I think Port is an underappreciated wine. At least in my life, I’ve always restricted it to dessert wine, and not being a dessert person, the bottles I acquired tended to sit around in my wine cabinet to gather dust and “age”. But, about a year ago, a friend (let’s call him John) at work called me over to his desk, pointed to an open bottle of port and a glass (fortunately he doesn’t operate heavy machinery) and asked me try his “…favorite $20 bottle of port, the best deal around”. The wine tasted very nice, but what interested me more than the flavor, was the way he thought about Port.
John doesn’t confine port to desserts. He’ll pour himself a glass when he feels like it, be it before, during, or after dinner. John explained to me that as a fortified wine, an open bottle of port lasts longer than “normal” reds, and he’ll frequently want just a glass. With port, he can keep a bottle open for a week, have a glass a day, and doesn’t waste anything. John’s comments started to make a lot of sense to me, and I started opening a bottle every now and again “just to sip on”. And as I drank more, I liked it more. And as I liked it more, I looked for more ways to use it. And as a passionate amateur chef, my thoughts turned to food, and I started to make port wine sauces.
Below you’ll find my recipe for a Port Wine Truffle Sauce. This sauce pairs great with roasted meat, especially pork and duck, but would be great with red meat as well. This sauce works best if you make it in a pan that you just roasted your meat in, but will also be great if you start in a clean pan.
Port Wine Truffle Sauce (makes enough sauce for 4)
- In the pan drippings (or a tablespoon of olive oil in a fresh pan) sauté a medium shallot, and one minced garlic clove until both are soft
- Add a cup of Port wine and deglaze the pan, scrapping up any caramelized bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan
- Add a sprig of fresh rosemary
- Let the wine simmer until it is reduced by half and the wine is slightly syrupy
- Add ¾ of a cup of brown stock and again let every reduce by half
- Strain the sauce through a sieve to collect the shallot, garlic, and rosemary and return the liquid to the hot pan
- Turn the heat as low as it goes, and slowly add 2 tablespoons of butter (small pieces at time) to the sauce, whisking the sauce as you add the butter
- Add a tablespoon of White Truffle oil and whisk it in (feel free to grate in fresh truffles, but that’s starts getting into a whole new price level)
- The butter & truffle oil should both thicken the sauce and give it a beautiful satin look
- Remove the sauce from the heat and serve
Dave is the founder/owner of the web site NoRecipeRequired.com, a site which is dedicated to showing the fundamental techniques and strategies that home cooks can use to make great meals.