Beef sirloin with white asparagus, Solomon’s seal, craft ale

You're unlikely to have seen a steak partnered with these wondrous accompaniments before — a craft India pale ale, Solomon's seal (a flowering plant with a sweet nutty taste) and white asparagus. Alyn Williams recommends using the Devon Ruby Red cattle breed for this beef recipe.

First published in 2015
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Beef sirloin


White asparagus

Solomon's seal



  • Mandoline
  • Fine strainer
  • Pressure cooker


Preheat the oven to 110°C/gas mark 1/4
Heat the pressure cooker with the lid off, season the oxtail pieces and seal the meat. Add the red wine and reduce by half
Add the beef stock, vegetables and herbs. Put the lid on the pressure cooker, bring up to full pressure then reduce the heat. Cook at a medium pace for 40 minutes
Release the pressure, remove the meat from the bone and dice the cooked vegetables. Mix the two together and set aside
Pass the juices into a pan, bring to a gently boil and reduce until sticky. Add this to the oxtail and mix well
Now make an emulsion to cook the Solomon’s seal. Bring the water to the boil, add a pinch of salt and then whisk in the butter until emulsified. Set aside until ready to use
Heat a little oil in a frying pan, season the sirloin and seal on the fat side until golden and rendered, then roll the beef in the pan to caramelise the remainder. Finally, add a couple of knobs of butter and finish roasting for 3-4 minutes, remove and rest in a warm place
Sear and colour the raw asparagus in a pan with a little oil and butter until golden brown. Finish with a healthy splash of the ale and cook until the beer emulsifies and thickens into a sauce
Bring the emulsion back to the boil and blanch the Solomon’s seal for 2 minutes in the emulsion. Strain and set aside
  • 12 solomon's seal buds, washed
For the Charlotte potato slices, wash the potatoes thoroughly and slice on a mandolin to a thickness of 2mm. Blanch in boiling salted water for 1 minute, strain and refresh in ice water
Remove from the iced water and pat dry. Heat the butter is a large frying pan and once foaming add the potatoes and cook for 1-2 minutes, just to coat in the butter. Remove from the pan, season and set aside
Warm the oxtail in a pan, carve the beef into 4 pieces and top with the oxtail
Arrange on a plate with the asparagus, potato thins and Solomon’s seal, then drizzle with the reduced beer
First published in 2015
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It is always a pleasing moment when a talented apprentice steps out and succeeds on their own terms. After working as head chef at Marcus Wareing at The Berkeley for five years, Alyn Williams has done exactly that; taking over the Westbury in the autumn of 2011 and quickly winning a Michelin star, which he maintained until he parted ways with the restaurant in 2019.

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