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Basic Sauce

Basic Sauce

1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 tbs of oil or clarified butter (ghee)
1/4 cup diced onion
1 cup red wine like Shiraz
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp brown sugar

Basically you are going to 1) Sauté some things to brown them and create a fond (tasty browned bits on the bottom of the pan) 2) Add liquid to the pan to loosen up the frond otherwise known as deglazing If meat has been cooked in a pan then use the leftover bits or "fond" in the pan 3) Finish the sauce for serving

Cook mushrooms and onion in oil until they start to brown. Add garlic, if you are using it, towards the end of the process so it doesn't brown and get bitter. If you you are cooking a meat dish, just use the pan that you browned the meat in. Brown bit stuck to the bottom of the pan is fine, this the fond. If it burns, don't use it because the sauce will taste ....burned.

Stir in tomato paste, brown sugar, Dijon Mustard (optional) and then deglaze with 1 cup red wine. Cook this mixture on medium until the volume is reduced by 50%. Pour in 1 cup of chicken broth and cook to concentrate the sauce

Thickening the sauce

1. Mix some flour and oil( or butter) about 50:50 (called roux) and stir into the simmering sauce
2. Cook the sauce until it reduces volume an naturally gets thicker
3. Do #2 above and add a little heavy cream

The point is to make a small amount of intensely flavored sauce to compliment the main course, not a gallon of gravy to submerge it.

If it gets too thick add some water or broth

You may also find that it needs extra salt.

If you make it too salty, too spicy, or anything else, you can always add a little cream to smooth it out.


Add extra black or green pepper.

Add some smoke and heat with Chipotle peppers

Replace the tomato paste with 1 TBS Dijon Mustard

Add 1 TBS balsamic vinegar

Cook some Bacon, pour off the fat and proceed with the recipe.

For a wine sauce add a little red wine at the end so that it doesn't cook off

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