Champagne Mushroom Sauce

Watch out, Hank is getting all fancy on us with the sauce. But my oh my this one is good, and a great use of leftover champagne. ~Elise

If you’ve ever had leftover Champagne (yes, some people do!) it seems a crime to pour it down the sink once it has gone flat. What to do? Make this luxurious sauce. It’s a riff off a classic French Champagne sauce, enriched with dried porcini mushrooms, butter and stock.

Making the sauce is not terribly difficult, but you do need three pans to do it right: one for some stock and the mushrooms, one for the Champagne and one to make a roux, which is a combination of butter and flour.

Once made, this sauce will hold on low heat for a couple hours, although you cannot let it boil or it may separate. If you have leftovers, reheat the sauce very gently in a small pot. Again, don’t let it boil.

Serve this sauce with meat or a dense fish. Chicken is ideal, but so is turkey, steak, pork tenderloin, pork chops, or halibut. Experiment, and let us know which combination you like best.

  • Prep: 5 minutes
  • Cook: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups.

Even though this recipe is called "Champagne" sauce, you can use any dry sparkling wine. If using alcohol is not an option, you can try using sparkling cider, just remember the sauce will taste sweeter then.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms (other dried mushrooms will work if dried porcini are not available)
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2 cups Champagne or other sparkling wine
  • 1/3 cup shallots, minced
  • Unsalted butter, 1/4 cup to add to the sparkling wine, 3 Tbsp for the roux
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Salt

Method

1 Add the stock and dried mushrooms into a medium sized pot. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to its lowest setting.

2 In separate medium sized pot, add the sparkling wine and shallots. Bring to a rolling boil, and boil until the wine has reduced to 3/4 of a cup. Turn off the heat and wait until the wine stops simmering, then whisk in 1/4 cup of butter, a little at a time.

3 Heat 3 Tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the flour and stir well to combine. Stirring often, cook this roux for 5 minutes, or until it turns the color of coffee-with-cream.

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4 Working with two hands, slowly add the hot stock (along with the mushrooms) to the roux. It will sputter and spit at first, but keep pouring in the stock and stirring. It will turn into a silky sauce.

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5 To finish, turn the heat off and whisk in the butter-shallot-sparkling wine mixture. Pour the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into a bowl, to strain out the mushroom and shallots. Add salt to taste and keep warm until you need it. Do not let it boil or the sauce may separate.

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