Most nights I try to cook and frequently I will pan sear a beef filet mignon or two. They’re easy to cook, don’t take much prep time and always satisfy. (And yes, we have a great “how to” for pan searing steaks on our blog!) Occasionally I’ll pull a sauce together to pair with the filet. Madeira Wine Sauce is one of the bests.
The last time I cooked beef filets I made this sauce and my Engineer asked if we were celebrating. It’s that good! This is a great addition to beef tenderloin or any gorgeous steak. It takes just a few steps, none are difficult and it can be made ahead and reheated with ease.
Madeira wine is a “fortified” wine named for the island of Madeira. It was a product developed out of necessity to preserve wine as ships traveled long distances at sea during the 1600 and 1700s. The wine is put through a unique process that includes aging in a gentle heat for a period of time, then finished in a cool environment.
Madeira wine has a wonderful nutty, fruity quality that makes it perfect for a sauce. The wine and the mushrooms are the stars in this sauce. For the mushrooms, I use cremini (also commonly spelled crimini), which are actually baby portabella mushrooms. If you can’t find cremini mushrooms, white button mushrooms will also work. Quick note-the trick to cooking mushrooms, don’t salt them until they are browned. Salt often results in mushrooms releasing their moisture causing them to steam, not brown. Fresh thyme, shallots and a bit of tomato paste simmered in the rich beef stock finish this delectable sauce.
As the great Julia Child said, “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food…”! Well yes, so true. Your family will think it’s a celebration!
Madeira Wine Sauce
8 ounces, cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 small shallot, sliced thin
2 tablespoons butter
¼ freshly cracked black pepper, or to taste
¼ kosher salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or ½ teaspoon dried
¾ cup Madeira wine
2-1/2 cups beef broth
3 teaspoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons tomato paste
In a deep skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until the butter is foaming and just starting to brown. Add the sliced shallot, the mushrooms and the black pepper but not the salt.
Sauté until the mushrooms are golden and the shallots are translucent, stirring occasionally, about 5-7 minutes.
Add the kosher salt, the thyme, garlic and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Pour the Madeira wine into the mushrooms.
Continue cooking over medium heat until the wine has reduced down and almost all of it has been absorbed into the mushrooms.
In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and the beef broth, whisking until smooth. Add the beef broth to the mushrooms along with the tomato paste and stir to blend all the ingredients together.
Bring the sauce to a boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the sauce has thickened. Serve warm over beef tenderloin, beef filet mignon or steak of your choice. This sauce is also a great to serve with pork or poultry.