Highland Beef Fillet With Celtuce Sauce And Pignuts by Carla Lamont of The Ninth Wave Restaurant
 
THE intense flavour of Highland beef plays excellently against the verdant taste of the herb celtuce and the earthiness of Hebridean blue cheese. The fresh pignuts add a nutty, sweet taste and crunchy texture. Raw celeriac or macadamia nuts could be substituted.
The Ninth Wave Restaurant has been shortlisted as a finalist for the Highlands & Islands Food & Drink Awards this year in the Restaurant of The Year category.
For more information about the awards visit: http://www.hifoodanddrinkawards.com

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS
500g/1lb 2oz fillet of Ardalanish beef 
1 tbsp vegetable oil

120g/4oz Isle of Mull Hebridean blue cheese

80g/3oz pignuts, cleaned 
8 sprigs celtuce 

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Celtuce sauce:

25g/1oz butter

25g/1oz plain flour

300ml/10 oz white veal stock or chicken stock

300ml/10 oz single cream 
60ml/2 oz white wine

2 tbsp chopped shallots

3 tbsp chopped celtuce (or celery leaf)

1 tbsp parsley

2 pinches celery salt

sea salt and white pepper to taste 

METHOD

1 For the sauce, in a heavy-bottomed saucepan, fry the shallots in 25g/1oz of butter on a low heat until translucent. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the melted butter a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated into the butter, giving you a pale yellow paste. Heat this roux for another minute or so to cook off the taste of raw flour. Using a whisk, slowly add the cool veal stock and the wine to the roux, whisking vigorously to remove any lumps. Add the cream, celery salt, parsley and celtuce, then lower the heat to a simmer and reduce for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with sea salt and white pepper. Blend until smooth with a hand blender. 
2 Cut the beef fillet into four equal-sized steaks. Heat a griddle or cast-iron frying pan until smoking hot. Season the steaks with sea salt and black pepper. Coat the steaks in vegetable oil. Sear the fillet on all sides in the pan for 3 to 4 minutes per side, then place on a board, covered, in a warm place and leave to rest for 5 to 7 minutes. 
3 To serve, place the steaks on serving plates with a portion of the celtuce sauce. Garnish each with 40g blue cheese and sprigs of celtuce (or celery leaf) and pignuts.

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