Here’s an easy plan for date night that gives you a great excuse to open a bottle of wine while you show off your grilling skills.

This recipe for strip steaks with red wine sauce is all about layering flavors. You’ll notice a bunch of ingredients get repeated throughout — and that is definitely intentional. Onions and wine develop different flavors during various stages of cooking, and this simple trick will make you appear like a chef with years of experience working the line at a busy steakhouse. And be sure to use lots of pepper while cooking: pepper and steak love each other.

For the wine, go cheap. It’s a good idea to buy a bottle of wine that you are going to enjoy drinking, but there’s no point in wasting a really nice bottle on this recipe since the wine will get cooked with so much butter, onion, and other flavors. Of course, you won’t be using the entire bottle for the recipe, so if you have a favorite $10-$12 bottle of grocery store wine, that’s perfect!


For the steaks:
2 strip steaks
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and lots of freshly-cracked black pepper

For the sauce:
4 tablespoons of butter, divided in half
2 cloves garlic minced
1 red onion, halved and sliced
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 cup red wine
Salt and lots of freshly-cracked black pepper

Combine the steak with the remaining marinade ingredients in a freezer bag. Allow the steaks to marinate for at least 2 hours in the fridge, but preferably overnight.

Set up your grill for direct grilling. Grill the steaks directly over the fire for 8 minutes total, four minutes per side. Remove the steaks to a plate and tent them with aluminum foil. Allow them to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


To make the sauce, warm a saute pan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of butter and allow it to melt. Add the garlic and let it become aromatic, about 30 seconds. Add the onions and a generous amount of salt and pepper and cook down for about 10 minutes, until the onions become almost transparent. Add the balsamic vinegar and let it reduce to a syrup-like texture, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and bring the entire thing to a simmer (you’re looking for small bubbles) and then lower the heat and let the sauce reduce by about half, about 10 more minutes. Add the remaining two tablespoons butter and whisk to incorporate.


Add the onions on top of the steak and spoon some of the sauce over the steak. Serve with roasted veggies and whatever wine you used in the sauce.