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.

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Champagne Mushroom Sauce Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 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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Links:

Peach Gnocchi with Champagne Sauce - from 101 Cookbooks
Scallops with Lychees and Champagne - from Kitchen Fiddler

14 Comments

  1. Three-Cookies

    Sounds delicious, and great recipe. I presume certain kinds of beers can be used as well.

    No idea. But beer has a bitterness about it that might mess with the flavor. You might try something mild, like Bud or some other Pilsner. ~Hank

  2. Andrea

    I can’t use alcohol in cooking at all, so I really appreciate it when you all suggest alternatives (or at least let me know when the alcohol is integral to the flavor of the dish and can’t be substituted/omitted, because that’s useful as well as I teach myself how to cook). Thanks!

  3. Amanda Donovan

    can i do this without the flour to make it GF? i assume it will just be thinner? that way i can drink it faster.

    No, you cannot skip the flour. That said, you could try a gluten-free flour — maybe rice or chickpea — and see what happens. I’ve not tried that, but I am betting it would work. ~Hank

  4. Meagan

    This looks amazing. We do not drink, but maybe I could make the sauce some other way…

    I’ve never tried this, but I bet you could substitute sparkling apple cider, like Martinelli’s, and it might work. ~Hank

  5. Alana

    I hardly ever have leftover champagne,but if I did,how old does the champagne have to be?maybe about 2wks?

    The Champagne does not have to be old, actually. You could use it right out of the bottle fresh. ~Hank

  6. Tina

    This looks like a reason to go out and buy a bottle of champagne! However, I hate the idea of wasting the shallots and mushrooms…I wonder how they’d be if you gave them a quick whirl in the food processor and spread them on sliced baguette?
    I see a trip to the wine shop coming up today!

  7. Heather

    Do you have to strain the mixture? We love mushrooms so I’d like to keep them in the gravy to eat.

    They are dried, so even reconstituted the mushrooms will be very chewy. If you want, chop them small before putting in the stock and then puree the sauce in a blender before serving. ~Hank

  8. srs1972

    Hank- I served this last night with bacon-wrapped quail and cabbage sauteed with butter and caraway seeds. The tanginess of the sauce was the perfect complement! I truly enjoy your posts and your blog. Would love to see any ideas you might have for quail, venison back strap, and elk chops. My freezer runneth over! Thanks again :)

  9. Melissa

    Can you freeze the sauce?

    Maybe. It might mess with the emulsion of the sauce with the butter, though. It should keep in the fridge for nearly a week, though. ~Hank

  10. Sally Cameron

    Hank, I had another thought for you. A good Champagne replacement is ginger ale. I’ve used it may times in recipes with no-alcohol requirements. Try it and let me know. There are also may sparkling beverage options these days.

  11. Emma

    My household is definitely NOT the kind to have ‘leftover’ champagne (I’d kill for that kinda restraint!), but for some reason this Christmas I ended up being given half a dozen bottles from various lovely people, so I think I’ll crack one open and try this with it. Such a lovely idea, thanks!

  12. Ashley

    So my boyfriend and I are making an anniversary dinner together on Tuesday and I want to make this sauce because my mouth is watering just reading this. The only meat that I eat is seafood but want to do a non-halibut option. I am thinking of serving this sauce over salmon and whole wheat pasta, but am wondering if you think this would be a good flavor combo. I am also thinking scallops as a backup.. I really appreciate your advice. Thanks!

    My first inclination is scallops, but thinking about it, this might do well with a big king salmon steak. And salmon + whole wheat pasta = perfect combination; I do that a lot. ~Hank

  13. Kat

    Would this work with fresh mushrooms in place of the dried?

    Yes. ~Hank

  14. Rogue

    Having read all of these comments, my questions have been answered. That being said. I love German food; and one of my favorites is Jager Schnitzel, with spatzle. Using fresh mushrooms, and leaving them in the finished sauce, as others have suggested; this sauce looks like a great way to take the dish over the top, and to an elegance never thought of before. I can’t wait to try this one out!

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