Saturday, July 30, 2005

Recipe: Sauce Duxelles

It has been said that one of the great triumphs of French cuisine is the sauces. There is a huge variety of sauces to accompany just about any dish. The problem with authentic French sauces, though, is that they are not exactly the easiest things to make. Not only do they require lots of wine and stock, occasionally they need rather specialised ingredients like truffles, port and milk. Okay, so milk isn't specialised, but who has so much milk to spare!

Anyway, I decided to try a different sauce for the Roast Rack of Lamb; instead of a red wine sauce, I'd try a Sauce Duxelles, or mushroom sauce. Once again, it's Julia to the rescue.


1 cup finely miced fresh mushrooms
2 Tb shallots or green onions
1 Tb butter
1/2 Tb oil
1/2 cup dry white wine or 1/3 cup dry white vermouth
1½ brown sauce (or brown stock)
1½ tomato paste
1 to 3 Tb softened butter


Instead of white wine, I decided to use Verjuice, this rather strange non-alcoholic white wine. I mean, isn't that grape juice? Anyway, I was intrigued by EatzyBitzy's use of it, so I thought I'd give it a try.


Saute the mushrooms with the shallots or onions in the hot butter and oil for 4 to 5 minutes. The mushrooms should produce copious amounts of fluids.

House Pour

Add the wine, or verjuice, as the case may be.

Bubble bubble

Boil down rapidly until the wine has almost reduced completely. I believe the idea of this is to boil off the alcohol, leaving the residual taste of the wine, but with verjuice, what are you boiling off?

Brown sauce

Stir in the brown sauce and tomato paste and simmer for 5 minutes. Correct seasoning. The sauce is likely to be rather salty, so you'll need to be liberal with the sugar. If you're using stock rather than sauce, you'll need to simmer it for much longer than 5 minutes, but the downside is that then it really gets salty.

Sauce Duxelles

This is what I landed up with eventually. A good sauce, but I'm not sure if using Verjuice made any difference.

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