Peppered Fillet of Beef & Port Sauce (Serves 4)

This fillet of beef recipe, is one that I have been doing for years. I particularly like that the sauce can be made in advance, so there is no last minute rush. I like to serve it with Dauphinoise Potatoes, I rather like the cheese version for this dish, but you could also serve it with my simpler recipe without cheese (recipes here). In addition, a great accompaniment is Green Beans with Shallots & Sherry Vinegar or simply Sautéed Spinach (recipes here).

2 x fillets of beef, 450g each – nice even pieces

2 teaspoons black peppercorns, lightly crushed

Olive oil

400ml port

2 sprigs of thyme

2 cloves of garlic, halved

300ml beef stock

2 teaspoons cornflour made into a paste with 2 tablespoons of the port

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Season the beef with salt and evenly coat it with the crushed peppercorns.
  2. Heat a little olive oil in a frying pan and brown the beef all over, then transfer to a roasting tray.
  3. Place the beef in a preheated oven, 180’c, for 15-20 minutes for medium rare (a meat thermometer will read 55’c). Move to a plate to rest.
  4. Meanwhile put the port, thyme and garlic in a small saucepan and boil to reduce by half, then whisk in the beef stock and the cornflour paste. Cook, whisking for about 1 minute until the sauce has thickened.
  5. Check the sauce for seasoning, adding any juices from the resting beef.
  6. Slice the beef into thick slices and serve with the sauce, Dauphinoise Potatoes and Green Beans with Shallots & Sherry Vinegar (recipes here).

Beef Stroganoff (Serves 4-6)

This recipe for Beef Stroganoff is very quick, it just requires the beef to be flash fried, therefore it is important to use good fillet steak. With the addition of soured cream, dill and lemon juice this simple recipe is extremely special! I like to serve it with white long grain rice and a green salad.

4 medium onions, 400g

6 tablespoons groundnut oil

700g fillet steak, cut into thin strips, about 1cm thick

80g butter

500g button or small mushrooms, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons paprika

300ml soured cream

1 lemon

Large bunch of dill, finely chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Peel, half and thinly slice the onions.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the groundnut oil in a frying pan. Pat the meat dry, season generously with salt and pepper. Add half the meat to the pan and stir-fry briskly for 30 seconds to brown and remove to one side. Repeat with the remaining oil and meat.
  3. Add half the butter to the pan and stir in the onions. Cook slowly until golden, sticky and softened. Tip on to a plate.
  4. Add the remaining butter to the pan and stir-fry the mushrooms with the paprika for about 4 minutes until dark and soft.
  5. Return the onions to the pan and add the soured cream. Warm through.
  6. Add the meat, return to simmer, season with salt and pepper and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Finely stir through the chopped dill.
  8. Serve with rice and a green salad.

Thai Steak Salad with Ginger (Serves 4)

This salad has a lot of ingredients but is very simple to make and ready in 10 minutes! It is a recipe I found in the cookbook ‘Tom Aikens Cooking’, a book which I bought many years ago when he had his Michelin starred restaurant, ‘Tom Aikens’. Nick and I were lucky to eat there a few times and I must admit that the food was outstanding. The cookbook, as you can imagine from a chef of this calibre, has quite a few complicated recipes however amongst them it is possible to find a couple which are easy to cook on a midweek evening,  such as this steak salad. The flavours of this salad are great; fresh and light, with a sweet ginger taste rather than a hot fiery one! If you are gluten free use gluten free soy sauce and oyster sauce.

3 – 4 sirloin steaks (depending on how hungry you are)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

1 red onion, thinly sliced

150g mixed salad leaves

For the Sauce:

2 tablespoons of bottled stem ginger in syrup, chopped

6g piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and chopped

2  fresh red chilles, finely chopped (or less according to your taste)

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves picked

1 small bunch fresh Thai basil or regular basil, leaves picked

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon oyster sauce

2½ tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon of toasted sesame seeds

1 teaspoon caster sugar

50ml sesame oil

  1. For the sauce, grind together the gingers, the chilli, the garlic and half of the mint and basil leaves. Mix in the remaining sauce ingredients including the remaining whole herb leaves.
  2. Brush the steaks with a little olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Heat a griddle pan (or frying pan) until very hot and cook each steak for 1½-2 minutes on each side.
  3. Remove the steaks from the pan and whilst they are resting put the red onion in the pan to cook for a few minutes until caramelised.
  4. Slice the steaks into thin slices, trimming any excess fat.
  5. Finally toss the meat, onions, salad leaves and sauce together in a large bowl and serve straightaway.

