I watched Michael Caines do this a couple of weeks ago and just had to give it a go. It is soooooo much more than the gloriousness that it looked on telly. It really is the most sensational sauce to serve with steak and has a taste and texture that simply evoke ‘naughty!’ Michael did his with Madeira but our bar was not forthcoming but seemed heavily stocked with sweet sherry, so that was substituted – it worked REALLY well. But finally, a word of caution: don’t try and rush the ‘reduction’ elements of this sauce – I know from experience that the sauce then ends up thin and that the flavours aren’t of the full intensity assures this recipe is right at the top of our favourites list!
Serves 4 (I’ve doubled up on the sauce quantities because we do enjoy lots of sauce, so you may not need the quantities that I have listed, depending on your own sauciness)
What you need…
4 x 200-250g sirloin steaks
300ml boiling water from the kettle
1 chicken stockpot (I use Knorr)
6 shallots, thinly sliced
150g button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked
220ml sweet sherry (I use Harveys Bristol Cream)
300ml double cream
Sea salt and black pepper
What to do…
First, make your stock by dissolving ¾ chicken stockpot into the boiling water, using a balloon whisk to help the process. Set aside.
Over a moderate heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook until the shallots are transparent.
Add the button mushrooms and continue cooking until they are slippery in texture. Stir in the thyme.
Slosh in the sherry and simmer until reduced by half.
Pour in the chicken stock and reduce by half again.
Gently pour in the cream and reduce by half yet again – you will then have a lovely thick, opulent sauce. Add a little black pepper, taste (chef’s privilege) and adjust the seasoning to taste. Make a resolution not to keep on tasting until it’s served! Keep warm on a low heat, stirring occasionally whilst you cook your steaks.
Onto each steak, massage in 1 teaspoon oil. Then season to your liking. Flip the steaks and give them the same treatment on the other side.
Heat another frying pan over a hot heat. Pop in the steaks and cook for 4 minutes on each side, depending on how you like your steak. Remove the steaks and serve them onto warmed plates, allowing them to rest for a couple of minutes.
Decant your luscious sauce and pop it into the middle of the table to allow your fellow diners to help themselves – remind them about the need to share: they’ll want the lot to themselves! Indulge and enjoy! Serve with a bit of greenery, maybe some exotic mushrooms and Hasselback potatoes. Simply scrummy!
Very easy as long as you take your time and allow the reductions to work their magic.