Beef fillet with roasted portobello mushrooms & café de Paris butter

by Al Brown | Cuisine issue #148
Serves: 6This is a wonderfully elegant roast - perfect for a special dinner.

This is a wonderfully elegant roast – perfect for a special dinner. Don’t be put off by the length of the Café de Paris butter ingredient list – it’s simple to put together and you can make it up to a week ahead. This recipe makes twice as much as you need to serve with the beef, but it freezes well. The mushrooms can also be prepared in advance, so you can focus on cooking the beef to a perfect medium.

For the Café de Paris butter
250g unsalted butter, cut into small dice, plus 2 1⁄2 tablespoons extra
2 shallots, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 teaspoons curry powder
1⁄4 cup white wine
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 1⁄2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 1⁄2 tablespoons wholegrain mustard
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 anchovies, finely diced
2 tablespoons capers, finely diced
1⁄2 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leafed parsley
1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives

Place a small frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the 21⁄2 tablespoons of butter along with the shallots, garlic and curry powder. Cook gently for 5 minutes then add the wine and the Worcester sauce. Cook for a further 5 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by half. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Place the diced butter in a bowl. Add the shallot mixture and all the remaining ingredients. Using clean hands, mix all the ingredients together until combined. Taste and season liberally with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Cut 2 pieces of cling film then divide the butter mixture between them. Shape each into a log then carefully wrap up, twisting the ends like a sausage. Freeze one log for later use and refrigerate the other until required.

To cook & serve
1⁄3 cup olive oil, plus extra for cooking
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 large Portobello mushrooms (or 12 medium)
1.2kg beef fillet

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the oil, thyme and garlic and mix well. Peel the mushrooms then brush liberally with the oil mixture. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and set aside.

Trim any visible silver skin from the tenderloin then tie up with natural string or butchers’ twine to create a cylindrical shape of even thickness – this will ensure that it cooks evenly. Season the tenderloin then brush liberally with oil.
Heat a frying pan over high heat then brown the tenderloin all over. Transfer to a roasting dish then cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes for medium or until cooked to your liking. Remove from the oven and set aside to rest for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the mushrooms on an oven tray then roast them for 15 minutes or until they are softened and slightly golden.

To serve, place a mushroom in the centre of each plate. Slice thick steaks off the beef fillet and place on the mushrooms then top each steak with a couple of rounds of the Café de Paris butter. Let it start to melt before serving. Add a green salad and some crusty bread then pull the cork out of a red or two and enjoy.

Wine - A handsome, ripe Hawke’s Bay cabernet merlot.

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