Tagliata Steak with a Herb Dressing (Serves 4)

The Italian word ‘tagliata’ means sliced and this is exactly what ‘Tagliata’ is – sliced steak. Often in Italy they use the T-bone cut for this recipe, so that you get both the fillet and sirloin. However I find that it is easier and quicker to cook sirloin steaks at home, and to slice these before serving. The dressing is one which I have taken from Nina Parker’s ‘Nina’s St Tropez’ cookbook, it is quite light so does not overpower the steak. I would serve this dish with baby roast potatoes or the oven chips from my ‘staple side dishes’ and a salad of your choice dressed with a tarragon vinaigrette.

3-4 sirloin steaks (depending on how hungry you are)

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

Herb Dressing

1 anchovy fillet, chopped

60ml olive oil

Large bunch of tarragon, chopped

Handful parsley, chopped

Juice of ½ lemon

½ teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

20g unsalted butter

1 clove garlic, chopped

Sea salt and black pepper

  1. Remove steaks from fridge to bring to room temperature
  2. Meanwhile make the sauce – put the chopped anchovy in a bowl with all but 1 tablespoon of the oil, add the herbs, lemon juice, sugar and vinegar. Then, in a small saucepan heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil with the butter, when hot add the garlic, cook for a moment before adding the mixture to the bowl with the herbs. Give everything a good stir and season with salt and pepper. Cover and keep warm whilst you deal with the steaks.
  3. Lightly brush the steaks with olive oil and sprinkle generously with salt and a little black pepper.
  4. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Place the steaks in the pan and cook for about 1½ minutes of each side for rare or a little longer depending on your taste. I also like to turn the steaks on their ‘fat’ edge, for 30 seconds to crisp it up.
  5. Remove the steaks to a plate to rest for about 10 minutes in a warm place.
  6. Pour the juices which will have seeped from the resting steaks into the bowl with the dressing. Slice each steak.
  7. Serve the slices on a large plate with a little of the dressing sprinkled over and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to the table so that everyone can help themselves, with the remaining dressing in a bowl.

Spiced Steaks with a Whisky Sauce (Serves 4)

Whisky and spices may sound a strange combination with steak, but believe me it really works and adds an extra special dimension to a simple steak. I urge you to try it!…The quality of the whisky does make a difference, so use the best you have, the smokier the better. I would serve the steaks with homemade oven chips and a salad with a honey-mustard vinaigrette, you can find these recipes on my side dishes and salad dressings pages. Start by making the chips and the salad/vinaigrette; cook the steaks about 5 – 10 minutes before the chips have finished cooking .

2 teaspoons Schwartz Jamaican Jerk seasoning (or mix one teaspoon each of allspice and chilli powder, plus a generous pinch of sugar)

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt

2 tablespoons mixed peppercorns

4 beef fillet or sirloin steaks

4 tablespoons olive oil

10 tablespoons whisky

15g butter

2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped

150 ml beef stock

2 level tablespoons redcurrant jelly

6 tablespoons double cream

  1. Crush together the salt and peppercorns with a pestle and mortar (or the end of a rolling pin), mix with the jerk seasoning (or spice and sugar mixture).
  2. Use 1 tablespoon of the oil to lightly coat the steaks and press each side into the spice mix. Leave for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Heat a frying pan with the remaining olive oil and add the steaks (normally I don’t add oil to the pan when I’m frying steaks, I just oil them, but this recipe needs extra oil in the pan otherwise the spices will burn). I like my steak on the rare side, so I cook them for 1½ minutes on each side depending on the thickness. Cook for longer, depending on your taste.
  4. Remove the steaks to rest on a plate whilst you make the sauce. Add the knob of butter to the pan, along with the chopped garlic and the whisky.
  5. When the whisky has warmed through, very carefully light the sauce using a long kitchen match. When the flames have died down add the stock, redcurrant jelly and double cream.
  6. Lightly whisk, so that the redcurrant jelly melts into the sauce. Continue to heat through gently, until it is reduced and slightly thickened.
  7. Serve the sauce straightaway with the steaks and their juices, the oven chips and a salad with honey-mustard dressing.