This has been an interesting year of "firsts" for me.  Most of which I am happy to report have been quite good.  Although, ahem, we did have the Roasted Chestnuts experience...but that is another story.  March 2010, I learned how to use a computer, email, and blog.  That has been a wonderful experience, sharing recipes with everyone, feeling encouraged by all of the kind words people have left in the comments, and feeling supported for this blog.  Then there is my ongoing learning of how to use a camera....still in process, but nevertheless fun.  We also had our very first trip to Hawaii, in January of 2010, before I had a blog.  Hoping to one day go back...we were in love with Hawaii.
Then, there is my first experience of ever tasting Whiskey.  Yes, at this age...not gonna say...but suffice it to say, I am sure most people my age have already tasted Whiskey.  I recently had a discussion with DH about Whiskey.  He has a couple of friends who are Whiskey Aficionados, although, DH who is not a Whiskey drinker, only has the occasional glass of red wine.  It got me thinking about Whiskey sauces.  I have always heard about Whiskey sauces.  I always wondered what they tasted like?
Well, I decided when I went to buy wine for Christmas, I would buy a small bottle of Whiskey, Whiskey to make Whiskey sauce with braised Steak.  Plus I wanted to taste it.  As I placed the bottle of Whiskey on the counter, DH, exclaimed, rather dramatically, what the "H..." is that???  I said it is Whiskey.  I would like to try Whiskey, and make a Whiskey sauce.  He looked at me rather stunned.  He said "that is gut rot, porch climbing  hooch"!  Oh dear.
Well, I decided I would first try a taste, and then go from there.  Once I had recovered, from the coughing and sputtering, then the slow burn....a taste somewhat  like the smell of ... Coconut Sun Tan Lotion came upon me.  Oh dear. Note to self: never, ever again buy cheap porch climbing Whiskey Hooch!
I thought, to heck with it, I am still going to make a Whiskey Sauce.  And you know what? It was dang fine!  Dang Delicious in fact.  There was no longer any Coconut Sun Tan Lotion flavor, but a smooth, sweet, savory deliciousness!
In the future, if I ever buy Whiskey again, I will do some research, and make sure I buy a more premium brand....but for now, this was most delicious.  On another note, if you do not have SCD Whip cream, Greek Yogurt is a wonderful replacement.
2 simmering steaks (we used Cross Rib)
butter and olive oil
1 onion sliced
4 minced garlic cloves
a splash of Balsamic Vinegar
12 crimini mushrooms sliced
1-2 Tblsp. fresh minced Flat Leaf Italian Parsley
2 sprigs of Thyme
1 Bay Leaf
Salt and Pepper
1 1/2 oz. good Whiskey (not the cheap, porch climber stuff)
3 Tblsp. Organic Plain Greek Yogurt
Beef stock - enough to just about cover the steaks
Heat up a pan on medium high heat with a drizzle of olive oil and a good knob of butter.  Season the steaks with salt and pepper, then brown each side - about 3 minutes per side.  Remove to a platter and set aside.
Reduce the heat to medium and with another drizzle of olive oil, add in the mushrooms, sauteing until golden.  Then add in the sliced onions, sauteing about 4 minutes.  Then add the minced garlic, Thyme and Bay leaves, cover with a lid, stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes.  Carefully pour in the Whiskey, and simmer a minute or two.  Then pour in the beef stock, a splash of Balsamic Vinegar, stirring and scraping up any brown bits.  Bring to a simmer, return the steaks to the pan, and if necessary, add in more beef stock - enough to almost cover the steaks.  Cover with a lid, turn down to a low simmer and cook for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When the meat is tender, remove from the sauce, onto a platter, cover with tin foil to keep warm.
Simmer the sauce to reduce half way.
Once reduced, remove from the heat, adjust for seasonings, and add in the Greek Yogurt and fresh parsley, stirring to combine.  Serve over mashed potatoes, and preferably, with a nice glass of red.

Ina Gawne


  1. I love your comment on the cheap whiskey hooch! I'm a bourbon gal myself. I use it occasionally in desserts and once a year enjoy some with coke (but healthwise need to stick to the SCD most of the time and can only have coffee or alcohol once every few months or my system gets irritated). We keep a good bottle of Knob Creek bourbon in the cupboard for when we need it. That's the thing about spending money on a good bottle, it keeps forever and it won't go bad. You can also make vanilla extract with boubon and vanilla beans.
    Have a great holiday. I really enjoy your blog. It's hard to believe you're new to the computer, you are a quick learner!

    1. Thanks Tracee! It was a lesson learned, let me tell you! I would be really interested in any desserts made with Whiskey, if you have any you would like to share? Merry Christmas to you and yours, Ina 🙂

    1. Thanks Erin! That sounds delicious! Would it work using butter instead of palm shortening? Can't find palm shortening where I live. Thanks for sharing your recipe, Merry Christmas to you and yours 🙂

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December 21, 2010