This is a rich and earthy sauce with amazing flavor, perfect to toss with pasta along with some fresh grated Parmesan cheese, or use it as a sauce for chicken, pork, or steak. I served the sauce with simple sauteed boneless chicken breasts, and the flavor was fabulous. With broccoli and rice, it was an excellent meal.
The dried mixed wild mushrooms add the fabulous flavor while the cream makes the sauce rich and thick. I included a variation for a lighter sauce made with flour or cornstarch as a thickener and milk or part milk and part broth or stock.
Mushroom Madeira Sauce
- 1/3 cup mixed dried wild mushrooms
- 2/3 cup hot water
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oi
- 2 teaspoons butter
- 3 to 4 tablespoons finely chopped shallots
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
- dash ground thyme
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
- Put the mushrooms in a bowl or large glass measuring cup with the hot water. Let them soak for about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat the butter and olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the finely chopped shallots and cook, stirring, until the shallots are tender. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
- Strain the mushrooms over a bowl or cup through a fine mesh sieve, reserving the liquids. Chop the soaked mushrooms finely.
- Add the mushrooms and the mushroom liquid to the saute pan and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquids have almost all evaporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add the cream and a dash of ground thyme to the pan and continue simmering for about 4 to 5 minutes, or until the cream is reduced and thickened.
- Taste and add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- Stir in parsley and serve with pasta or as a sauce for chicken, steaks, or pork.
- If you want to thicken the sauce more, stir in about 2 to 3 teaspoons of instant flour (Wondra), or in a small bowl mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with an equal amount of cold water. Stir into the sauce and cook until thickened.
- For a lighter sauce, make a roux in a separate saucepan with 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of flour. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Add the roux to the saute pan when the mushroom liquid has nearly evaporated and stir to blend. Add 1 1/2 cups of milk (or light cream) or half milk and half stock (no- or low-sodium).
- Creamy Porcini Mushroom Sauce: Use dried porcini mushrooms in place of the dried mixed wild mushrooms.
- For a heartier mushroom sauce, saute 4 to 6 ounces of sliced fresh button or baby portabella mushrooms with the shallots, and continue with the sauce as directed.
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