Rich and flavorful beef au jus recipe made with or without drippings and in just 15 minutes! This quick and easy au jus sauce is perfect for serving with meat, French dip sandwiches, Christmas dinner, and more! And, it’s freezer friendly!
I recently tried my hand at making the most delicious French Dip au jus recipe. And the rich and flavorful homemade au jus recipe (aka French dip sauce) just blew me away. As soon as I tried it, I immediately decided it needed its own recipe post.
This homemade au jus recipe is easy and relies on just a handful of ingredients. It’s super simple to prepare but uses rich ingredients like beef drippings, red wine vinegar, and Worcestershire sauce. If you’re lacking the drippings, I’ve even included a handy substitute so you can enjoy this at any time (especially since it freezes so wonderfully)!
What Is Au Jus
Au Jus (commonly misspelled as aus jus, aujus, au ju, auju sauce, and even aju sauce or aus juice) comes from the French term meaning “with juice”. It refers to dishes served with a light broth/gravy (aka the “jus”). And this broth/jus is naturally produced by the drippings/fluids of the cooking meat.
I highly recommend saving the pan drippings any time you cook beef, no matter the cut. Remember – this creamy au just mix is freezer friendly for up to 6 months!
Au Jus Vs Brown Gravy
A traditional simple jus (like beef jus) was made by simply skimming away the fat from the natural meat drippings. They were then cooked with meat stock and water, simmering into a sauce-like consistency.
However, in the United States, Au Jus recipes (referred to as a noun) often contain many more ingredients (like soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, onions, carrots, etc.). These recipes are far more gravy-like and cooked separately from the meat, rather than being naturally created by it. In fact, brown gravy is essentially just a jus thickened with flour or starch (and often contains onion or other veg).
For this recipe, I’m making a classic American-style beef jus – with or without the beef drippings. It’s thickened slightly with flour (yet it’s still thinner than brown gravy). For that reason, you can refer to the recipe in both ways and use it similarly, too, based on how much you thicken it.
Au Jus Ingredients
Au jus ingredients are simple. And once you’ve tried this homemade version, you’ll never want to buy store-bought au jus gravy mix again!
- Beef broth: Use homemade or store-bought beef broth in this recipe for au jus. Liquid broth is best, though gravy granules and water will work in a pinch.
- Butter OR fat drippings: Both options are rich and flavorful but different in flavor, so use whichever you prefer. However, there’s no better way to use the beef drippings after cooking prime rib, roast beef, and pot roasts for the best au jus recipe.
- Red wine: Dry red wine adds a richness that pairs perfectly with beef flavor.
- Flour: I use regular all-purpose flour. A gluten-free AP flour blend should also work.
- Worcestershire sauce: adds umami and depth to the creamy au jus sauce recipe. If you’re gluten-free, double-check the ingredients.
- Salt & Black pepper: Season to taste.
Substitute for Red Wine in Au Jus
If you prefer not to use dry red wine, you can use red wine vinegar as a substitute. For an alcohol-free version, use extra beef broth.
How to Make Au Jus Sauce
Making aus jus is incredibly simple and requires just a few simple steps.
First, melt the butter (or beef drippings) in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
If you cooked your meat in a roasting pan that can be heated over the stovetop, you could prepare this aus jus recipe directly in the pan. If doing so, use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
Then, add the flour, whisking well to ensure there are no lumps.
Add the red wine vinegar, continuing to whisk, for two minutes. During this time, the color will change, and the roux will thicken.
Next, pour in half the beef broth, whisking constantly. Once it’s well incorporated and beginning to thicken, add the remaining broth and the Worcestershire sauce, whisking well.
Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for five minutes. During this time, the beef au jus will thicken further.
Season to taste, then serve and enjoy!
How to Store Homemade Au Jus
Store the au ju sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.
You can reheat it using the microwave or stovetop. You may need an extra splash of water or stock to bring it back to the correct consistency.
Can You Freeze Au Jus
You can freeze the beef sauce in an airtight container, ice cube tray, or Ziplock bag for up to 6 months. However, the flavor is best within 3-4 months.
What to Do with Au Jus
You can enjoy this as a thin au jus or a thicker gravy. Here are a few of my favorite serving recommendations.
To Use as Classic Au Jus Sauce
- As a dip for French dip sandwiches,
- To serve over meat (both beef and chicken),
- Enjoy with noodles.
