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Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

This recipe from Bon Appetit is a perfect dinner party dish. It goes really well with a beef roast or steak taking a simple dinner to something just a little more special. I usually serve it with a beef tenderloin, a Layered Potato Gratin (recipe coming soon!) and simply steamed harricot vert or green beans. Those of you who’ve been to dinner at our place more than once will definitely have had this, it’s one of my favorites as it’s easy, wonderfully rich in flavor and can be made well in advance. When we invite friends over one of the first things I ask Jon is if we’ve served them this yet and if he’s pretty sure we haven’t then onto the menu it goes.

Red Wine Mushroom Sauce
Makes 10 servings

2 x 750ml bottles of dry red wine
1 x 750ml bottle Tawny Port
4 cups of beef broth
6 tablespoons of butter
1.5 lbs onions, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 lbs assorted mushrooms (shiitake, crimini, button) sliced thickly
2 tablespoons all purpose (plain) flour

Boil the wine, port and broth in a heavy pan until reduced to 6 cups, my tip would be to fill your pan first with 6 cups of water and then use a wooden skewer to mark the depth by partially scoring with a knife, this way  you don’t have to guess at when the reduction reaches 6 cups. Meanwhile melt 4 tablespoons of the butter (reserving 2 for later) in a large skillet over a medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until tender (15 mins). Mix in the thyme and keep cooking until the onions are deep brown. Transfer the onions to a plate or bowl. Melt the remaining butter in the same pan and cook the mushrooms for about 15 minutes before returning the onions back into the pan, add the flour and stir for about 3 minutes, stir all of the mushrooms and onions into the reduced wine, port, broth mix and simmer over a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced back down to 6 cups again (using your pre-marked skewer), this should take about an hour. Season to taste with salt and pepper. This sauce can be made up to two days ahead. – Melani

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