It was as a result of researching my wine column for this week’s Algarve Resident that I am sharing this pepper sauce recipe, as the producer of the wine in question (click here) recommends a nice steak with black pepper sauce as the ideal pairing for the wine in question.
The sauce is fairly quick and easy to make, assuming you have the ingredients – and it is worth making some extra as it freezes and defrosts very well. This recipe makes around 400ml of sauce.
3 shallots (or one medium-sized onion)
1 clove garlic
Unsalted butter for frying
200ml cooking cream
200ml chicken or beef stock
A hand-full of black peppercorns
Approx. 100ml Madeira wine
Chinese oyster sauce
Lightly crush the peppercorns in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder. Finely chop the shallots and garlic, then fry gently in a little unsalted butter until soft.
Add the crushed peppercorns, fry and stir for a minute or so, then deglaze the pan with Madeira wine. Add chicken stock and cream and bring to the boil, then cook for around 10 minutes over medium heat to reduce and concentrate.
Add around half a tablespoon of oyster sauce, stir in and taste. The objective is for the oyster sauce to season (instead of salt) and add depth of flavour, but the flavour should not be distinguishable.
Add a little more if needed. Depending on the cream used, the sauce may still be thin, if so either reduce more or thicken with corn-starch.