* This recipe was created in partnership with bestofbeef.com, the recipe, all opinions and statements are my own
The Autumn chills have certainly arrived; the woollen jumpers have come back out and the fireplace has been lit a few nights already but luckily the cold weather also means we can go back to making lovely Autumn stews, soups and other warm comforting foods. Ever since I made my Certified Irish Hereford Prime Beef Salad I had been waiting for Autumn to hit so I could make another recipe with this lovely beef, and this time I went for Braised Beef, cooked in a lovely dry red wine & beef stock sauce, with Autumn Chestnut Mushrooms, shallots and cranberries and a butternut squash puree on the side.
I also used a different cut than I did last time around, as I went for beef fillets instead of rib eye steaks. When it comes to cuts of beefs I’ve never really known much about it, so I’m very thankful for websites like Best of Beef who can teach us more about it and can help us figure out what cuts to use for which meal. If you’re unsure what to use have a look at their Guide to Cuts of Irish Hereford Prime Beef on bestofbeef.com.
So what can you expect from Irish Hereford Prime Beef Fillets? Low in fat and extremely tender, fillet steaks are melt in the mouth flavoursome. They are also scarce which ensures their position as a luxury cut, reserved for centrepiece dishes. Great on the grill, roasted or broiled, fillet is also perfect for ambitious dishes such as Steak Tartare. In general, the beef provided by Irish Hereford Prime is the most sought after natural beef in the world and prized for it’s unique taste, outstanding tenderness and characteristic marbling. You can see a great example of their marvellous marbling in my shot below, which also adds to the flavour. “Herefords provide one of the most naturally marbled beef in the world. Marbling refers to the finely grained fat that runs through a cut of meat. The more marbled fat the beef has, the more delicious flavour and silky texture it has. Without marbling, beef would be dry and wouldn’t have as much taste. Just one reason our succulent, richly flavoured beef is so sought after by leading European chefs.” – Best of Beef
This recipe does require a food bit of patience and time, but the result is just stunning and the beef is the most tender, flavourful piece of fillet I’ve ever eaten in my life. I can’t wait to cook it again next time I have friends or family over for a visit!
- 2 Certified Irish Hereford Prime Beef Fillets
- 200ml dry red wine
- 200ml hot water
- 1 beef stock cube
- 1 butternut squash
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 200g frozen cranberries
- 1/2 teaspoon of sage
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cloves
- 3 shallots
- few tablespoons of flour (can be gluten-free)
- 2 tablespoons of fresh or frozen parsley, not dried
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce (dark or sweet)
- pepper & salt
Chop the shallots up, doesn't have to be too small though, you can slice them in half lengthways and then in 3-4 chunks sideways. Wash your mushrooms and set them aside - we won't be cutting them as they'll shrink a lot in the oven anyway and we don't want them to disappear but stand out on the plate. Rinse your frozen cranberries and set them aside as well. Add your stock cube to the hot water and leave it to dissolve a bit.
Place flour on a plate and season with a bit of pepper and salt. Place your beef fillets in the flour and roll it all around so that all sides are covered. Shake off any extra flour and set aside while you heat up a frying pan at high heat with some olive oil. We want a pan that's big enough and deep enough as we're going to cook our sauce and mushrooms in it as well.
Wait until the pan is roasting hot before adding the beef, we want it to be seared very well on the outside. Cook each side of the fillet until they are browned really well, then take them out of a pan (don't clean the pan as we're using it right after) and into a deep casserole, I used a gorgeous Le Creuset pot that I got for my birthday.
Now add the shallots to the frying pan we just used, with all those lovely beef juices still in it. After a couple of minutes add the mushrooms, followed by the wine and beef stock and let it cook for about 5 minutes. Add everything onto the casserole now, and add the soy sauce. The soy will mostly help with browning the sauce, you shouldn't be able to taste it at all. Finish off with the cranberries all around and cover your casserole, place it in the oven at 170°C for 1,5 hours but make sure to turn the beef around a few times so that it gets cooked on both sides evenly, as your sauce will start to reduce and the beef won't be covered anymore.
Now we can move on to our butternut squash puree! Slice your butternut up in thick slices of 1cm thick, no need to scoop out the seeds or flesh down at the bottom, as we can remove them afterwards as well. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with pepper and salt and place in the oven uncovered at 170°C for 40 minutes until soft.
Take the butternut squash out of the oven, let it cool down a bit and remove the peel (careful not to burn your hands). Remove the seeds (they are lovely to eat after being in the oven) and the Use a blender/food processor or a masher (the least easy option) to mash your butternut squash into puree, place in an ovenproof bowl, add the sage and ground cloves and add back into the oven for 10 minutes when the braised beef is nearly done.
Sprinkle some parsley on top of your beef when you take it out of the oven and enjoy!