Recipe of the month: Blackfriars

March 1, 2016

Slow Braised beef wellington, chargrilled sirloin steak, mushy peas and stout jus. Blackfriars’ head chef Chris Wardale has transformed this traditional regional dish, from its origins as a peasant mainstay using cheap offcuts, to a sublime signature dish from the à la carte menu


Braised ox cheek
2 ox cheeks (approx. 1.5kg)

325ml red wine

1 bay leaf

A few peppercorns

50g butter

1 large onion, peeled and chopped

1 stick of celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and diced

2 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

300ml beef or chicken stock

1 tbsp tomato paste

Salt and pepper

500g self-raising flour

250g beef suet

300g water (approx.)

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper

1 egg (to glaze)

Mushy marrow fat peas
225g dried marrowfat peas

2 tbsp bicarbonate of soda

Salt and pepper

Sugar to taste

Ham stock if possible

The steak
4oz sirloin steak

Salt and pepper

Knob of butter

The sauce
100g fresh/frozen garden peas

1 small banana shallot


• Put the ox cheeks in a bowl with the red wine, bay leaf and peppercorns and a good pinch of salt. Leave for as long as you can – ideally for 48 hours.

• Remove the cheeks from the marinade and pat dry. Heat a drop of rapeseed oil in a frying pan over a strong flame and brown the cheeks thoroughly, seasoning with salt and pepper as you go. Transfer to a large saucepan.

• Lower the heat on the frying pan, melt the butter, then add the vegetables with the tomato paste and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Soften for a few minutes and then add to the saucepan with the ox cheeks.

• Tip the marinade into the frying pan along with the stock and bring to a simmer. Tip this into the saucepan, cover, and transfer to the oven. Cook for 3 to 4 hours at 160 degrees, until tender.

• Strain and reduce the jus. Set the cheeks aside until you can handle them, pick them down and roll into around a 2-inch-wide cylinder. Set in the fridge.

• For the pastry, stir the mustard and water together then add to the flour, suet and seasoning while mixing by hand or with a electric mixer, until completely combined. Rest in fridge for at least an hour.

• Place the peas in a large bowl or stock pot, the peas will swell and so need plenty of room to expand. Add the bicarbonate and cover with 300ml of boiling water; stir to make sure the bicarbonate has dissolved. Add the peas and leave to soak for a minimum of 12 hours.

• Drain the peas in a colander then place in a large saucepan. Cover again with cold water/ham stock if possible and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for approximately 30 minutes or until the peas have softened and turned mushy. Add salt, pepper and sugar to taste.

• Season the sirloin steak well on both sides and pan fry to medium rare (3 to 4 mins each side). Add the butter to the pan about a minute before taking the steak out and baste with a deep spoon. Rest somewhere warm for 10 minutes.

• Roll the pastry to 0.5cm thickness. Roll around the cheeks, and brush a beaten egg over the pastry. Rest in the fridge for around 30 minutes before baking at 180 degrees for 25 to 35 mins. Once cooked, portion into 5cm lengths.

• For the sauce, finely dice the shallot once peeled and add to the hot reduced jus along with the peas. Do this at the last minute as they won’t take long to cook.

• Carve the steak and plate up as per picture.

Blackfriars Restaurant
Friars Street, Newcastle, NE1 4XN  |  Tel: 0191 261 5945

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