Peter Luger’s Steak Sauce

This is my go-to sauce, and hopefully it will become yours as well

By Jonathon Hartig

A great steak sauce can add that final element to a beautiful plate of food. The recipe here – adapted from the famous Peter Luger Steak House in Brooklyn, NY – is one that you will make over and over again. It works just as well with chicken or pork as it does with beef. This sauce, brushed or poured on a slow cooked brisket, will make the dish completely melt in your mouth.

I was lucky enough to learn this recipe while preparing nearly 500 pounds of wagyu brisket this past summer, and I have now stopped looking for a better steak sauce. It is my go-to sauce, and hopefully it will become yours as well.

I do suggest you make this sauce a few days ahead of your affair allowing all the flavors “marry” together in the refrigerator. This will create a deeper, more complex finishing sauce. I also caution you when introducing a hot sauce into a blender. Be sure to vent the blender lid appropriately as any steam may force the lid right off – giving you quite a mess on your ceiling to clean. And, that is no fun … trust me.


1 Tbsp. olive oil

1/4 cup onion, minced

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. pepper

1 cup tomato sauce

2 Tbsp. horseradish

1/2 chipotle pepper (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small saucepan or sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and translucent – about 15 minutes. Be careful not to brown the onion.
  2. Stir in the brown sugar, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and add the tomato sauce. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add the horseradish and chipotle. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Pour into a blender or food processor and process until fairly smooth. Serve and enjoy!

Jonathon Hartig is the Executive Sous Chef/Instructional Assistant at The Culinary Institute of Montana at Flathead Valley Community College. For more information about the program, visit

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