An alternative to Turkey?

When I was researching recipes for last Christmas I came across this recipe in an old Christmas magazine (I think it was Good Food) – I didn’t get a chance to try it at the time but I have used it for dinner parties during the year and it’s divine!

Definitely an option for Christmas dinner if you don’t want to go the traditional route of turkey and ham…..

 Fillet of Beef with Mushroom Stuffing

This will feed 6 people very comfortably with a bit left over for later! Rule of thumb I use is 8oz beef per person – this allows for any shrinkage in cooking (and demonstrates my ongoing inability to work solely in metric!)

What You need:

  • 1.5 kg Fillet of beef
  • 25g dried porcini
  • 300g wild mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 25-50g butter
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • tbsp chopped thyme leaves

What You Do:

  • First thing to do is make the mushroom stuffing: soak the dried mushrooms in 250ml of boiling water for about 20 mins. Then remove mushrooms  from the liquid and finely chop. Strain the soaking liquid and set aside for your sauce
  • Heat butter and a little olive oil in large frying pan (the oil will prevent the butter burning)  and cook shallot and garlic for 3-5 min, then stir in chopped porcini and cook for 2 mins.
  • Add chopped mushrooms and thyme.I usually add a dash of Madeira at this point too!  Cook for 10 mins until lightly browned and any liquid has evaporated. Season to taste.  Leave to cool.
  • Now for the fun part – you need to open out the fillet of beef so you can stuff it : About 1/3 of the way down the thickness of the fllet make an incision from the right almost to the end. Then make a second incision  a 1/3 of way from bottom of fillet, this time from the left again not cutting all the way through. This allows you to open the meat out into one flat piece. (I hope my description makes sense!)
  • Spread the mushroom mix over the surface of the meat then roll it up tightly  like a swiss roll. Tie it with string to hold the shape. You can leave in fridge overnight if required.
  • Heat oven to 200 C/180 Fan/Gas 6.
  • Sear the rolled fillet in roasting pan with oil and butter.
  • Then transfer to oven to cook

Rare 20-25 mins

Medium 35 mins

Well Done 45 mins

  • You can add some shallots to roast around the beef and add some extra whole mushrooms about 10 mins before the end of cooking time.
  • Make sure to rest meat  for about 10-15 mins before carving.

Madeira Sauce

Use up all the yummy bits left in the roasting tray to make a sauce:

  • Put tray back on hob and stir in 1 tbsp cornflour, and pour in 3 tbsp Madeira (you can use Brandy either but it’s safer not to pour directly from the bottle!).
  • When madeira is almost boiled away add in the reserved mushroom liquor and 400 ml beef stock.
  • Cook for about 5 mins, srain and then stir in about 100ml cream and cook for another few minutes. Season and add some chopped parsley.

We  served the beef in a steak-sized slice on a bed of celeriac mash with the sauce spooned around the mash and on another occasion with caramelised beetroot and green beans.

Fillet of Beef with Mushroom stuffing with Madeira Sauce, Green Bean Bundle and Caramelised Beetroot & Shallots

This is the only picture I can find of the dish and I apologise for the poor quality of the image but believe me it is an amazing dish  and worth the effort!

I wonder if I could persuade my family to change from turkey this year………

PS thanks to @Murpheroo on twitter for reminding me of this great recipe!

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6 thoughts on “An alternative to Turkey?

  1. Love alternative to turkey recipes for Christmas. Will try this one two. I am getting a fully free-range turkey this year, as opposed to a factory one.

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