in a saucepan. Whisk to combine, then stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer for 45 minutes, until the sauce is thick and pourable and the flavors have melded. Strain out the solids.

  2. Rub the steak with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill or broil the steaks, turning once, for 7 to 10 minutes for medium rare, depending on thickness. Allow to rest for at least 5 minutes, then slice across the grain. Serve with the sauce on the side, or spoon it over.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
641 Calories
39g Fat
28g Carbs
44g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 641
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 1619mg 70%
Total Carbohydrate 28g 10%
Dietary Fiber 1g 2%
Total Sugars 20g
Protein 44g
Vitamin C 11mg 55%
Calcium 63mg 5%
Iron 6mg 34%
Potassium 971mg 21%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)