Zinfandel Beef

A deliciously extravagant dish, perfect for a mid-week dinner party, Zinfandel Beef is easy and quick to prepare and-looks and tastes fabulous! Serve with noodles and green beans and, to drink, a Rhine or a light Burgundy wine.

1 x

3 lb. fillet of beef

1 tablespoon canned green peppercorns, drained and crushed

2 teaspoons salt

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

4 oz. butter

2 medium-sized onions, finely chopped

2 small green peppers, white pith removed, seeded and finely chopped

3 oz. button mushrooms, wiped clean and sliced

8 fl. oz. canned beef consomme

4 fl. oz. dry sherry

4 tablespoons tomato puree

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon finely grated orange rind 1 oz. beurre manie

Place the beef on a flat working surface and, using a sharp knife, cut it into J-inch thick slices. Rub the green peppercorns, 1 teaspoon of salt and the nutmeg into both sides of each slice.

In a frying-pan large enough to take the beef slices in one layer, melt 3 ounces of butter over moderately high heat. When the foam subsides, add the beef slices to the pan and fry them for 2 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to moderately low and fry them for a further 2 minutes on each side. This will produce rare steaks; double the times for well-done steaks. Using a large fork, remove the meat slices from the frying-pan and arrange them in a warmed serving dish. Keep warm while you make the sauce.

Add the remaining butter to the frying-pan. When the foam subsides, add the onions and green peppers and fry, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent but not brown. Stir in the mushrooms and continue to cook for a further 3 minutes. Pour in the consomme and sherry and add the tomato puree, the remaining salt, the black pepper and orange rind. Bring the liquid to the boil, stirring constantly. Stir in the beurre manic, a little at a time, until the sauce thickens a little. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the sauce into a warmed sauceboat.

Serve the beef slices at once, with the sauce.

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