Easy Au Jus Recipe When You Have No Pan Drippings

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Easy Au Jus Recipe

We all agree that the best au jus is made from pan drippings. But this easy au jus recipe is a great substitute when you have no drippings.

Classic Au Jus \ pronounced ō-ˈzhü(s) \ is a French word that simply means “with juice.” It is a must for a French Dip or dipping a piece of that perfectly done Prime Rib in. It also amps up the flavor when added to other recipes for roast beef, brisket, lamb, or even chicken.

No Pan Drippings for Au Jus

I had gotten myself into a pinch. I had some friends over and was making a herb-crusted standing rib roast in my new smoker. The roast turned out great! However, when you smoke a prime rib this way, there are no drippings for making Au Jus.

Sauce From a Packet

I didn’t have an existing au jus recipe, so what could I make the Au Jus out of? There was a packet of Au Jus seasoning in the pantry so I mixed it up. While it wasn’t bad, it was certainly missing something. It was a little salty and didn’t have that same punch as when you use drippings. Luckily I had horseradish sauce that also pairs very well with Prime Rib so it wasn’t a total loss.

Creating An Easy Au Jus Recipe

After dinner, I got to thinking: there should be a way to get the same great taste you get from using pan drippings. And I didn’t want it to be complicated. It took a little trial and error but the result is this exceptional au jus recipe that really stands out.

I was able to control the ingredients (no MSG) and to give the sauce my own spin. (The secret to my success is deglazing with the dry vermouth (Martini & Rossi). You can use cooking wine if you don’t want to use the Vermouth, but either way, don’t leave it out.

With little effort, this easy Au Jus recipe is a great replacement when you can’t make it from pan drippings!

Tip: try our homemade Worcestershire sauce recipe instead of buying it.

Easy Au Jus Recipe

Au Jus Recipe

We all agree that the best au jus is made from pan drippings. But this easy au jus recipe is a great substitute when you have no drippings.

Prep Time
10 minutes
Active Time
20 minutes
Total Time
30 minutes
3 cups
Lunch or Dinner
Estimated Cost



  1. Add the oil to a saucepan, and onions, and cook to caramelize (about 5 -10 minutes).

  2. Add garlic and cook for an additional minute.

  3. Deglaze the pan with Vermouth.

  4. Add Worcestershire sauce and cook for another minute, stirring so it doesn't stick.

  5. Add the beef broth and bring to a light boil, reduce heat, and simmer about 3 minutes.

  6. Create a slurry by mixing the flour and water in a small bowl until smooth. Whisk into the pan and simmer for a few minutes.


I leave mine chunky, but if you prefer a smooth au jus, strain the broth and return it to the pan prior to adding the slurry.

Make ahead of time and refrigerate up to a week.

Freeze it and it will last for six or more months. Keep in mind that while it will keep even longer, the flavor will fade over time.


Serving: 2Tbsp | Calories: 92kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 453mg | Potassium: 435mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
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About Frederick Schramm

Fred was born someplace, a while back. During his childhood, Fred enjoyed spending his time doing stuff. During high school, he developed a passion for this one thing and continues to pursue it to this day. Upon graduation, Fred matriculated at some illustrious University where he majored in a subject. When not at work, Fred spends time with others engaged in activities. Oh, and he's a joker!

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  1. Shelley S says

    This sounds good and is very similar to the au jus or gravy base I make. I do however have a secret ingredient which I pried out of a server at a local restaurant which serves awesome steak you cook to your preference on a hot stone at your table.

    The sevret is to make your aujus, but when finished, while blending with an emersion blender, add just a few DROPS of toasted seseme oil. Just drops! you will uin your au jus with too much, but with just a hint it’s astounding the umami flavor.