Braised Steak in Madeira with Five Kinds of Mushrooms
This recipe, which uses thick braising steak, is really a very moveable feast.
As written, it is perfect for entertaining but, for an everyday family version, you could replace the Madeira with cider or beer and quite easily use just one variety of fresh mushroom.
This recipe is from Delia's Winter Collection. Serves 4-6
First of all, soak the dried porcini by placing them in a jug with 15 fl oz (425 ml) warm water for at least half an hour.
Meanwhile, trim the beef of any hard gristle and membrane and if it's a whole slice divide it into 4 pieces. Cut the onions into half lengthways and then into ½ inch (1 cm) wedges.
Now in the casserole heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sauté the onions until nicely tinged brown at the edges, then remove them to a plate. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the casserole, turning the heat up really high, then brown the pieces of meat, 2 at a time on both sides, and remove them as they're done to join the onions.
Next, drain the porcini through a sieve lined with kitchen paper, reserving the liquid, and chop them roughly. Now stir the flour into the fat left in the casserole along with ½ oz (10 g) butter, then slowly add the mushroom-soaking water, stirring well after each addition, and follow that with the Madeira, whisking well to blend everything.
As soon as the liquid comes to simmering point, add the onions and the browned beef to the casserole, along with the chopped porcini. Add the bay leaf and the thyme, season with salt and pepper, then put a lid on and place the casserole in the oven for 1½ hours.
After that, chop the chestnut and dark-gilled mushrooms roughly (not too small). Add these to the casserole, sprinkling them on the steak and spooning the juices over, then replace the lid, return the casserole to the oven and let it cook slowly for another 1½ hours.
When you're ready to serve, slice the oyster and shiitake mushrooms into ½ inch (1 cm) strips, reserving a few small whole ones for garnishing, then melt 1 oz (25 g) butter in a frying pan, add the garlic and the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
Toss everything around in the pan for 2-3 minutes.
Now remove the casserole from the oven, taste to check the seasoning, then serve the steaks with the sauce spooned over and garnish with the shiitake and oyster mushrooms.
Pre-heat the oven to gas mark ½, 250°F (130°C).