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This is a classic recipe. Madeira is a very long lasting wine high in alcohol from the island of Madeira. Originally madeira was made of four types of grapes, each with its own flavor and characteristics ranging from sweet to very dry. The Madeira was usually named after the grape from which it was made: Sercial (dry), Verdelho (medium dry), Bual (medium sweet) and Malmsey (sweet).
Today, most of Madeira is made (Tinta Negra) which grows better. However, the four types of Madeira that are on the market today are named after the taste not the grape: dry, medium dry, medium rich (or medium sweet) and fine rich (or sweet).
Ingredients of the Madeira Sauce
2 shallots coarsely chopped
2 carrots coarsely chopped
¼ cup of butter
¼ cup of flour
2 cups beef or veal stock
¼ cup tomato paste (concentrated)
2 bay leaves
1 sprig thyme
9 oz mushrooms (sliced)
½ cup madeira wine
juice of ½ lemon
Preparing your Madeira sauce
Sprinkle the vegetables with flour and stir continuously. Let it fry until the flour is gone.
Add the stock slowly bit by bit and stir well so that you get a smooth sauce, allowing it to boil slowly
Mix in the tomato paste, bay leaf and thyme. Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes with the lid on the pan on a very low heat.
Strain the tomato sauce and put it back in the pan.
Fry the mushrooms in another frying pan over a high heat until they are brown and add them to the sauce and let the sauce simmer for another five minutes
Season to taste with salt and pepper, add the madeira and a knob of butter and stir while the butter melts (sauce should not come to the boil anymore) and add some lemon juice to taste.