Don Cameron of Stillwater River Cafe says this is his favourite recipe for beef fillet, inspired by a trip to Japan. The sake in the ponzu sauce melts the meat, which is enriched with dark flavours of soy, parsnip and black mushroom.
- 2 x 180 g middle eye fillet steaks
- 350 ml soy sauce
- 350 ml cooking sake
- 700 ml water
- 2 large flat mushrooms
- melted butter, as needed
- freshly ground pepper
- 3 large parsnips
- 60 ml soy sauce
- 60 ml kecap manis (sweet soy)
- 170 ml mirin
- 100 ml cooking sake
- 30 ml lemon juice
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp chopped garlic
- 1 tbsp bonito shavings
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 1 hour
Trim beef of all excess sinew and fat. Pat dry with kitchen paper, let stand at room temperature for one hour before cooking.
Preheat oven to 150ºC.
To cook the beef, combine the soy, sake and water in a medium saucepan and bring to simmering point. Place the eye fillet steaks into the liquid to steep for 20-30 minutes. Use a thermometer to keep the water at an even temperature between 68-73ºC. Great care must be taken not to boil the soy/sake liquid as the meat will become very tight and shall be spoilt. The beef should still be very rare, tender and warm/hot to the touch.
Meanwhile trim the mushroom stalks. Place on tray, pour over some melted butter and season with freshly ground pepper. Bake for approximately 15-20 minutes or until tender.
Peel the parsnips and cut into even large chunks. Remove any fibrous core and boil until tender. Drain, add some melted butter, then purée.
To make the ponzu sauce, combine all ingredients in saucepan and warm for 3 minutes. Do not boil. Strain ready for serving while still warm.
To serve, place mushroom on centre of plate with a large dollop of parsnip on top. Layer 3 or 4 slices of the rare beef on top of each portion. Top with another spoonful of parsnip. Pour the warm ponzu around the mushroom and serve.
At Stillwater Don turns several spools of noodles for each plate, adds a dollop of wasabi aioli and a teaspoon of beef demi-glace over the beef.