Red wine and porcini mushroom sauce | Something New For Dinner
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Red wine and porcini mushroom sauce

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Easy but takes some time

The next best thing to do with a bottle of wine

No kidding, a whole bottle of red wine goes into this sauce. Between the red wine, the slow cooked vegetables, the porcini mushrooms, and a little bit of demi-glace, something magic happens.

Prime rib or a pan-grilled steak, it is all good

I usually make this sauce to go with prime rib for a special holiday meal. It works with any good beef steak.

Onion skins add flavor, color and good health

It may seem a little weird to keep the onion skins on when cooking down the vegetables for this sauce, but there are three good reasons to leave the onion skins on. First, the skins add flavor depth. Second, the skins are a natural dye and they deepen the color of your sauce. And third, onion skins are an excellent source of quercetin, an antioxident and  anti-inflammatory compound.

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What is demi-glace?

This recipe, like many great sauces, calls for demi-glace, an old-school foundation of French cooking that involves reducing brown stock and sauce Espagnole. It is a laborious reduction process, that few home cooks will undertake. But the concentrated flavors of demi-glace can really make a sauce. There are various commercial options, including a demi-glace made by More Than Gourmet.

Make ahead

The beauty of this sauce is you can make it a day or two ahead of your meal.


Red wine and porcini mushroom sauce

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The next best thing to do with a bottle of red wine. No kidding, a whole bottle of wine goes into this magical sauce. Serve with prime rib or any good steak.


  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 2 small onions
  • 6 T butter, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cup shallots
  • 1 carrot, peeled
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 2 sprigs parsley
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 bottle of dry red wine
  • 2/3 cup veal or beef demi-glace
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Put dried porcini mushrooms in a bowl and cover with hot water. Let sit 30 to 40 minutes while you prepare the vegetables. Line a mesh strainer with a couple layers of paper towels and drain the mushrooms through the strainer and into a bowl, retaining the liquid for the sauce. Set the liquid aside. Rinse the mushrooms and pat them dry. Chop very finely and set aside.
  2. Leaving the peel on, slice one onion in half from stem to stern. Set aside. In a food processor, finely mince the garlic. Peel the remaining onion, shallots and the carrot. Chop the onion, carrot and celery into a few large pieces and add them to the food processor. Pulse until all are finely chopped. Set aside.
  3. Heat 2 T of butter in a 2-quart sauce pan. Put onion halves cut-side down in the butter and cook over moderate heat until well-browned, about 4-5 minutes. Melt in another 2 T of butter and add chopped vegetables to the onion halves. Cook covered over medium-low for about 10 minutes until vegetables are soft. Add tomato paste, herbs and 2 cups of wine and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and continue to boil until it looks like there is only about 1/2 cup of liquid left in the vegetables. The vegetables will look almost, but not quite dry. This will take about 30 minutes.
  4. Set a fine mesh sieve inside a larger bowl. Press the vegetables and liquid through the sieve using the back of a wooden spoon. Discard the solids and reserve the liquid. After you press down on the veggies you will get a cup or more of liquid.
  5. Wipe the saucepan clean to remove any remaining vegetable pieces. Put reserved mushroom liquid, remaining 1 3/4 cups of wine, liquid from the pressed vegetables and demi-glace back in the pan and heat to a boil. Continue boiling over moderately high heat until liquid is reduced to 2 cups, about 30 minutes. Stir in the minced porcini mushrooms and reduce to low heat. Whisk in remaining 3 T butter. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  6. If serving prime rib or steak allow the meat to rest on a platter. Add any meat juices collect on the platter to the sauce and whisk in.


This recipe was updated on 11/26/14.





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