To Use as Beef Au Jus Gravy (Thicker Sauce)
- Over mashed potato or roasted potatoes,
- With roasted cauliflower and broccoli, and other roasted veggies,
- Over meatballs (and meatloaf),
- Serve as a side for Sunday roast, Thanksgiving, Christmas table,
- Use it in casseroles,
- With pies – including pastry pies, Shepherd’s pie, etc.,
- Add to mayonnaise to make a holiday spread for sandwiches and wraps.
Instead of flour, you can thicken the homemade au jus with starch, like cornstarch. However, in this case, you first need to add all the liquid ingredients to the pan and whisk well. Cook for 10-15 minutes to allow it to reduce and concentrate slightly.
Then, make a slurry of cornstarch and a small amount of liquid. Pour that into the pan and allow it to simmer, stirring often, until thickened.
I recommend starting with one tablespoon of starch (mixed 1:1 with water) and increasing it if needed.
If you want to make a more traditional beef jus, you could omit the thickener. Instead, slowly simmer and reduce the liquid into a slightly thicker sauce consistency. This will concentrate the flavor more, for even more richness.
However, it takes longer to prepare (around 15 minutes of simmering).
For a gluten-free version, use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend or a starch (see the FAQs above) to thicken this easy recipe.
Yes, you could also use the drippings of chicken or turkey to make a rich au jus mix. However, if doing so, I recommend omitting the Worcestershire sauce and using chicken broth and white wine (or white wine vinegar).
More Homemade Sauce Recipes
- Spaghetti sauce
- Quick and No-Fail Hollandaise Sauce
- Garlic Cream Sauce (Garlic Alfredo Sauce)
- Bechamel sauce (white sauce)
- Super creamy vegan mushroom sauce
- Easy Brown Gravy Recipe
If you try this recipe for how to make au jus, I’d love to hear your thoughts and questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
Perfect Au Jus With or Without Drippings
- 2.5 cups beef broth divided
- 1/4 cup butter or beef drippings
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar or dry red wine; use more beef broth for an alcohol-free version.
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour or gluten-free all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- salt to taste
- pepper to taste
This will yield about 2.25 cups Au Jus.
- Melt the butter (or beef drippings) in a saucepan over medium-high heat.If you used a roasting pan to cook your meat that can be heated over the stovetop, you could prepare this au jus recipe directly in the pan and save on washing up. If doing so, use a wooden spoon to scrape up all the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Add the flour, whisking well to ensure there are no lumps.
- Add the red wine vinegar/red wine, continuing to whisk, for two minutes. During this time, the color will change, and the roux will thicken.
- Pour in half the beef broth, whisking constantly. Once it's well incorporated and beginning to thicken, add the remaining broth and the Worcestershire sauce, whisking well.
- Bring the mixture to a boil and cook for five minutes. During this time, the beef au jus will thicken further.
- Season to taste, then serve and enjoy!
- Storing: Store the sauce in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days.Reheating: You can reheat it using the microwave or stovetop. You may need an extra splash of water or stock to bring it back to the correct consistency.Freeze: You can freeze it in an airtight container, ice cube tray, or Ziplock bag for up to 6 months. However, the flavor is best within 3-4 months.
- Whisk constantly: When dealing with a flour roux, the key to avoiding lumpy sauce is to whisk constantly once the flour is added.
- If your beef drippings are very fatty: You can pour them into a glass and scoop out some of the fat from the top.
- Adjust the consistency: Add more flour if you prefer a thicker sauce. However, if you add it directly to the pan, it will become lumpy. So, incorporate it with a small amount of liquid to form a paste first. Then mix that into the au jus. For a thinner beef au jus, reduce the flour quantity.
- Onion: Sauté sliced onions in the pan with melted butter. Use a bit of onion powder in a pinch.
- Soy sauce: You can use this in place of salt for more depth and umami. Use reduced-sodium soy sauce if preferred OR coconut aminos/tamari if gluten-free. Marmite would also work.
- Garlic: Adjust the amount to taste.
- Mustard: I recommend using Dijon mustard, though regular yellow mustard will work in a pinch to add depth.
- Fresh Herbs (or dried): i.e., thyme, rosemary, sage, etc., could add more layers of flavor to the beef au jus recipe.