Tender strips of prime beef in a classic sauce. So quick and easy, it makes a speedy but special meal. The gherkins make a tasty topping.
COOK TIME: 16-20 minutes
2 tbsp sunflower oil
650g (1lb 7oz) fillet of beef, sliced across the grain into thin strips about 1cm (1⁄2 in) thick (see tip)
a large knob of butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1⁄2 tbsp tomato purée
1 heaped tsp paprika
75ml (3 oz) brandy
200ml (7 oz) beef stock
300ml (10 oz) double cream
2 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp muscovado sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tbsp chopped parsley
1. Heat a large frying pan until hot, then add the oil. Season the beef well with salt and pepper and then fry in two batches over a high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden, but not fully cooked. Set each batch aside on a plate as it is cooked.
2. Melt the butter in the frying pan, then add the onion and fry over a medium heat for about 10 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds, then add the tomato purée and paprika and cook for a few more seconds before pouring in the brandy. Allow to bubble away over the heat, then add the stock, bring back up to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes to reduce by a third.
3. Add the cream, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and sugar, along with any juices from the beef on the plate. Stir for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened slightly, then season well with salt and pepper.
4. Add the beef and gently simmer for 4-5 minutes until heated through. Sprinkle over the chopped gherkins and parsley and serve with boiled rice.
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Classic, published by BBC Books on 25th January, price £26. As well as Mary’s introduction the book contains more than 100 all-new recipes, with Mary’s crucial tips for each one. Chapters include canapés and first courses, fish, poultry and game, pork, lamb and beef, vegetarian, puddings and desserts, and teatime. To order a copy for £20.80 until 4th February, visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £15.