An ideal dish for entertaining from Neven Maguire.
- for the steaks:
- 225 g (x4) dry aged rib-eye steaks
- 100 ml olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
- 1 tsp chopped thyme leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- mixed green salad (dressed with french vinaigrette to serve)
- for the mushroom butter:
- 1 tblsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove (peeled and crushed)
- 1 shallot (peeled and finely diced)
- 50 g mixed wild mushrooms (roughly chopped if large)
- 1 tblsp madeira
- 1 tblsp double cream
- ½ tsp chopped flat leaf parsley
- 100 g butter (diced, at room temperature)
- for the potato gratin:
- 900 g potatoes
- 400 ml milk
- 300 ml double cream
- 4 garlic cloves (peeled and crushed)
- good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 8 rashers of rindless smoked streaky bacon
- butter, for greasing
- 50 g cheddar cheese (grated)
- A day ahead, trim the rib-eye steaks of any excess fat, place in a non-metallic dish and add the olive oil, garlic and thyme, tossing to coat. Cover with cling film and leave in the fridge overnight to marinate if time allows.
- To make the mushroom-flavoured butter, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over a low heat and add the garlic, shallot and mushrooms. Cook gently for 5 minutes until cooked through and tender but not browned. Stir in the Madeira, cream and herbs and cook for a further 3 minutes until the liquid has completely reduced and evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste and allow to cool completely.
- Place the diced butter and cooked wild mushroom mixture in a food processor and puree until smooth. Using a spatula, scrape out on to a square of non-stick baking paper and roll into a cylinder that is about 2.5cm (1in) thick, twisting the ends to secure. Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours until solid, or for up to 48 hours. It can also be frozen for up to 1 month.
- On the day of your meal, make the potato gratin. Slice the potatoes into wafer thin slices and preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F/Gas 3). Pour the milk and cream into a small saucepan and add the garlic and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste and just heat through but do not allow the mixture to boil, then quickly remove from the heat.
- Meanwhile, preheat the grill to medium. Arrange the bacon rashers on a grill rack and cook for about 5 minutes until crisp and lightly golden, turning once. Drain on kitchen paper and, when cool enough to handle, snip into pieces with scissors.
- Grease a 23 x 18 cm (9 x 7 in) ovenproof dish, of 5cm (2in) in depth, with the butter and arrange a third of the potato slices in the base of the dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste and scatter over half of the bacon, then add another third of the potatoes in an even layer, season again and scatter over the remaining bacon. Arrange the rest of the potatoes on top in an attractive, overlapping layer and carefully pour over the milk mixture.
- Cover the potato gratin with foil and place the dish on a baking sheet. Bake for 1 ¼ hours or until cooked through and lightly golden, then remove the foil. Sprinkle over the grated cheddar and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown.
- Meanwhile, remove the steaks from the fridge at least half an hour before you wish to cook them, shake off any excess marinade and season with salt and pepper.
- The steaks can be grilled, barbecued or pan-fried. Either preheat the grill to high, heat a large, non-stick frying pan over a high heat or prepare a barbecue for cooking. Cook the steaks in your chosen way on a fierce heat for 4-5 minutes for rare, 6-7 minutes for medium-rare, or 9-10 minutes for well-done. Allow to rest for 5 minutes on warmed serving plates.
- Remove the flavoured butter from the fridge, take it out of the paper wrapper and cut it into slices. Place the butter slices on top of the cooked steaks and add a portion of the potato gratin and some mixed salad to each warmed plate to serve.
This recipe and many more are available in Neven's new book, 'Neven Maguire: Home Chef', published by Harper Collins.