What You Should Do With The Browned Bits From Searing Meat

In today's world of rising food prices, it's not hard to see why people want to get the most out of the food they already have. People are even saving bacon grease in mason jars. In fact, The Pioneer Woman has a multitude of things one can do using leftover bacon grease ranging from using it to roast vegetables, pop popcorn, and preparing a mayonnaise-like spread. 

You can also reuse a wider variety of foods that you may not have even known you could reuse, such as pancakes, hard-boiled eggs, and whipped cream. Food52 also has a staggering list of 152 recipes built around reducing food waste to make delicious meals.

If you've been searing steaks during BBQ season, you've probably noticed that your pan is filled with little crispy-looking brown bits floating around under pools of congealed grease and fat. Your first thought may be to dump the greasy mixture out. But, if you save those tiny brown bits, you can actually make something delicious to serve alongside your meat.

You can make a pan sauce to serve with your meat

If you find yourself with a pan of browned bits of meat fat, you shouldn't just toss it. Instead, according to EatingWell, these brown bits and pools of fat are the base for a delicious and rich pan sauce. 

As EatingWell explains, those pools of brown caramelized bits sticking to the bottom of the pan are what is known as "fond." When combined with broth or wine, you create a pan sauce that gathers up these normally wasted pockets of flavor that you can serve alongside the meat of your choice. But how exactly does fond form, and what is the best sort of meat to get it from?

According to Food Network, fond is formed thanks to the Maillard reaction, a process of breaking down proteins that occurs when you sear meat. The proteins and juices in the meat "break apart" due to the heat of the pan and begin to form a crust on the exterior of the meat. The fond forms from these leftover juices and proteins clumping together, making those brown pools at the bottom of the pan. Food52 reports that roast chickens and steaks are prime options for getting as much fond as possible, but other meats such as pork chops can be used just as well. 

if you want to learn more about pan sauces, you can read about what deglazing is and how it can be used in the kitchen.