Champagne Mushroom Sauce

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Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Champagne Mushroom Sauce Recipe

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  • 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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Hank Shaw

A former restaurant cook and journalist, Hank Shaw is the author of three wild game cookbooks as well as the James Beard Award-winning wild foods website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. His latest cookbook is Buck, Buck, Moose, a guide to working with venison. He hunts, fishes, forages and cooks near Sacramento, CA.

More from Hank

Links:

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

Showing 4 of 13 Comments

  • Kimberley Quinn

    Trying this tonight for a friend and I to have with a gift of grass fed tenderloin steaks. Filet’s right? Totally new to such a high end meat and want to do it proud. Each steak looks like it could be cut in to 2 filets. Any suggestions as go simplest methods? Do have recently opened champagne! Yay! Life is good. Thank you for any help.

  • 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!

  • Kat

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

    Yes. ~Hank

  • 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

  • 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.

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