Au Jus comes in handy when it comes to enjoying a slice of meat. It’s a perfect way to complete your meat dish as it adds extra flavor and moisture to the dish to help you enjoy it.
However, au jus usually can take a long time to cook, and most people don’t have much time for the lengthy process. Some au jus ingredients are also hard to find in local stores.
Fortunately, there are various substitutes you can use to help augment your favorite beef dishes so your whole family enjoys them!
When prepared well, au jus substitutes delivers similar texture and flavors you would get with the traditional savory sauce obtained from slow roasting.
This article will guide you on how to make the 3 best Au Jus substitutes at home. But first, let’s learn what au jus really is and how it’s used.
What is Au Jus?
Au jus is a French culinary word that simply means ‘with juice.’ However, this term mainly refers to a meat dish served with the juice obtained from the meat as it cooks.
Once the meat is cooked, a chef will usually pour off the meat juice, skim any excess fat, and then after lightly seasoning the final product, serves the meat with the au jus alongside.
Many home chefs choose to add Soy or Worcestershire sauce to beef stock in order to make a quick au jus alternative. Flour or corn starch powder can also be added to help thicken the sauce. This ‘sauce’ is then served with meat as au jus, and although it’s not a natural result of the meat cooking process, can be a very easy and flavorful au jus substitute.
You can also find au jus seasoning powder in many stores in the US. This powder is usually made of onion and garlic powder, salt, and sugar.
3 Best Au Jus Substitutes
Beef Stock Powder Sauce
If you don’t have the au jus mix, you can use a beef stock powder to make a perfect sauce to serve with meat.
To make the beef stock powder sauce, you’ll need these ingredients:
- 4 tablespoons beef stock powder
- 4 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 and a half tablespoons dried parsley
- 3 tablespoons corn starch
- ¼ tablespoons black pepper
- ¼ tablespoons garlic powder
Once you gather the ingredients, follow these steps to make the sauce:
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly in a small bowl to achieve a fine powder.
- Put 5 teaspoons of the dry powder mixture into a saucepan and add about 2 cups of water.
- (Use an airtight container to store the remaining mixture at room temperature.)
- Heat the mixture for 10 to 15 minutes while stirring regularly until the sauce thickens to taste
- Serve the sauce with your cooked meat, and enjoy!
Bouillon Cubes Sauce
A second substitute uses bouillon cubes instead of beef stock, but the other ingredients are the same.
If you want to make the bouillon cubes version of the sauce, you’ll need to blend the mixture for about 2 minutes to ensure that the cubes turn into fine powder.
PRO TIP: It helps to crumble the cubes first before unwrapping them from the foil for easy blending.
Once you mix the all of ingredients and achieve a fine powder, put about 4 teaspoons of the powder into a saucepan and add 2 cups of water.
PRO TIP – if you are short on time, pre-made beef broth works equally well as an au jus substitute starter. Just use beef broth in place of the water AND the bouillon cubes or beef stock powder before adding the rest of the seasonings.
Then, heat the mixture on low while stirring to thicken and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes.
This au jus substitute works great when used on dishes like the Mississippi Roast, grilled steak, or even sausages.
This is a liquid alternative to the other options, and it’s delicious when used on various meat dishes like grilled steak, mash, and many other roasts.
In fact, home made Beef broth is easy to come by as it is only a matter of adding a splash of red wine and seasonings to your freshly cooked beef juices.
To make a home made beef broth with savory flavors like those of au jus, follow these steps:
- Brown some meaty beef bones in the oven and put them in a pressure cooker.
- Season the caramelized bones with salt and pepper.
- Add chopped onion, carrot, and one celery.
- Add two sliced garlic cloves and a teaspoon of dried herbs.
- Cover the mixture with about 2 cups of water and let it pressure cook for an hour.
- Let the mixture cool, then strain the liquid off and discard the other ingredients.
- Serve some broth on your cooked beef and enjoy the delicious meal.
- Divide the remaining liquid into several portions and freeze.
Do You Need Au Jus Substitutes?
Yes, you need au jus substitute, especially if you don’t have time to roast your meat slowly to get the au jus.
Au jus alternatives like the ones discussed above make the meat more delicious and enjoyable.
Making your own au jus mixes at home is a healthier option as you won’t use any additives or colorings. It also allows you to use natural herbs and spices.
How Do You Thicken Au Jus?
You can thicken your au jus by adding a small amount of flour. If you don’t want gluten in your diet, you can substitute corn starch or tapioca starch for wheat flour.
Once you stir in the flour or corn starch, let the au jus cook for a few minutes to avoid the raw taste.
What is the Difference Between Beef Broth and Au Jus?
While some people think that au jus is usually beef broth, this isn’t true. Au jus is a savory sauce collected from the cooking meat and then served with the cooked beef.
On the other hand, beef broth is usually added to the cooking meat, and it’s not always served with that meat.
Can You Substitute Brown Gravy for Au Jus mix?
Yes, you can use brown gravy if you don’t have an au jus mix on hand and want a sauce that resembles in flavor those of the natural beef drippings.
However, the flavor will vary slightly as the two ingredients use a different amount of sodium.
Do you love pairing au jus with your meat recipes but don’t want to go through the long process of making it? Thankfully we’ve laid out some time saving au jus substitutes for you that work just as well!
With these au jus alternatives, you’ll feel confident serving delicious beef meals like a Mississippi roast or Sunday Pot roast for your family without dedicating an entire day to Aus Jus preparation.
Moreover, you won’t have to worry about consuming the artificial colorings, preservatives, and flavorings used in most au jus mixes sold in the stores.