How to Prepare a Port Sauce

Foie gras with port sauce on white plate, haute cuisine, close-up, toned
Copyright: fedorkondratenko

A lovely port sauce is ideal for roasted meats such as lamb, beef and especially roast pork.

Why not try it as a special addition to coat pork fillet wrapped in Parma ham where the port sauce flavour brings out the rosemary infusion running with the dish. You can vary the herbs but it’s best with strong herbs like rosemary or thyme. The port sauce goes well with roast duck where a squeeze of orange juice is added in homage to Duck a l’Orange.

Whilst port is important, the base for the dish is the pork stock or beef stock which is used. Home made pork and beef stock is prepared using the bones of cuts of meat and then reducing down with the port. We’ve made a version using chicken stock which is also delicious too. 

Ingredients:

  • 300ml pork stock, beef stock or a chicken stock. It can be prepared using 3 or 4 stock cubes dissolved in the equivalent amount of hot water. It will need to be reduced during cooking so that thickness is obtained. use some cornflower to thicken if this isn’t going according to plan.
  • 10g unsalted butter
  • 1 large shallot – finely chopped
  • 180ml/1½ cup tawny port
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme or 3 sprigs of rosemary or even both.
  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or a teaspoon of sugar.
  • sea salt ; to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Preparation:

  1. To a stainless steel (not aluminium) saucepan, add the port and heat by simmering for between 2 and 3 minutes to reduce its volume. It should become quite thick and syrupy after reduction.
  2. Add the beefstock and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer for a couple of minutes.
  3. Add the chopped shallot, mushrooms and either the balsamic vinegar or sugar. Again the shallot and mushroom aren’t a necessity but they all add a certain texture and flavour.
  4. Add the chopped herbs.
  5. Add a knob of butter to get a shine.
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