Sauce pairings for meat & seafood

grilled steak with different sauces

Every great meat entrée must have its accompanying gravy; or if you are a bit more adventuresome, a sauce.  Just as no new dress is complete without its matching shoes and handbag, no main meat entrée should go without a great accompanying gravy or sauce.  While the options are countless, we wanted to give you some options to start with for the major meat and seafood categories.  Once you’ve tried some of these, you can head out into the land of cooking blogs and find others that are bound to add to your culinary pleasure.

Beef – Strong and bold, beef pairs well with earthy sauces with a bit of tang.  Others love a smooth, creamier sauce.  You never want to drown out the natural beefy taste of beef, but each of these sauces helps to excite your taste buds just a bit more in the presence of a juicy cut of beef.

Horseradish Cream Sauce      Italian Salsa Verde   Chimichurri Sauce    Romesco Sauce

Chicken – Unlike other meats, chicken doesn’t have a strong distinct flavor of its own.  Because it tends to be a good healthy source of protein, we tend to eat quite a lot of it as our main center plate item, in salads and often in casseroles.  If you are looking for ways to give a bit more zip to that boneless, skinless, tasteless chicken breast, try adding a tasty sauce.

Tangy Mustard Sauce        Creamy White Sauce       Parsley Pesto Sauce       Asian Satay Sauce

Lamb – Lamb can at times carry a bit of a bite that we Americans are not accustomed to which makes using the proper sauce essential to balance its sometimes-heavy flavor.  Mint sauce or jelly is the most common pairing.  You can also try adding other cooling elements to a lamb sauce, like creamy yogurt or mild grated cucumber, which enhances the freshness of mint and cuts through lamb's slightly gamey flavor.

Yogurt Mint Sauce        Mint-Caper Sauce         Cucumber- Mint Raita     Mint Chutney

Pork – Long ago, our forefathers discovered that pork and fruit work great together.  The sweet juiciness and touches of tartness that fruit brings balances the fatty richness of the pork.

Peach and Ginger Sauce     Cumberland Sauce   Cherry-Port Sauce   Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce

Seafood – Unlike a land roaming animal, the meat that comes from seafood and shellfish is far more delicate.  You are always safe just drizzling any seafood with a freshly squeezed lemon and perhaps dipping each forkful in a bit of tartar sauce.  However, there are times you want a little something extra.  Here are a few sauces that work very well with seafood.

Hollandaise Sauce   Creamed Spinach Sauce     Lemon Cream Sauce       Piccata Sauce