the magic of mushrooms: mushroom and sherry sauce

mushroom and sherry sauce
As every woman should have a little black dress, then every cook should have one good sauce in their repertoire. So here is mine.

This sauce is the foundation or building block of a good meal. You can dress it up with extra mushrooms and you can accessorise it with a good steak or vegetables; Blend it up with a handful of walnuts and fresh herbs and it is perfect with pasta; Add the juices from a roast chicken and it becomes a rather good gravy.

There is nothing like having a malleable sauce in your stockpile of recipes, and like a little black dress, it will never go out of fashion!

Skill level: Easy

1 tbsp olive oil
a knob of butter
1 x small onion, finely chopped
1 x garlic clove, finely chopped
225g chestnut (brown) mushrooms, quartered
500ml vegetable stock (I used a good quality bouillon such as Marigold)
1 x bay leaf
a sprig of fresh thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp sherry
salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a saucepan. Add the onion a sprinkle of salt. Stir until well coated with the oil and butter. Cover and cook over a low to medium heat until softened but not coloured. This may take about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally to make sure that the onions don't brown.
  2. Add the garlic and mushrooms and stir again. Recover and cook for 5 minutes. The mushrooms should start to release some of their water into the saucepan.
  3. Add the stock, herbs and sherry. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Set the sauce aside to cool slightly.
  5. Remove the bay leaf and what is left of the thyme sprig. (Strip off any of the remaining leaves into the sauce).
  6. Liquidise until smooth.
  7. Gently reheat and check the seasoning.

  • Replace the vegetable stock with either chicken or beef stock.
  • Add a handful of walnuts and herbs such as parsley and basil and blend up for a pasta sauce.
  • If I have any leftover sauce, I often either add this to whatever stew I am cooking whether it is the ragù for a spag bol or a beef and ale stew.
  • If I have enough left over and I want a soothing bowl of rice, mushrooms and peas, (eaten while curled up on the sofa watching CSI), then I quite often use the sauce instead of water while cooking the rice. (I use the reduction method of cooking rice).


James Brewer said...

Yes Yes Yes! This sounds fandabbydosey! I bet it is really good with pork fillet.

Corina said...

Steak with a good mushroom sauce is one of my favourite dishes. This looks lovely.

Marmaduke Scarlet said...

Thank you James and Corina. I love this sauce so much I could just eat it on its own!