Fillet of Irish beef with nettles, smoked aubergine and beef fat carrots

Beef fillet is always on the meny at the River Room, it's a crowd pleaser and never fails to satisfy. We alternate the garnish every few weeks to suit the season and in this instance it;s served with a smoky aubergine puree. As nettles are everywhere now, we pick them from the surrounding area and make and intense nettle oil to split the sauce. Some organic carrots are cooked in beef fat and tossed in beef dripping breadcrumbs for a bit more substance and texture, along with a few other token seasonal vegetables for good measure. 

Ingredients - serves 4

4x beef sauce or gravy

100ml beef sauce or gravy

2 aubergines

8 baby carrots

2onions

1 hispi cabbage (or savoy will  do)

Few potatoes on the side

100g beef fat

40g bread crumbs

100ml vegetable oil

Good hanful of nettle leaves per person and a little baby spinach

Salt and Pepper

50ml cream 

 

Method:

 

For the aubergine puree

Pre heat an oven to around 190c. Roast the aubergines over an open flame, (we use the gas stove or blowtorch) when a dark almost burnt colour is achieved place on a tray and bake in the oven until soft. When slightly cooled cut them open and remove the centre with a small spoon being careful not to get any of the burnt skin. Place in a a saucepan and cook to remove excess moisture. Add the cream, season then blend in a food processor untill smooth. Keep warm and set aside. 

 

For the nettle oil

Heat the oil in a small pot until hot, (around 90oc) and pour into the food processor. Add the washed nettle leaves spinach and blend until the oil turns very green for about 5 minutes, add a pinch of salt. Transfer the hot mixture to a fine sieve lined with a jay cloth, and strain over a bowl with another bowl of ice below. This will rapidly cool the oil keeping it green, once the oil is collected keep aside, idealy in a small bottle.

 

For the carrots

 

Take the tops off the carrots and wash them, blanch them in a pot of rapidly boiling water for around a minute then rub off the skins with a cloth, the carrots should still be raw at this point. Transfer them to another pot of warm beef fat and cook gently until soft, use a small knife to check.

When the carrots are done, reserve a small amount of fat in a frying pan and cook the breadcrumbs until lightly golfem, keep this aside to roll the carrots in prior to serving. 

 

For the additional garnish

Cut the onions in half, leaving the skin on and season, do the same to the potatoes and place in a saucepan with a little beef fat, place in the oven and cook until soft. Use the water from the carrots to cook the cabbage leaves. Set aside.

For the beef and to serve

Season the beef fillets and pan fry at a high heat until dark in colour, then place on a tray, pour over any juices from the pan and cook to your desired temperature (for a thick 10oz fillet steak this is around 7 minutes at 190oc for medium).

Allow the beef to rest for about 5 minutes. In the meantime, heat the beef sauce and the vegetables on a tray in the oven. Once hot, place a spoonful of the aubergine puree on a warm plate and arrange the vegetables to one side.

Slice the beef and place on the garnish.

Pour over a little sauce and split the sauce with the green nettle oil

Wine Recommendation | Lunaria Coste di Moro Montepulciano d'Abruzzo 2013

This biodynamic Montepulciano d`Abruzzo is made from carefully selected grapes and left to ferment naturally using wild yeasts before ageing in a combination of oak and stainless steel for at least four months.

Deep ruby red in colour, the nose is intense of red fruit, black cherry jam and a toasty note from the oak ageing. The palate is fairly full bodied with concentrated black fruit notes combines with cocoa, cinnamon and vanilla held together by chewy tannins and a long, fruity finish.

This wine has a beautiful smooth finish that will clear your palate from all the richness of the Irish Beef Fillet.

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