My Dear Sauce ☆

It is no secret, as may be discerned by anyone perusing these pages, that Madeira wine finds its way into a significant number of my preparations. My Madeira, My Dear sauce was published in an earlier distribution; the origin of its name is given there. However, I have now found a recipe, dated 2 Feb 75, that appears to be the original form of the preparation. It is labeled simply with the title given above. The names are similar, their tastes are similar, but the ingredients are different.

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Canadian bacon, chopped
  • 1 tbsp onion, minced
  • 1 tbsp mushrooms, minced
  • 1 (10½ oz) can Campbell’s Beef Consommé
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Wondra® flour
  • 1 tbsp Bisto® Original Gravy Powder
  • ¼–½ cup Madeira wine

Spray a small sauce pan pan with vegetable oil, add the olive oil, heat, and rotate the pan around to distribute the oil evenly. Add the bacon, onion, and mushrooms, saute a few minutes until the onions become translucent, and remove from the heat.

Add the consommé, garlic powder, and black pepper; then at high heat bring the pan to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is completely cooked and soft.

In a small bowl combine the flour and gravy mix with the Madeira. Swirl this mixture with a fork or small whisk until all the solids are suspended, and then add this to the pot, stirring constantly. Reestablish the simmer and continue stirring until the sauce thickens. Turn off the heat. It is now ready to serve.

Makes about 2 cups.

Madeira, my dear, sauce

If you were lucky enough to have lived in the early 1960s, you would be familiar with the very clever song*, “Have some Madeira, my dear?” that claims “It’s ever so much nicer than beer!” Well, I am here to proclaim that its presence in the sauce that bears its name makes an outstanding contribution to the quality of its taste. The mushrooms and garlic are not traditional, but essential in my use of the sauce.

  • ¼ cup mushrooms, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, puréed
  • 2 cups Nearly Rich Brown Sauce
  • ¼ cup Madeira wine

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and buzz with a hand blender until smooth. Cook to bring out the mushroom flavor, 5 minutes.

perigeaux sauce

As far as I can tell, Perigeaux Sauce is pretty much the same thing as Madeira sauce, except that truffles replace mushrooms. The Gourmet Gestapo may find other differences, but, sad to say, their subtleties are not recognized by my palate. If your recipe calls for Perigeaux Sauce, use Madeira, My Dear. Sauce, instead. You will not be sorry.

Refinancière Sauce

Classic financière sauce is nothing more than Madeira sauce with truffles and cockscombs. I seldom have truffles and cockscombs on hand, and, in the few times that I had truffles, found that I could not discern their delicate flavor. This discovery was fortunate for my pocketbook, but a gentile reminder that my palatal acuity was losing its nuance detector. But I can still tell shiitake mushrooms from all others, and that is a good thing.

  • 1 cup Madeira, my dear, sauce
  • ¼ cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
  • 1 oz cooked ham, minced

Simmer until mushrooms are done.