Porcini Mushroom Sauce

Porcini mushrooms are in season in the fall, but this sauce it is made with dried porcinis which are generally available year round. They hold up well to being sold dried as they maintain their flavor when reconstituted. They are an excellent choice in culinary dishes as they are high in fiber and protein (in fact, containing nearly as much protein as a soybean) with 7g, respectively of each (for a 23g mushroom).

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 cup plum tomatoes, chopped and seeded
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 30-45 minutes until they are softended. Remove from water, slice into halves or thirds, and set aside.
  2. In a medium sized pan over medium heat, saute the pancetta in the olive oil 4-5 minutes stirring often.
  3. Add onions and garlic and continue to saute for 6-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and softened.
  4. Add red wine and mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes  or until the wine is reduced by half.
  5. Add stock, basil, mustard, and tomatoes and continue to simmer for 15 minutes.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

How Not to Screw It Up

  1. It’s very important to reconstitute the dried porcinis in hot water prior to starting this sauce. You need them to start out fully reconstituted if you want them to contribute their flavor to the sauce.
  2. This is one of those recipes where it pays to be organized. Prep all of your ingredients before you start cooking–chop the onion and garlic, measure out the red wine and broth. If you do your mis en place, as professional cooks call it, beforehand, finishing the sauce is simply a matter of pouring and stirring. If you don’t, it becomes a frantic nightmare of trying to catch up while your sauce overcooks and evaporates into your kitchen fan.