Madeira wine is very similar to Marsala wine, I like to think of them as sisters. I find that Madeira is a little more versatile in being able to be used with beef and pork as well as chicken. The first time I came across Madeira, was a recipe in Julia Child’s cookbook. I have been hooked ever since. I find it sometimes difficult to get Madeira wine, usually it’s right next to Marsala and Port, but some places just don’t have it.
2 lbs stew beef
1 cup Madeira
2 cups beef stock
1 white or yellow onion diced
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour mixed with 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp black pepper
2 tablespoons corn starch
sunflower oil as needed
Toss the stew beef in the flour that has been seasoned with salt and pepper
Heat a frying pan and coat the bottom of the pan with oil. Go ahead and put enough oil so there is about 1/4” of oil in the pan. Let the oil heat up completely, this will take a minute or two.
Brown the beef – don’t add all of the beef to the pan at once, do it in stages. Set the browned beef aside as you continue to brown the rest of the beef.
Once you have browned all the beef add the onion to the pan. Move it around a bit so it gets coated with all of browned bits in the pan.
Deglaze the pan with the cup of Madeira. Madeira is one of those wines with enough alcohol in it to flambé. This means it will actually catch on fire and burn off the alcohol. This is impressive, but you want to make sure you have the right exhaust system in place and also nothing flammable nearby. You can also just let the alcohol evaporate off by boiling the Madeira for a few minutes – no flame needed.
Once the alcohol has burned off the Madeira turn off the heat.
Get out your Instant Pot and place the beef, the onions and Madeira, 2 cups of beef stock and the 1/2 tsp of salt inside. Set for a 69 minute pressure cook cycle. This may seem like a while but this will ensure very tender and fall apart beef.
Once the cycle is complete slowly let the pressure release. Once you can get into the Instant pot, take about a half cup of the liquid and set aside to cool a bit. Once the liquid has cooled add the 2 tablespoons of corn starch and mix completely. Add the cornstarch liquid to the rest instant pot and gently stir to incorporate it completely.
Use the “Sauté” feature to bring all of the liquid up to a simmer. This step is what thickens the sauce completely and gets rid of any starchy taste from the corn starch. Once you’ve reached a bubble for a minute you can turn off the saute feature. At this point everything is done. I will just replace the lid and keep everything warm until I’m ready to plate.
Couscous is one of those magical things that can just take on any flavor you add to it. It also cooks very quickly – you can put it together in minutes!
1 cup couscous
1 carrot, 1 stalk of celery and half an onion diced as small as you can manage 1/8” dice is perfect for this.
1 clove garlic minced
10 ounces vegetable stock
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a sauce pan sauté the carrots, celery, garlic and onions until they are soft.
Add the vegetable stock and bring it to a boil.
Add the salt to the boiling liquid.
Add the couscous – quickly stir in and take off the heat. Cover with a lid and let sit for five minutes.
After 5 minutes have passed take off the lid, fluff with a fork, top with some parsley and serve!
This couscous was the perfect base for my Beef Madeira