Chateaubriand with beef and oyster pie and winter vegetables

Alyn-Williams-Pan-roasted-chatea_960x540_2250.jpg (1)
  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 40 minutes
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Alyn Williams serves up a stunning pan-roasted chateaubriand recipe for Christmas – the perfect occasion for this special cut of beef. Using this simple method really gets the best out of the beef, cooking it in a mixture of butter and beef fat for ultimate flavour. If you get your butcher to trim the chateaubriand for you, make sure you ask for the trimmings to make the glorious pie Alyn serves with the dish.

First published in 2017





Pie crust

Salt-baked swede mash and discs

Baby turnips

Pie filling


To begin, make the pie crust. Mix the salt and flour together and then sift into a bowl. Add the fats and cut them into the flour to break them down a little, then use your fingertips to crumb the flour and fats together, making sure your hands aren’t too warm. Get as much air incorporated as possible and work gently so you end up with a nice light crumb
Add a little cold water and combine with the crumb until you have a perfect pastry. Cling film the pastry and leave to rest in the fridge
  • ice cold water
Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Prepare one of the swedes for the mash by pricking it all over with a fork. Place on a bed of rock salt on a tray and cook in the oven for approx. 45 minutes, turning frequently
To prepare the baby turnips, add them to a pan and cover with cold water. Add the vinegar, salt, sugar and thyme
Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer for 5–6 minutes. Remove the turnips and allow to cool. Pass the cooking liquid through a sieve and save for reheating later
Meanwhile, prepare the beef. Trim the chateaubriand, keeping the trimmings quite chunky for the pie. Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking
When the pastry has rested, remove from the fridge and roll thinly. Return the pastry sheet to the fridge once more
Now prepare the pie filling. Heat some butter and a little oil in a sauté pan and add the finely chopped carrot, potato and celery. Cook slowly until the vegetables are quite tender
Take all of the vegetables out of the pan and re-heat the pan ready for the beef
Season and dust the beef trimmings lightly in flour. Heat some oil in the sauté pan and add the beef, sealing nicely until well coloured. Don’t cook for too long – this is fillet, after all!
  • flour, for dusting the beef
Return the vegetables to the pan and add a splash of reduced beef stock to coat the beef nicely and deglaze the pan. Stir in the beef fat and chopped parsley. Set aside
  • 1 tbsp of beef fat
  • 800ml of reduced beef stock
  • 1 tbsp of parsley, finely chopped
Once the baked swede is cooked, cut in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Place in a pan and crush with a fork or potato masher, add a few knobs of butter, salt and pepper to taste
Cut the raw swede into 5mm slices, cut into discs with a 3cm cutter and cook in a small pan of gently simmering water with a pinch of salt and a knob of butter until tender. Season with a twist of black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
To form the pies, use a cutter the same size or slightly larger than your 4 pie dishes to cut out rounds of the pastry, then cut small holes in the centre
Use some egg yolk to brush the edges of the pie dishes, then fill with the beef trimmings. Top with an oyster, then place the pastry lids on top. Brush with egg yolk, brushing in one direction for neatness, then season the lid with fleur de sel and freshly ground black pepper. Cook in the oven for 8–10 minutes
To cook the chateaubriand, add the beef fat to a hot pan. Once sizzling, add the beef, reduce the heat slightly and cook, turning occasionally, until deeply browned all over
After about 8 minutes, add the butter and allow to foam. Spoon the foaming butter over the meat, continuing to cook and refreshing the butter as necessary. The whole cooking process should take around 15 minutes
Check the beef with a cake tester or your fingers to check if the beef is cooked – when the cake tester is inserted, push it into the centre of the meat (try it when raw first as a reference); the cooked meat should offer much less resistance
Rest the beef for at least 10 minutes in a warm place before carving to allow the juices to be reabsorbed by the meat
Reheat the turnip cooking liquid in a pan and add a knob of butter. Whisk to emulsify, then add the turnips and turnip tops, cooking for long enough to just heat through
  • 10 turnip tops, from the baby turnips or bought separately
Carve and plate the chateaubriand slices with quenelles of the swede mash, swede discs, turnips and turnip tops. Serve the pie on the side
First published in 2017

Alyn Williams has worked at some of the very best kitchens in Britain, training for many years under Marcus Wareing and Gordon Ramsay. His plates display his own unique culinary personality – brilliantly accomplished, playful and with remarkable interplay of flavours.

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