About this recipe:The shallot sauce takes some time, but is well worth the effort. This is definitely a dinner party dish, and the recipe doubles well for a larger party. Serve with a green salad and roasted vegetables.
350g shallots, halved lengthwise and peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
750ml beef stock
175ml port wine
1 1/2 teaspoons tomato puree
1 (1kg) whole beef fillet, trimmed
1 teaspoon dried thyme
3 rashers streaky bacon, diced
40g butter, divided
1 tablespoon plain flour
4 sprigs watercress, for garnish
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Preheat oven to 190 C / Gas mark 5. In 23cm pie dish, toss shallots with olive oil to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until shallots are deep brown and very tender, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes.
In a large saucepan, combine beef stock and port. Bring to the boil. Cook over high heat until the volume is reduced by half, about 30 minutes. Whisk in tomato puree. Set aside.
Pat beef fillet dry; sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper. In a large roasting tin, saute bacon until golden over medium heat on the hob. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to kitchen roll. Add beef to tin; brown on all sides over medium high heat, about 7 minutes.
Transfer tin to oven. Roast beef until meat thermometer inserted into centre registers 50 degrees C for medium rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer beef to platter. Tent loosely with foil.
Spoon fat off top of pan dripping in roasting tin. Place tin over high heat on hob. Add stock mixture, and bring to the boil; stir to scrape up any browned bits. Transfer to a medium saucepan, and bring to simmer. Mix 20g butter and flour in small bowl to form smooth paste; whisk into stock mixture, and simmer until sauce thickens. Whisk in remaining butter. Stir in roasted shallots and reserved bacon. Season with salt and pepper.
Cut beef into 1cm thick slices. Spoon some sauce over, and garnish with watercress.