Beef Fillet with Potato Puree and Garlic Scapes, served with a sauce of Lardons and Mushrooms

Serves 4

Food for the soul, lovingly made for the special people in your life.

Whether enjoyed intimately beside a fire, or with a group around a large table on a Sunday, do so with MadFish Shiraz.

Note: You will need to start this recipe two days in advance in order to prepare the jus, and on the day two hours before in order to make the potato puree.


4x 180g beef fillet portions
50g Maldon salt flakes
100g chestnut mushrooms
80g pancetta – cut into lardons
8 x garlic scapes
500g potatoes for mashing – we use royal blue in Australia, however ratte variety would be excellent
500g butter – cut into cubes
200g beef jus – see recipe below

Cooking the Beef Fillets and Scapes

Bring your beef fillet portions to room temperature for at least half an hour before cooking. 

Place a heavy based frying pan over high heat and leave to heat up for at least 5 minutes. 

Place salt flakes in a small round dish and pat the two flat surfaces in the salt. Don’t worry if it looks like too much as most of the salt will be left in the pan. Without adding any oil, place the beef fillets salted side down in the hot pan and leave untouched for 1 minute.  

Turn over onto the other salted side and cook for a further 1 minute. Repeat and cook for another 1 minute on either side. Remove the pan from the heat and immediately add 100g of the butter. When the initial reaction of the butter to the heat has subsided, place back on the heat and cook on either side again for a further two times. Remove from the pan and allow rest for two minutes before serving.

Cooking the Garlic Scapes

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the garlic scapes for 3 minutes and then shock into a large bowl of heavily iced water. Pull the tough stems away from the scapes and then tie two of them into a knot per person, place into a container lined with absorbent paper and set aside until needed. This will make alot more than what you need but this will store in the freezer very well for at least 3 months.

Then sauté the blanched garlic scapes in the pan juices of the beef until they start to colour, remove from the heat and set aside. 

Potato Puree 

Peel the potatoes and cut them into even sized pieces if necessary. Place them into a pot big enough to allow at least 10cm above the surface level of the potatoes and top the pot up with cold water. Add salt to the ratio of 18g per 1 litre of water and then place over high heat and bring to a simmer. Once simmering turn the heat to low and cook gently until the potatoes are easily pierced with a small knife. Drain the potatoes and immediately pass through a potato ricer or a drum sieve (it is critical in the success of the mash that this part is done while the potatoes are very hot, even if the potato go warm they will become gluey in texture). Once passed, return to the pot over medium heat and with a heat proof spatula stir the potatoes together to make a homogenous mixture. Start to slowly add the butter, stirring continuously until all of the butter has been incorporated. If the potato starts to ‘split’, simply stir in 1 tablespoon of milk and stir vigorously. Check the seasoning and then set aside. This can be made in advance, just decant into a container and leave a cut to size piece of baking paper to cover the surface 

Making the Beef Jus
Stage One

200g of beef fat or olive oil
1/4 head of garlic
4 white peppercorns
100g carrots – rough dice
100g onion – rough dice
1 branch celery – rough dice
1 leek – rough dice
1 large bouquet garni consisting of parsley stems, 1 bunch thyme and 20g dried bay leaves wrapped with string inside a few leek tops.
600ml  red wine
2 litres stock stage one. 

Heat a large stock pot over high heat and heat the beef fat inside until smoking. Add the rough diced vegetables and cook over high heat to caramelise, roughly about 20 minutes. Pour over the red wine and reduce until evaporated, stirring regularly. Pour over the beef stock and bring to the boil, skimming as needed. Simmer for 2 hours then strain through a course sieve into another pot, then pour through a fine sieve. Reduce by half then strain again. Place in the fridge overnight or until the fat sets on the surface

Stage Two
Makes 250ml of Glace De Viande

2 litres of beef stock from stage one
400g beef trim (or beef mince)
200ml Port

Remove the layer of fat on top of the stock and place in a medium saucepan over high heat for 10 minutes or until smoking. Add the beef trim and sauté for 10-15 minutes or until well caramelised and crispy. Add the port and reduce by half, add the stock from stage two and then bring to the boil, skimming as needed. Boil rapidly until reduce by half and pass through a fine sieve 

Red Wine Sauce
Makes 400ml

1.2 litres red wine
280ml port
3 shallots – thinly slice
3 garlic cloves – thinly slice
4 sprigs of thyme
2 star anise
8 white peppercorns
250 ml  of stock from stage two 

Combine the red wine and port in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the shallots, garlic, thyme, star anise and peppercorn. Return to a boil and rapidly reduce by half, add the glace de viande and bring to the boil, boil rapidly for 10-15 minutes or until reduced by one third. Then pass the still hot sauce through a fine sieve. Let the sauce settle for 10 minutes and then pass through a chux cloth lined sieve 3-4 times until there are no more impurities.

Finishing the Dish 

Heat a small pan over medium heat and add the lardons of pancetta. Cook until the fat has rendered out and they have become crispy, with a slotted spoon remove the crispy lardons and set aside but keep the fat in the pan. Add the mushrooms to the pan and sauté until golden then turn the heat to low, add the lardons back into the pan and add the red wine sauce. Bring to a boil, not to reduce, but more to emulsify the fat into the red wine sauce. Once the liquid is bubbling as an homogenous mixture, remove from the heat and pour over the beef fillet. Place a spoon of the potato puree to the side of the beef and top the beef with the garlic scapes.