Sugar cured beef tenderloin with apple cream and horseradish mash (Serves 4)
750g beef fillet (tenderloin) or top sirloin
2 tbsp vegetable oil
For the sugar cure
168g dark brown sugar
112g granulated sugar
2 tbsp salt
6 tbsp paprika
½ tbsp chilli powder or cayenne pepper
½ tbsp dried thyme leaves
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp granulated garlic or garlic chips
For the roasted garlic mash
1 bulb garlic
150ml olive oil
3 sprigs thyme, leaves picked
400g (approx) mashed potato
1-2 tbsp horseradish (to taste)
50ml beef stock
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
For the apple cream
3 small shallots, peeled and finely chopped
2 green apples, cored and finely chopped
175ml chicken stock
50ml apple juice
70g Brie, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
12 thin apple slices
salt and black pepper
First, prepare the cure: stir the brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt together in a large bowl. Add the rest of the dried herbs and spices and mix until really well combined.
Sprinkle the sugar cure over the beef, rolling the meat in the mixture so that it is well coated on all sides. Leave in the fridge for a few hours or overnight if possible. Any leftover cure will keep for up to six months if stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
To prepare the seasoning for the mash peel the garlic cloves and place in a small saucepan. Cover with the olive oil and cook over a medium-low heat for 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly before roughly chopping the garlic cloves and mixing them with the thyme leaves.
To make the apple cream, put the chopped shallots and apples into a dry saucepan and place over a medium heat. Cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring frequently, until softened but not coloured. Pour over the chicken stock and apple juice and increase the heat slightly. When nearly all the stock has evaporated, add the cream and butter and stir well. Cook for 2-3 minutes before adding all but four pieces of the chopped Brie to the pan. Allow the Brie to melt, before removing the pan from the heat and blending the mixture until smooth (a hand blender is ideal for this). Season and keep warm until you are ready to use.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Pour a tablespoon of oil into a griddle or frying pan. When you can feel heat rising from the pan, add the steak and brown on all sides: you're not looking to cook the meat, just to sear the outside. Place on a tray and transfer to the oven for 4-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, reheat the mashed potatoes in a pan. Add the cream, roasted garlic and horseradish to the pan and stir well. Remove the meat from the oven and leave to rest for 3-4 minutes before slicing into four steaks. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and cook the individual steaks to your liking. Remove the meat from the pan, add the beef stock and balsamic vinegar and leave to bubble up briefly.
To serve, put a spoonful of horseradish mash in the centre of each plate. Arrange the steaks on top, spoon the Brie cream around the edge and drizzle over the pan juices. Top with a few apple slices, a sprig of thyme and a piece of the reserved Brie.