Maybe you are familiar with the Internet expression exclaiming sauce to be awesome, lame, and the like. Well, just in case, here are some prime examples:
“My friend just had the brakes on her car replaced a month ago, but a part has to be replaced again!” “Wow, lame sauce.” “Tell me about it.”
“Guess what? I was hired by Pixar to contribute to their productions!”
“Awesome sauce!” [could also be phrased as “That is a plate/bowl/can of awesome sauce!” ]
To round it off, one of Urban Dictionary’s definitions of ‘Awesomesauce’ is as follows: “Awesomesauce, on the other hand, is prepared by mixing equal parts of awesome, amazing and breathtaking. The awesomeness is slowly cooked and small parts of uncanny, extraordinary and magnificent are added.”
Well I’m here to bring you more than an expression today. The next portion of the British meal we made was a delicious port wine reduction sauce. This earthy sauce does take time, but is perfect to make your meal a little bit special and interesting, adding a touch of mellow sweetness.
The idea for this particular, awesome sauce came from the same recipe for swede (see previous post) in Britain’s Best Dish. However, the recipe came from Big Oven’s port wine reduction recipe.
In the cookbook this sauce is paired with lamb, but we decided that we would try it out with Filet Mignon as the website has it with. You can make it earlier in the day, as we did, and simply reheat it in the saucepan when you’re ready to serve dinner. So if you’re doing steak for dinner but you’re tired of the regular seasoning, or if you are making it a meal for company, definitely give this sauce a try!
Listed below is the amount for the full recipe. We halved it and it made enough sauce for about 6-7 servings (with Filet Mignon).
Let’s get started then, shall we? You’re going to start by making the reduction of the port wine.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the diced shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Then add all of the port (yes, a whole bottle!) and the thyme. Bring to a boil over high heat. Watch for the boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook until the port has reduced to the consistency of corn syrup, about 30 minutes. There will be about 1/2 – a full cup, including the shallots.
Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer in a small saucepan. Once simmering, turn off the heat and add the package of porcini mushrooms.
This is creating a mushroom-enriched stock that will add a nice earthy base to the sauce. Let the mushrooms soak for 15-20 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the porcini, rinse and dice. Set aside.
Strain the vegetable broth through a coffee filter, paper towel or cheese cloth to remove any dirt sediment that came from the porcini mushrooms.
Add the enriched stock and the diced mushrooms to the port reduction. Bring the sauce to a boil over high heat, then reduce to maintain a brisk simmer. Cook until it is reduced to about 1 1/3 cups – about 15 minutes. Add pepper to taste. (You can strain and remove the shallots and mushrooms if you like – we chose to leave them in.) This makes a little more than 1 cup of sauce (we had that amount when we halved the recipe.)
The sauce can be refrigerated at this point and is good for up to 2 days. Seal carefully with plastic wrap.
Twenty minutes before plating your dinner, bring the sauce back to a low simmer, stir. In a small bowl, melt the remaining butter and whisk in the flour, making a paste. Add some of the port sauce into the mixture and then in turn, add the mixture into the saucepan with the reduction sauce. This will thicken the sauce. Add a teaspoon or so of a fine balsamic vinegar to taste.
You can plate the sauce first and add the meat medallions on top, or pour the sauce on top of the steak – either way is perfectly fine. The final step? Enjoy your home made port wine reduction sauce! (And receive proclamations of its awesome qualities from around the table)
The whole recipe will serve at least 8 people, probably more.
Port Wine Reduction Sauce
– 2 1/2 tbsp butter, divided use
– Half a shallot, finely chopped
– 1 bottle tawny port (750 ml or 3 1/4 cups)
– 3 sprigs fresh thyme (used 1/2 teaspoon bottled)
– 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth (called for chicken)
– 1 oz dried porcini mushrooms
– 2 tbsp all purpose flour
– 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
– freshly ground pepper
1. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the diced shallot and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
2. Add port and thyme, and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and let port reduce for about 30 minutes.
3. Bring vegetable broth to a boil in a separate sauce pan. Add porcini mushrooms and let soak for 15-20 minutes. Remove mushrooms with slotted spoon. Rinse and dice.
4. Strain vegetable broth through filter or paper towel and add to port sauce. Add diced mushrooms. Bring to a boil and then simmer and let reduce for another 15 minutes. Add pepper to taste
5. In a small bowl, melt the remaining butter and whisk in flour. Add a portion of the port sauce into the paste mixture before adding the paste mixture to saucepan with remaining reduction sauce. Add balsamic vinegar to taste.
So that’s it for today, readers. An Internet grammar lesson and a great recipe which I hope you’ll give a try! It’s taken another turn for the cold here, so if you are experiencing the same winter weather, I hope you’re staying warm! Next time around will bring the final recipe from this experimental meal, and I saved the best for last. (Dessert, of course!) Stay tuned and thanks for reading, cheers! Until then…