Gordon Ramsay’s Shallot Red Wine Sauce

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –

* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/individual-beef-wellingtons/

So, I was thinking about the wellingtons I’d recently done and how I might go about improving the dish with a sauce.  A good friend of mine recently told me that Chef Ramsay had been serving the wellingtons with a dark (red wine?) sauce on episodes of Hell’s Kitchen.  Looking about the web, I came across a sauce offered by Chef Ramsay to be served with ribeye steaks. An online version of the recipe can be found here –

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/2514/shallot-and-red-wine-sauce

The sauce seemed like a reasonable match for the wellingtons and not too far different from the Wine Merchant’s Sauce by Jacques Pepin. Now, I had to do a little translating from metric to ounces and what not, so the ingredient list turned out to be:

8 3/4 oz shallots, sliced
4 tbsp olive oil (I used grapeseed oil here, a la Thomas Keller)
1 garlic clove, lightly crushed (grated a la Nobu Matsuhisa was 3/4 t)
sprig rosemary
5 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 2/3 cup red wine (Here, I used Georges DeBouef Beaujolais Morgon)
1 2/3 cup beef stock or brown chicken stock, preferably homemade
knob of butter
1/4 t 4:1 salt/pepper mix (my addition, since it just says season with  salt and pepper)

About 9 ounces of shallots

About 9 ounces of shallots

Rosemary for the sauce

Rosemary for the sauce

The single clove of garlic (to be grated)

The single clove of garlic (to be grated)

The single clove of garlic, grated to 3/4 teaspoon, spring of rosemary

The single clove of garlic, grated to 3/4 teaspoon, spring of rosemary

While the process began with sautéeing  the sliced shallots in my pot with the oil over a high heat for about 3

Sliced (not diced) shallots for the sauce

Sliced (not diced) shallots for the sauce

minutes until lightly browned, stirring often and then seasoning with ground pepper, I left out the step with ground pepper until later.

I then added the grated garlic and sprig of rosemary and continued cooking for a further 3 minutes, stirring

adding the garlic and rosemary to the cooked shallots

adding the garlic and rosemary to the cooked shallots

often to prevent the shallots from burning.

Once that was done, I poured in the vinegar and cooked the mixture until the liquid  evaporated away to a

5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

syrup.  This I had to do carefully, remembering Chef Thomas Keller admonition to reduce the balsamic slowly

slowly reducing the balsamic and shallots

slowly reducing the balsamic and shallots, garlic and rosemary

because if you boiled the balsamic vinegar too hard, the acid remained (see The French Laundry Cookbook, p. 238).

At that point, the wine was added and cooked over 50% max heat to reduce it to about 1/3 of what it was (a

1 2/3 cup of Beaujolais Morgon

1 2/3 cup of Beaujolais Morgon

little more than 1/2 c with no solids).  Then the stock and the salt/pepper was added and the whole mixture

1 2/3 cup of chicken stock

1 2/3 cup of chicken stock

was reduced to about 1 cup.  Since my wife isn’t fond of cooked/heated butter, I chose the leave it out, much in the manner of Chef Keller’s sauce bordelaise.

The finished sauce before straining

The finished sauce before straining

Finally, the sauce was strained and kept warm while I prepared the ribeye steaks, blanched some string beans

"...when in doubt, strain" - Thomas Keller

“…when in doubt, strain” – Thomas Keller

and baked two russet potatoes. (The russet potatoes were scrubbed clean, rubbed all over with olive oil, sprinkled with salt, about 12 holes poked into it and baked for an hour in the oven that had been preheated to 350 degrees F).

Ribeye, Baked Potato and String Beans With Chef Ramsay's Shallot And Red Wine Sauce

Ribeye, Baked Potato and String Beans With Chef Ramsay’s Shallot And Red Wine Sauce

My wife and I both agreed the sauce paired very nicely with the steak. I’m curious how the sauce would turn out if  I made it with a bordeaux or the Martin Ray Cabernet Sauvignon.   I think I would have to plate slices of wellingtons if I wanted to pour the sauce into the diner’s dishes; only the edges of the crisp puff pastry would get wet. Were I to serve individual wellingtons,   I’d probably have to present the sauce in individual sauce dip containers. Pouring the sauce into a plate with an individual wellington would likely make the bottom of the crisp pastry crust soggy.

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