- 6 fillet steaks
For the red wine sauce
- knob of butter
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- sprig thyme
- olive oil, for frying
- 200g lean beef trimmings, chopped
- 75cl bottle red wine (Fitou gives a very rich, red colour)
- 1.2l fresh beef jus (or try using cans of beef consommé)
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the garlic, vegetables and herbs, and cook on a medium heat until they soften and begin to colour. Heat a drop of olive oil in a frying pan. Season the beef trimmings and fry until coloured and sealed all over. Add the meat to the vegetables.
- Pour 1-2 glasses of wine into the frying pan in which you have cooked the meat. Bring this to the boil, scraping and lifting all the meat residue from the bottom of the pan. Pour the liquid into the pan that contains the meat and vegetables. Let the pan’s contents bubble until the wine has reduced by three-quarters.
- Now add and reduce the rest of the wine, 1-2 glasses at a time. If you tip it all in at once, you wash the vegetables and meat of their roasted edge, so their flavour in the finished sauce is bland. Reduce by three-quarters, glass by glass until all the wine is used.
- Now add the beef jus, bring to a simmer and cook gently for 45 mins to 1 hr. Regularly skim away any impurities by weaving a small ladle in and out of the top of the sauce. Taste regularly and when you are happy with the flavour, strain the sauce through a fine sieve, squeezing out all the juices from the meat and vegetables.
- Ideally, also pass the sauce through a sieve lined with a piece of muslin, which will help remove fine impurities. Check for seasoning. You can make ahead up to this point, cool and refrigerate or freeze.
- Heat a grill or pan to hot, smear the steaks with oil and cook them, turning once, 4-5 mins for rare, 7-8 mins for medium, 8-10 mins for well done. Serve the steaks on a bed of wilted spinach with sticky shallots and pour the red wine sauce around. Mashed potatoes make a good accompaniment to this.