Sauce for Beef Wellington
I was reading a recipe for beef wellington that had a Maderia sauce. Is this traditional? Are there any other sauces that would suffice? Considering I've never tasted Maderia is there something I could use instead?
Yes, it's traditional. You could make a red wine demi-glace instead, which is also "somewhat" traditional. Either sauce will pair nicely with the mushroom duxelle.
If it's the recipe from epicurous w/ gorgonzola that's a great recipe. Anyways, you could probably sub. a decent port (on the dryer side) for your sauce in place of the Maderia.
I had a marvelous Wellington many years ago that was finished with two sauces -- it was at Kaspar's restaurant on 27th and 8th in New York. One was a simple beefy sauce with a little red wine reduction -- based on fond du boeuf -- that I found more satisfying than the typical Madeira or Port sauce served with the dish. The other sauce was a sinister Bearnaise. Imagine that on Beef Wellington. It was decadent. The two sauces were poured onto plates at tableside, and if it's done right, it kinda looks like the far Eastern "Ying and Yang" design found on the Korean flag and elsewhere.
I've had all manner of Wellingtons. One horrible memory is a restaurant's "thyme beurre blanc." They fouled it up with *dried* thyme and the herb just overpowered the whole dish. We were scraping the sauce off the beef and ditching the sauce. And the actual Wellingtons were quite good and quite traditional.
The wildest Wellington (great flavor meat/duxelle but nasty, chewy pastry) was served with a strained, savory lingonberry sauce with a meat stock base. I had Champagne with that dish and it was absolute heaven, despite the pastry.
I actually have a question for other 'hounds. How often do you get brilliant Beef Wellington pastry in a restaurant? Isn't it often hit or miss? I really love the dish but I get disappointed often. You?
Puff pastry is the only way to go, IMO. Even puff pastry can be soggy; the Wellington needs to be prepped shortly before service or a la minute, no sitting around. I make it at home sometimes, so no restaurant disappointments. I worked at a place that had it on the menu and we used a pate brisee but it wasn't the best crust for the dish.
That thyme beurre blanc you mentioned just sounds like such a bad idea.
Thank you all soo much for your replies. Christmas dinner was a success. The only thing is, I have so many wonderful ideas for sauces that I will have to make Beef Wellington at least once a week. to try them all- with the exception of the buerre blanc.
Thanks again and Happy New Year.