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Mar 20, 2018
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WINE WITH…Zip Sauce for Pan Seared Steak

Zip Sauce originated in Detroit more than half a century ago, but it has become a favorite steak lovers’ condiment throughout the Midwestern sections of the country. You can buy a bottled version of the sauce online, but there is nothing quite as delicious as a juicy steak topped with a homemade version of Zip Sauce. After experimenting with conventional Zip Sauce ingredients we’ve made a few adjustments that we think make the sauce even more fabulous. For example, using fresh rosemary and parsley rather than dried herbs adds freshness to the overall flavor, as does substituting fresh garlic for the garlic powder that original recipes called for (by contrast, a small amount of dried thyme rather than fresh seems to yield tastier results). We’ve also cut back on the amount of butter used in original versions of the recipe, and we have found that the addition of a tiny amount of red wine brings a certain, well, zip, to the Zip Sauce.

Zip Sauce For Steak

Serves 4

4 New York strip, ribeye, or other top cut steaks
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon finely minced fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 cup finely minced parsley
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 and 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil or other vegetable oil

Blot the steaks dry with paper towels and season them on both sides with salt and freshly ground black pepper. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, then stir in the rosemary, garlic, parsley, cumin and thyme. Simmer the ingredients for 2 or 3 minutes, then whisk in the mustard, Worcestershire, cayenne pepper and red wine. When the ingredients are thoroughly blended, turn off the heat and let the mixture sit while you cook the steaks.

To cook the steaks, heat the oil in a large, heavy skillet such as a cast iron pan. When the pan is hot, add the steaks and cook them until they are brown and crusty on the bottom, then flip them and cook on the other side until they are done to taste (about 3-5 minutes per side for medium-rare, depending on thickness of the steaks).

Remove the steaks to a platter or individual serving plates and let them rest while you finish the sauce. Spoon off about ¼ cup of the steak cooking juices left in the skillet and stir them to the Zip sauce. Reheat the sauce, spoon it over the steaks and serve at once.

* * *

This is definitely a red wine dish, and since we recommend making your Zip Sauce with prime cut steaks, it’s also a dish that calls for an especially fine wine.  Because the sauce carries a hint of sweetness, rich, oaky reds can work well with the steaks.  And don’t worry about tannins. This dish will tame them with ease.

Connect  on Twitter:   @M_L_Thomas  and  @Wine_With_
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Approx. Price







(Imported by Baron Francois Ltd)


Though almost eight years old, this wine is still tight and initially closed. With exposure to air, however, it opens to reveal cherry fruit alongside hints of tar and tobacco. It spent two years in barrel, which helped make it an especially suitable Zip Sauce partner.


Napa Valley





Soft and supple, this is a textbook California Merlot—a wine that while packed full of flavor is gentle on the palate. Particularly if more aggressive reds scare you, it is a wine that will be sure to please.


“Lu Lu,”





(Imported by Frederick Wildman)


A fine value, filled with bright fruit and an echo of black licorice, this exuberant red made the steak and Zip Sauce seem even more vibrant than they did on their own

Rodney Strong

Alexander Valley

Sonoma County


Cabernet Sauvignon




Dark berry fruit and sweet vanilla from oak aging combine to make this a great steak wine. The oak certainly helped the Zip Sauce strut its stuff.




Petit Verdot



(Imported by Testa Wines of the World)


Unlike an Argentinean Malbec that we tried, this wine tastes firm and focused. It’s not at all soft or jammy, but instead tastes complete, complex, and compelling. A definite winner with Zip Sauce!