From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
1 tblsp rapeseed oil
1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
150g sirloin or strip loin steaks (per person, dry aged if possible)
4 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 tblsp olive oil
2 tblsp softened butter
675 g cooked potatoes
1 tblsp cream
2 tblsp olive oil
25 g butter
1 shallot (finely chopped)
150 g button mushrooms (trimmed and sliced)
120 ml jameson whisky
150 ml white wine
150 ml (1/4 pint) beef stock
1 tblsp worcestershire sauce
good pinch sugar
150 ml (1/4 pint) double cream
1 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. To make the roasted garlic mash, place the garlic cloves on a piece of foil and drizzle with olive oil. Scrunch up the foil into a purse and cook in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
To make the sauce, heat a pan and add one of the tablespoons of the oil and the butter, then swirl until the butter has melted and is foaming. Tip in the shallot and mushrooms and sauté for 2-3 minutes until tender. Pour over the brandy, then use a match or tilt up the pan to catch the flame. It will flare up for about 5-10 seconds and then subside when the alcohol flame burns off. Add white wine and simmer until reduced by half.
Stir the stock into the pan with the Worcestershire sauce, sugar and cream. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until thickened and reduced to a sauce consistency which will coat the back of a wooden spoon, stirring occasionally. Stir in the parsley and lemon juice.
Season to taste and use immediately or allow to cool down completely and store in a bowl covered with clingfilm in the fridge for up to 2 days. Reheat gently in a pan when needed.
Meanwhile, steam the potatoes for the mash for 20-25 minutes until tender. Open the cooled foil purse and carefully squeeze the garlic cloves from the skins. Melt the butter in a pan and add cream and the roasted garlic. Tip in the potatoes and mash until smooth, then season to taste. Spoon into a piping bag with a plain nozzle. Keep warm.
Heat the rapeseed oil in a heavy-based ovenproof frying pan over a high heat. Season the steaks with plenty of black pepper and cook for 2 minute on each side to seal in the juices, then transfer to the oven and cook the steak for another 5-10 minutes, turning once, depending on how rare you like your meat. (5 minutes for rare, 7 for medium and 10 for well done).
Transfer the cooked steak to warmed plates, season with salt and set aside in a warm place to rest while you assemble the dish. Pour any juices that run off the meat into your mushroom sauce for added flavour. Drizzle the mushroom sauce around the steaks and pipe the roasted garlic mash to one side to serve.