1 ½ pounds shallots
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 ½ cup chicken broth
1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Cut the shallots in half lengthwise, cut off the stem ends, peel, and slice thin.
2. Heat the butter until sizzling in a 12” skillet over high flame. Add the shallots and cook, tossing with a spoon, until they wilt and separate into rings, about 3 minutes.
3. Turn the heat down to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shallots are nicely browned, about 20-30 minutes. Sprinkle on the sugar, raise the heat to high, and stirring, cook until the bottom of the pan is mahogany brown.
4. Add the wine, scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to deglaze, and the wine boil off.
5. Add the chicken broth, ½ cup at a time, letting each addition boil off almost completely before add the next. When you are through adding the broth, the mixture should look like soft, runny jam – not soupy. Season with balsamic vinegar, salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Ahead of time – The shallot compote can be made a week ahead. Cover and refrigerate.
To accompany steaks – Remove steaks from the pan they have been browned in, and pour off excess fat. Heat the shallot compote in the pan, stirring, until the skillet is deglazed and the compote heated through. Serve along the sliced steak.
adapted from Stephen Schmidt