Grilled steak has so much personality, it doesn’t need much dressing up. But if you want to wow your guests (or just your own taste buds), try serving it with one of these flavorful sauces.
1. Italian salsa verde. Whether you use three types of herbs like Mario Batali or keep it simple and just use parsley, this punchy caper-based sauce is a no-brainer for grilled steak and meat of any kind.
2. Chimichurri. Salsa verde’s South American cousin, this tangy herb sauce is what you find on the table all over Argentina.
3. Gremolata. If you want the bright herbs without salsa verde’s tangy flavors, make gremolata, which is more like a garnish than a sauce.
4. Shallot dressing. Think of this warm shallot vinaigrette as a grown-up take on steak with onion rings.
5. Compound butter. If you believe in piling decadence over decadence, top your steak with flavored butter, like one blended with Cognac and parsley, or something more pungent, like anchovies and Parmesan.
6. Aioli. Provençal-style garlicky mayonnaise is an eye-opening choice with steak. You can make a cheater version with store-bought mayo, lemon and garlic or pound it out Luddite-style with a mortar and pestle and blend it with a whisk.
7. Poblano sauce. When grilled or roasted, poblanos have a fruity, smoky flavor that’s terrific with steak. To make an extra-rich sauce, blend poblanos into aioli or puree the peppers with corn for a Southwestern-inspired accompaniment.
8. Mole. With smoky dried red chiles, sweet spices and chocolate, a riff on Mexican-style mole is an inspiring choice to brush over grilled steak.
9. Smoky almond sauce. Mole too complicated? Make this ancho chile-almond sauce, which is less sweet but just as delicious.
10. Green Sriracha. You know the red stuff in the rooster bottle, but Sriracha is actually a category of Southeast Asian hot sauce. Make Susan Feniger’s maximalist version with green chiles along with coconut, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.
Kristin Donnelly is a former Food & Wine editor and author of the forthcoming The Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter, 2016). She is also the cofounder of Stewart & Claire, an all-natural line of lip balms made in Brooklyn.