Crusted Fillet of Beef with a Madeira Sauce

Serves 6


1 kg / 2lb 2oz beef fillet (centre cut)

Olive oil, salt and pepper for roasting

Herb Crust                                   

4 slices smoked back bacon, grilled                                           

2 ½  slices granary bread with crusts

(approx 100g/4oz)                               

4 tbsp chopped parsley

60g / 2oz butter melted

1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped

1 tsp coarse grain mustard

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1 egg yolk

2 tbsp mustard horseradish sauce

Salt & Pepper

For the sauce

1 tbsp oil 

1 small onion, 1 small carrot & 1 celery stick, finely chopped

1 rounded tbsp plain flour

500ml / 1pint beef or  vegetable stock

¾ pieces dried shitake mushrooms

Bouquet garni

1 tsp tomato puree

50ml / 2fl oz Madeira

Preheat the oven to 200C / fan 180C / Gas 6 and rub the beef all over with olive oil and season generously.  Place on a sheet of non-stick foil and put into a small roasting tin. Roast for 15 minutes turning once.

Place your slices of bread in a processor and whizz to make breadcrumbs.  Add the bacon and parsley and pulse until this is also finely chopped.  Add the garlic, mustard and Worcestershire sauce to the melted butter, add and pulse again to combine.  Add the egg yolk, season with salt and pepper and whizz again.  Set aside.

To make the sauce, heat the oil in a shallow pan, add the onion, carrot and celery dice and cook on a low heat until the vegetables are barely coloured.  Stir in the flour and continue to cook slowly, stirring occasionally until a good russet brown (this process will take 30-40 minutes.)  Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the vegetable stock, tomato puree, mushrooms and bouquet garni.  (If you have made the strudels and have any soaking liquid from the mushrooms also add this).  Bring to the boil and then part cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add the madeira and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Strain and season with sugar, salt and pepper.  Pour into a jug and use with the beef.

Remove the beef from the oven and brush with the mustard horseradish sauce then spoon the crust mix onto the beef and press it down to adhere.  Put the beef back into the oven for another 20-30 minutes of cooking time – depending how you like you beef.  Remove from the over and leave to rest in a warm place  for about 15 minutes before cutting into thick slices and serving with the sauce and mushroom strudels.

To get ahead:The beef can be prepared with the crust on ready for the final cook up to 1 day ahead. The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored in the fridge.

To freeze:The sauce can be frozen up to 1 month ahead.

Using a digital thermometer its easy to tell when your beef is cooked how you like it.

52 ° rare  60°  medium    71°  well done.

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