Sauces, dips, butters

Festive port wine sauce

It’s no secret the Danes really like sauce. I mean really, really like sauce to the point where it can (almost) ruin an entire dinner if there’s no sauce! Personally, I think a good roast or nice piece of meat deserves nothing less than a killer sauce, and would never dream of serving a classic dinner with meat, potatoes, or some other kind of starch, and a side of nice veggies without a delicious sauce.

For a lot of people though, the thought of producing a good sauce triggers bouts of anxiety. Because how do you nail a sauce that will be that killer accompaniment that leaves your dinner guests in a state of bliss not unlike the guests that attended ‘Babettes Feast’ in that famous story by Isak Dinesen (aka Karen Blixen)?

Well, here’s a sauce that is not only easy to make, it is also one that I’ve made more times than I can count and every time my dinner guests have raved about the sauce. If you want to experiment or be a bit more extravagant, try substituting the port wine with whiskey or cognac, you won’t be disappointed, I promise. Just make sure to make the sauce simmer and reduce so it doesn’t taste like a strong alcoholic cocktail instead of a sauce. You want a hint of booze, that is the elegance of it.

Port wine sauce (serves 6)


1 shallot onion, finely diced

2 tbsp butter

1 pod concentrated beef or chicken stock (use beef stock if serving the sauce with beef or veal and chicken stock if serving with poultry or pork)

14 oz (400 ml) port wine (ruby or tawny)

17 oz (500 ml) full cream (min. 35% fat)

Sauce browning

1 pinch sugar

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Melt the butter in a medium sized pot over medium heat. When the butter starts sizzling slightly, add the diced shallot onion and stir. Let the onions sauté for a few minutes without browning. Turn down the heat if necessary.

2. Now pour in the port wine along with the stock pod and whisk a little bit. Bring to a slight boil and let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes until the port wine has reduced to about half.

3. Next, add the cream and bring to a boil again. Let boil slightly over low to medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken. This may take up to 30 minutes. Add a pinch of sugar, some sauce browning until the sauce obtains the desired brown color and stir well. Season well with salt and pepper to taste and your port wine sauce is ready to be served.


Extravagant veal tenderloin with trimmings


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