Fillet of beef with creamed swede, horseradish mashed potato and gratin of smoked mushrooms


For the basil jelly
  • 250g/9oz fresh basil

  • 5g/¼oz agar-agar (available in some supermarkets and Asian grocers)

For the shallot purée
For the beef and vegetables
For the mushroom gratin
For the port sauce
  • 75ml/3fl oz port

  • cooking juices from the fillet steaks (see above)

  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

Preparation method

  1. For the basil jelly, bring a pan of water to the boil and blanch the basil leaves for 30 seconds. Drain, then place the blanched basil into a food processor and blend until smooth.

  2. Pass the basil purée through a fine sieve placed over a bowl to catch the juice. Discard the solids left behind in the sieve.

  3. Add the agar-agar powder to the bowl of basil juice and stir well until dissolved. Pour into a rectangular container or mould lined with cling film, cover with a lid and chill in the fridge until set (about 1-2 hours).

  4. Once the basil jelly has set, cut it into small 1cm/½in cubes and place into a clean container. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve.

  5. For the shallot purée, preheat the oven to 140C/275F/Gas 1.

  6. Place the shallots into a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the shallots are golden-brown and softened. Set aside two whole roasted shallots and blend the remaining roasted shallots in a food processor until smooth.

  7. Pass the shallot purée through a fine sieve into a bowl, then discard the solids left behind in the sieve. Set the purée aside.

  8. For the beef and vegetables, cook the chopped swede in a pan of boiling salted water for 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then blend the cooked swede in a food processor until smooth. Stir 110g/4oz of the butter into the swede purée until melted. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper then pass through a sieve to remove any lumps.

  9. Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water for 18-20 minutes, or until tender. Drain well, then mash the cooked potatoes until smooth using a potato ricer.

  10. Add 250g/9oz of the remaining butter and all of the cream and horseradish, then season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside.

  11. Heat the remaining 50g/2oz of butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the smoked shiitake mushrooms and fry for 6-8 minutes, or until softened. Remove from the heat and set aside.

  12. Season the fillet steaks, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium to high heat. Add the seasoned steaks (in batches if preferred) and fry for 4-5 minutes on both sides (for rare), or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest. Keep warm. (Reserve any cooking juices in the pan).

  13. For the mushroom gratin, heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat until melted.

  14. Grind the dried mushrooms to a fine powder in a spice grinder or food processor, or using a mortar and pestle. Set aside.

  15. In a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks until pale and creamy. Add the mushroom powder and mix well to combine.

  16. Bring a little water to the boil in a pan. Reduce the heat until the water is simmering, then suspend the bowl with the egg yolks and mushroom mixture over the simmering water (do not allow the base of the bowl to touch the water).

  17. Gradually add the melted butter to the egg mixture in a thin stream, whisking continuously until the mixture has thickened and is well combined and is at the ribbon stage. Remove from the heat and set aside. Cover and keep warm.

  18. For the port sauce, heat 75ml/2½fl oz of the port, all of the cooking juices reserved from the fillet steaks and all of the thyme in a pan over a medium heat. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering gently and continue to simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half.

  19. To serve, preheat the grill to its highest setting. Layer the smoked shiitake mushrooms into the bottom of four ovenproof serving dishes or large ramekins. Spoon over the egg yolk and mushroom mixture. Cut the reserved whole roasted shallots in half lengthways and place one into the centre of each dish or ramekin. Grill for 1-2 minutes, or until the tops are golden-brown. Place each ramekin onto a serving plate. Place quenelles of the mashed potatoes and mashed swede alongside. Place one steak on top of each serving of mashed potatoes. Drizzle over the port sauce. Garnish the plate with four small cubes of basil jelly and dot each cube of jelly with a little of the shallot purée.

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