Sauces, Savoury

Creamy Mushroom and Cheese Sauce

I’ve never really been a fan of a slab of red meat on my plate, even at a Steak House more often than not I’ll order ribs, chicken or fish. But occasionally I just get the need to tuck in, especially when I drown it in this rich creamy sauce.

Mushroom and Cheese Sauce

You really do have to use Portabello or some type of brown mushroom though, I just find the white button mushrooms pretty tasteless so only make this sauce if you can get your hands on some beautiful big brown specimens. Something I was told a long time ago by a chef friend is that you never wash mushrooms (or strawberries) as they are like little sponges and absorb water. Simply wipe them down with a clean kitchen towel or peel off any dirt patches using a sharp knife.

This sauce takes about 15 minutes to make and will separate if left on the stove too long so once it’s thick and gorgeously gooey, turn the heat down, or better still, turn it off completely but leave it on the hot plate as you definitely want it served hot/warm over your freshly seared and rested steak.

A great time-saving mid-week meal as the steak only takes a few minutes to sear over a very high heat, then about 5 – 10 minutes resting time and hey-ho! dinner is served! Simple enough with a side salad and baked potato, or chips.

Please use fresh full fat cream for this, no half and half or lite varieties. You’re really just wasting your money and time as it isn’t the same; and guaranteed, the cream will split and you can’t thicken split cream.

I’ve made this with many different cheeses, all depends on what I have on hand and what mood I’m in: creamy blue, a strong aged-vintage Cheddar, a milder, gentler Colby or even good old Edam. My latest attempt (not photographed) was using Parmesan, but I don’t think I’ll be trying that again. Just wasn’t the right cheese for a smooth creamy sauce although it still tasted good, if a little strong. My advise would be to match the choice of cheese with those meant to enjoy it. In other words, some people can’t bear blue cheese, they even find the thought of it off-putting, and often little kids prefer the milder varieties.

150 – 250 g Portabello or Swiss Brown mushrooms
1 – 2 Tbsp butter
1 – 2 cups full cream milk
½ – 1 cup grated/crumbled cheese (quantity depends on you – less for a strong cheese, more for a milder cheese)

  1. Clean and slice the mushrooms.
  2. Melt the butter in a frying pan on the stove top and fry the mushrooms over a high heat. They will reduce during the cooking time, so more mushrooms is always better.
  3. Once the mushrooms have softened and cooked through, pour over the cream. Reduce the heat so the cream simmers, not boils and leave to infuse and reduce for a few minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle over the cheese and stir to melt and distribute throughout the sauce. The reduction of the cream and melting of the cheese will thicken the sauce.
  5. Turn the heat low or switch off the hot plate. If the sauce stands for a while before the meat is ready, it may separate, but a gentle stir will bring it back together.
  6. Serve warm over freshly seared and rested steak (also delicious over chicken, veal or beef schnitzel).

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