Steak in Madeira Sauce

For an impressive dinner party main course, try Alex Mackay's inspirational way with beef served in a rich reduced mushroom sauce
By Alex Mackay
Steak in Madeira Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the sauce

  • 20 g dried morel mushrooms, soaked in 100ml water for 20 minutes
  • 20baby onions, boiled for 5 minutes, drained
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 6 chestnut mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 400 ml madeira
  • 600 ml beef stock
  • 100 ml water
  • 8 small sprig thyme, leaves removed
  • freshly ground salt and black pepper

For the potato galettes

  • 3 large starchy potatoes, preferably Desiree
  • 100 g butter, melted
  • salt and black pepper

For the meat

  • 2 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 4 x 180 g fillet beef steaks


1. Soak the morel mushrooms in enough water to cover. Leave on one side for 20 minutes, before draining and reserving the soaking liquid.

2. Tip the baby onions into a saucepan filled with cold water. Bring the water to a simmer and cook the onions for 5 minutes, until barely tender. Drain and set aside.

2. For the sauce, heat a large shallow frying pan with half the butter until it starts to brown. Add the morels, cooked baby onions, and chestnut mushrooms, and fry for about 2 minutes, before pouring over the Madeira. Cook down until the wine has reduced by about three-quarters.

3. Add the beef stock and the soaking liquor from the morels. Reduce by half, until the liquid is thick and syrupy. Season well and set aside.

4. For the potato galettes, wash and peel the potatoes, and cut into cylinders, 4cm in diameter. Slice these into 2mm thick slices. Mix with 50g of the melted butter and season well.

5. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas 5. On a non-stick tray, arrange 4 small discs of overlapping potato slices, using about 15 slices of potatoes in each round. Brush a little butter over the top, cover with a second layer of potatoes, and press down well. Drizzle with more butter and bake for 10 minutes in the oven. Preheat a grill to its highest setting and grill the potato rounds for 5-7 minutes until golden brown. Keep warm.

6. For the beef, heat the oil over a medium heat in a large frying pan. Season the beef filet and fry for 3-4 minutes each side if you like your meat medium-rare. Cook the steak for 1-2 minutes longer if you prefer your meat more well-done.

7. Transfer the steaks to a rack over a plate, and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Drain off the fat from the pan and return to the heat. Pour 100ml water into the pan and scrape off any caramelised sediment from the bottom of the pan and add to the sauce. Reheat the sauce, stir in the second 50g of butter and add the thyme leaves.

8. Put the potato galettes in the centre of individual plates and top with the beef. Spoon over the warm sauce and serve.

Rate This Recipe