A tender classic

Chef column - chateaubriand
Chef column - chateaubriand

James Tea, head chef at Wisbech’s Rose and Crown Hotel, is dishing up a weekly menu to help liven up your family meal times. Each week James, who has worked at top-class restaurants around the world, will be serving up an easy, affordable recipe for you to try. Many of the meals will be a version of those on offer at the prestigious Rose and Crown Hotel.


Serves 2-4

1 chateaubriand, about 500g

A little butter, for frying

For the red wine sauce:

25ml neutral tasting oil

250g beef trimmings

40g shallots, sliced

80g mushrooms, sliced

400ml Pinot-style red wine

250ml chicken stock

150ml veal, demi-glace

3 black peppercorns

1 large sprig tarragon

1 sprig thyme

1 tsp cornflour (optional)

For the celeriac purée:

25g unsalted butter

25g chopped onions

25g chopped celery

300g chopped celeriac

250ml milk

3g chicken stock cubes

For the vegetables:

4 banana shallots

sherry vinegar, to taste

200g wild mushrooms

1 clove garlic, crushed

3-4 sprigs chervil, chopped


For the beef: preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/Gas 5. Season the beef with salt.

Heat butter in an ovenproof frying pan and, when foaming, add the beef. Sear until coloured on all sides.

Transfer to the oven and cook – 15 minutes for medium-rare and 5 minutes more for a medium steak. Remove from oven and leave to rest.

For the sauce: heat oil in a pan and lightly colour beef trimmings. Add shallots and sweat for 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and, once slippery, add the wine.

Simmer until the wine reduces by three-quarters, then add the chicken stock, demi-glace, herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.

Pass the sauce through a sieve then return to a clean pan and simmer until reduced to a coating consistency.

If needed, mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp of water and add to sauce, stirring until thickened. Season as necessary and add a pinch of sugar if it seems too acidic. Keep warm.

For the celeriac purée: melt butter in a saucepan and sweat the onion and celery with 3g salt. When tender, but not coloured, pour in the milk and 250ml of water. Add the stock cube, celeriac, a pinch of ground pepper, then bring to the boil.

Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Set aside cool.

Drain the celeriac mixture then blend in a food processor until fine. Transfer to a blender and blend to a very fine purée. Put the purée in a clean saucepan and keep warm.

For the vegetables: peel the shallots and leave whole. Blanch in a pan of boiling water for 1 minute, then drain and refresh in iced water. Drain thoroughly, then cut the shallots in half.

Heat a large knob of butter in a pan, add the shallots and season. Fry gently until softened and coloured.

Increase the heat slightly and add a little sherry vinegar to deglaze the pan, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape up the bits from the bottom of the pan. 

Heat another pan with a knob of butter and, when foaming, add the mushrooms, garlic and chervil and toss well. Fry until just starting to soften, then season generously. 

To serve, spoon the celeriac purée onto each plate. Carve the chateaubriand on the diagonal, cutting against the grain and add to the plates.

Scatter the beef with the mushrooms, put the shallots on the side and finish with a drizzle of the sauce.