Beef fillets with wild mushrooms & armagnac sauce
If you don't have any armagnac handy, brandy is fine instead and it really brings out the flavours of the mushroom and beef
Preparation time: 25-30 minutes
Cooking time: Based on a fillet steak 2-3cm (¾-1¼inch) thick
Rare: 3-4 minutes on each side
Medium: 4-5 minutes on each side
Well done: 6-7 minutes on each side
What you need:
- 2 lean fillet steaks
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter
- 15ml/1tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly milled black pepper
- 1 large shallot, peeled and finely chopped
- 50g/2oz mushrooms (wild, if in season), halved
- 300ml/½pint good, hot beef stock
- 45ml/3tbsp Armagnac or brandy
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
- Fresh redcurrants, to garnish
For the potato slices:
- 375g/12oz small waxy potatoes, peeled and left whole
- 25g/1oz unsalted butter
- 150ml/¼pint good, hot vegetable stock
What you do:
- Preheat the oven to Gas mark 6, 200°C, 400°F.
- To prepare the potato slices; boil the potatoes in salted water for 10-15 minutes. Drain and cool slightly. When cool enough to handle slice to the thickness of a pound coin and transfer to a large bowl.
- Add the melted butter, season and toss gently. On a foil lined shallow baking tray or roasting dish arrange four 8cm/3¼inch cakes in a single layer of overlapping slices. Pour over the stock and bake for 15-20 minutes or until tender and most of the stock has evaporated.
- Meanwhile, melt half of the remaining butter with the oil in a non-stick griddle or frying pan. Season the fillets and cook according to your preference. Remove, transfer to a warm plate, cover and set aside to rest.
- Add the shallots and mushrooms to the same pan and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the Armangac or brandy. Cook for a further minute then add the stock and thyme. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until reduced by half. Whisk the remaining butter into the sauce. Remove the thyme sprigs.
- Arrange the potato cakes on a warm plate, top with the beef and spoon over the sauce. Garnish with the redcurrants and serve with seasonal vegetables.
If preferred use rib-eye steaks as an alternative to fillet steak but reduce the cooking time by about a minute on each side.
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