Beef Fillet with a Fricassee of Mushrooms and Asparagus Purée

A rather lovely treat. In the name of this blog, I had to insist that we tried this recipe, mainly because the mushrooms sounded interesting! So, we got to have beef fillet – yipppeee! The fillet came from a great butcher and I did very little to it other than emphasise its natural flavour with seasoning. The mushrooms were quite a revelation – I’ve never even thought to do them like this before but they were absolutely lovely – we’ll be having them again. And then there’s the asparagus…it’s in season so we’ve been having lots of it so I wanted to do something different – hence the green blobs! Despite being potentially pretentious (if they’d been a bit tidier) the process really intensified the flavour and I would definitely give this ago again and not just with asparagus! If you fancy treating yourself to a nice bit of fillet, then I would wholeheartedly recommend this recipe.

Serves 4

What you need…

4 gorgeous beef fillets, about 3cm thick

Olive oil

Sea salt and black pepper

for the mushrooms

100ml boiling water from the kettle

½ beef stockpot (I use Knorr)

100g unsalted butter

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

200g assorted mushrooms

2 tablespoons Madeira

1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

1 tomato, peeled, deseeded and finely chopped

1 teaspoon tarragon, chopped

for the asparagus

250g asparagus, trimmed

Knob butter

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Sea salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons double cream

What to do…

A couple of hours before you want to eat, prepare the beef. Fillet doesn’t need tenderising. Instead, put a teaspoon of olive oil onto one side of each steak, spreading it evening over and then, using the heel of your hand, massage the steak – it needs no more than this. Season with salt and pepper, flip and repeat on the other side. Cover your steaks with cling film and set aside until you’re ready to cook them.

Next, the asparagus purée! In a medium-sized deep frying pan, cook the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 minutes. Drain (retaining a little of the water). Return the asparagus to the dry pan, add the butter, Dijon and seasoning stirring together until the butter is melted and the other ingredients evenly incorporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Tip the whole lot into your blender with a tablespoon of the retained cooking water. Whizz until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add a little more water if the mixture is too thick for your liking. Pop the asparagus purée into a plastic bottle (to create the blobs) and keep warm until serving.

To the mushrooms! Use a balloon whisk to mix together the boiling water and beef stockpot to create 100ml beef stock. Set aside.

Melt 20g of the butter in a pan, add the garlic and shallot and cook until transparent. Add the mushrooms and cook gently for 3 minutes. Add the Madeira to the pan, turn up the heat and cook, stirring regularly, until the liquid has reduced by half. Stir in the mustard and then the rest of the butter. Season and then tip in the tomato and tarragon.

Meanwhile, cook your fillets. Place your lovely fillets into a dry frying pan over a moderate heat. Cook for a few minutes on each side until they are cooked to your liking. Allow them to rest a little before serving.

Serve your beef fillet with a goodly portion of the wonderful fricassee of mushrooms and either a few blobs, a smear or dollop of the beautifully intensely flavoured asparagus purée together with a wonderful glass or two of a great red wine (a good claret perhaps?) Just yummy!


I use Cooks’ Ingredients frozen chopped garlic and frozen, chopped shallots from Waitrose, preferring a quick shake of the packet rather than all the peeling and chopping.

Inspired by…

Michael Caines on Saturday Kitchen

How easy…

Very easy – I knocked this up in just a few minutes having all afternoon in the kitchen creating the wonderful but time-intense Chocolate, Orange and Cardamom Diva cake, so I was knackered when I started – this was an absolute sinch and the perfect end to the day.

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