- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 25g clarified butter (see Know-how, below)
This is butter from which all milk solids has been removed. The result is a clear yellow fat…
- 2 fillet steaks (ideally beef matured for 3-5 weeks), about 140g/5oz each, at room temperature
Steak is essentially a boneless thick or thin slice of red meat, cut across the grain of a large…
- knob of butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 2 large shallot, finely chopped
Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…
- 6 medium mushroom, sliced
The mushroom is a fungus which comes in a wide range of varieties that belong to two distinct…
- 2 tsp green and pink peppercorn, crushed
- 3 tbsp brandy
Brandy is a distilled spirit made from virtually any fermented fruit or starchy vegetable.…
- 100ml red wine
- 200ml good-quality beef stock
- 3 tbsp double cream
Heat a frying pan over a medium-to-high heat, then pour in the oil and the clarified butter. Season the steaks with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper and cook to your liking (2 mins each side for medium-rare, 3 mins each side for medium, depending on the thickness of your steaks). Be sure to seal the rounded edges, too. Transfer to a plate.
Add the knob of butter to the pan, then fry the shallots, mushrooms and peppercorns over a medium heat for 5 mins, until the shallots have softened and the mushrooms browned. Return the steaks to the pan. Heat the brandy in a metal ladle, light with a match then carefully pour into the hot pan, standing as far back as you can. Once the pan has stopped flaming, remove the steaks again.
Pour the wine into the pan, turn up the heat and boil rapidly until reduced by half. This will take about 5 mins. Add the stock and reduce again, this time by two-thirds. Stir the cream in to the sauce and allow it to thicken slightly. Check the sauce for seasoning, then return the fillets to the pan to warm through, spooning the sauce over. Serve straight away.
The process of clarifying butter removes the milk solids, which burn easily when frying at high temperatures. To make your own clarified butter, melt a little more butter than you need in a small pan, then drain off the yellow part, discarding the white solids left at the bottom.