Worcester Beef Croute

delightful, if somewhat expensive, ap-petizer, Worcester Beef Croute may be served with drinks at a cocktail party or as an unusual hors d’oeuvre for a special dinner party.

1 lb. fillet steak, cut into J-inch cubes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 tablespoons canned green peppercorns, drained and crushed

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon salt

1 medium-sized fresh white round loaf

2 oz. butter

8 fl. oz. mayonnaise

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 ½ tablespoons prepared German mustard

1 tablespoon prepared English mustard

2 tablespoons prepared French mustard

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon salt

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the beef, garlic, peppercorns, Worcestershire sauce and salt. Set aside while you prepare the croute.

Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400°F (Gas Mark 6, 200°C).

Place the loaf on a flat working surface and carefully cut a 3-inch slice from the top of the bread and discard. Pull out the inside of the bread leaving a 1-inch layer inside. Using a very sharp knife, cut the top of the shell into 5 petals about 1-inch deep. Cut out a circle of aluminium foil and fit inside the loaf shell.

Place the loaf on a baking sheet in the centre of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes or until the outside of the loaf is hot and very crisp. Remove the loaf from the oven and set it aside.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, garlic, mustards, pepper and salt.

Spoon the sauce into the prepared croute. Set aside.

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the meat cubes and fry, turning frequently, for 6 to 8 minutes or until the meat is cooked and lightly browned all over. Remove the pan from the heat.

Using cocktail sticks, spear the meat cubes and stick the cocktail sticks into the sides of the croute. Continue doing this until all the meat cubes have been speared and the croutc is covered with the cocktail sticks. Serve imme-diately.

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