FIL­LET OF BEEF, SMOKED OX CHEEK & RED WINE

Cheshire Life - - Food & Drink Awards - By Richard Nut­tall. Restau­rant Next Door

In­gre­di­ents

Fil­let steak cut, 180g per per­son Sea salt to sea­son

Small hand­ful thyme sprigs

3 Gar­lic cloves – whole lightly crushed

30g Un­salted but­ter

Ox cheeks ap­prox 500g each – por­tion for 100g per per­son

Sea salt to sea­son

FOR THE SMOKE MIX

1 cup sugar

1 cup loose black Tea

1 cup long grain Rice

FOR BRAISING (ENOUGH FOR 1-4 CHEEKS)

1 onion roughly chopped

1 car­rot roughly chopped

I leek roughly chopped

½ bulb gar­lic

2 bay leaves

12 black pep­per corns

200ml Madeira

350ml red wine

Beef stock to cover

Method

FOR THE SMOKED OX CHEEK • Com­bine the smoke mix in a tray over a high heat, place the cheeks on rack above the mix­ture, as it starts to smoul­der cover with foil and leave for 15mins. (Note this may ruin your tray!) • Re­move the cheeks from the smok­ing tray, oil, sea­son with sea salt. In a deep non stick casse­role pan heav­ily sear the cheeks on all sides – set aside to rest. Add the braising vegeta­bles and aro­mats to the pan and gen­tly brown. Add the al­co­hol and re­duce to a syrup. Place the cheeks back in the pan add the stock and bring to a sim­mer. Lid on and oven at 140°C for 8 hours. Re­move the cheeks from the braise, strain and re­duce the sauce to a glaze con­sis­tency. Por­tion the cheeks and glaze. Save some ex­tra sauce for fin­ish­ing.

• All of the above can be done well in ad­vance, re­frig­er­ate the glazed cheek pieces and roast in the oven to re-heat when re­quired. The sauce can be re- heated in a small pan, let down with a touch of water if nec­es­sary.

FOR THE FIL­LET OF BEEF

• Melt the but­ter in a fry­ing pan, add the gar­lic and thyme. Sea­son the fil­let with sea salt. As the but­ter turns brown, add the steak to the pan, cook for 3 mins on each side, coat­ing in but­ter whilst cook­ing. Place the fil­let on a tray and roast in a pre­heated oven at 180°C for 6 mins then rest for 6 mins. Your steak will be on the rarer side of medium rare at this stage with a de­li­cious carameli­sa­tion on the out­side. If you are cook­ing for many you will have greater con­trol the fil­let if you cook one at a time in the pan, adding more but­ter as you need. The steaks can then be ovened and rested to­gether so they are ready for serv­ing at the same time.

• We serve a sea­sonal gar­nish of cele­riac, red wine and pick­led onion but feel free to get cre­ative with your sides.

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