A tender melt in the mouth fillet steak, sweet honey roasted parsnips and burnt onion all finished off with some peppery watercress and a rich sauce… it’s a great winter warmer.
6 good quality British beef fillet steaks (225-255g each)
For the burnt onion
6 banana shallots or small white onions
100ml white wine or chicken stock (page 123)
For the roast parsnips
2 tablespoons clear honey
For the sauce
Red wine gravy (page 124)
½ bunch thyme
1 bunch watercress
Fillet steak is my steak of preference for this dish but by all means use any steak that you wish; rump, t-bone or ribeye are also great options.
I always find speaking to my local butcher and asking what good quality cuts of steak are the best way to do it, they will point you in the right direction.
Take your steaks out of the fridge one hour before cooking to bring them to room temperature, pat them dry with a cloth to remove any moisture. When you want to cook your steak’s place a frying pan on the stove over a high heat. Season the meat with sea salt, not pepper as it will burn, and then rub with olive oil. Once the pan is smoking hot carefully place the steak’s in the pan. Sear the meat on both sides, flipping the steak over every minute to caramelise the outside of the meat. We caramelise the meat quickly to create flavour and to lock in all the steak’s juices. Cook the steak like this for about 4 minutes and it will give you a nice medium rare steak. However, if you want the steak cooked more or less, the easiest way to make sure your meat is cooked perfectly, is to use a digital probe. Place the probe into the middle off the thickest part of the meat. For rare, the core temperature needs to be 50°c, medium-rare 55°c, medium 60°c and well done 70°c. For anything over medium rare, finish in an oven preheated at 180°c. Once your steak is cooked to your liking place it on a clean tray and allow to rest for 5 minutes to relax the meat. Slice and season the exposed flesh with sea salt and pepper.
The burnt onion is a more ‘on trend’ way of cooking that I think you’ll be interested in. It adds a slight bitterness and complements the meat very well. Take the shallots or small white onions and cut them in half lengthways through the root leaving the skin on, this will protect and let the onion almost steam within its own skin. Add a drizzle of olive oil to a large frying pan over a medium heat. As the oil begins to smoke add the onions flesh side down and begin to caramelise, turn one over with a spoon after a few minutes and check to see it is caramelising. Once the flesh side of the onion has burnt add the butter and with a spoon keep basting the butter over the onion for 2 minutes, this will add flavour and keep the onions moist. Flip the onions over so the flesh is now facing towards you then add the wine or stock and place a lid over the pan and steam for 4 minutes. Remove the onions onto a tray and pour over the juices and leave them to cool slightly. Once manageable with your hands, take off the skin and separate the little onion cups. Season the onion flesh with some sea salt and pepper, and before serving just heat them through a pan with a touch of butter.
To roast the parsnips preheat an oven to 180°c. Cut the top and bottom off each parsnip, peel, quarter and remove some of the root. Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the parsnips, cook for 2 minutes then drain, this will soften them slightly and makes them extra crispy. Once the water has drained give them a shake and season them with sea salt, pepper, the honey and a drizzle of olive oil. Mix well, tip onto a roasting tray and roast for 20 minutes or until soft and crisp, turning them every 5 minutes to glaze evenly.
Remove the thyme leaves from the stalks and add to the red wine gravy. Heat gently on the stove.
For a quick and easy sauce when you remove the steaks from the frying pan, add 150ml of red wine and the thyme leaves to the pan. Scrape the bits off the bottom and reduce. Once reduced by half remove the pan from the heat and whisk in 100g of cold butter to create a glossy sauce.
Create a salad by mixing the parsnip, onion shells and watercress together. Divide evenly between the plates and add the sliced steak. Drizzle over some sauce and serve.