2.5 kg Sirloin of beef on the bone
Maldon sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 shallots finely chopped
325 ml Red wine
2 tablespoons port
2 tablespoons grand marnier
900 ml Roast chicken stock
2 ripe and firm tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and cut into 1 cm dice
60g gherkin, cut into 3mm dice
50 g of cold and diced butter for enriching the sauce
Preheat the oven to 240c / 475f / gas 9. Lightly score the fat on the surface of the beef and place on a roasting tin.
Season the beef with salt and pepper and place in the preheated oven.
Roast for 15 minutes before reducing the oven temperature to 180c / 350f / gas 4 and roast the beef to your liking.
When the beef is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest with the oven temperature reduced to 100c 200f gas ¼ for at least 15 minutes and up to an hour.
This sauce is a bit unusual in that we don’t season it until the very end of cooking. If you season it early on, the seasoning will become too concentrated as the liquids reduce and intensify in flavour.
In a medium sized, low sided, heavy saucepan, melt the butter and allow to foam. Add the shallots and coat in the butter.
Cover with a piece of greasproof paper and the saucepan lid and sweat on a gentle heat for 5 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the wine and cook uncovered at a simmer until the wine is almost completely reduced.
The contents of the saucepan will look oily, ugly and unlikely and like a red shallot puree by now. Thats exactly how it should look now.
Add the port and grand marnier and reduce by half. Add the stock and continue to cook at a simmer until the stock has reduced or evaporated by two thirds of its origonal volume.
Strain the shallots from the sauce now through a sieve, pressing the shallots to extract every last drop.
Taste the sauce and though it will be still quite thin in consistency it should have lots of flavour, though it wont be dazzaling just yet. This is the basic sauce and this is what you can make ahead of time to store in your fridge or freezer.
To finish the sauce, bring back to a simmer.
Add in the tomato and gherkin and the cold diced butter.
Swirl the contents of the saucepan to incorporate the butter while still just simmering.It is not until this point that the sauce really reveals its magic. The sauce will be thickened slightly by the butter, though not too thick.
The consistency should be similar to light pouring cream. Taste and add a pinch of salt if necessary.
Serve hot with the carved sirloin of beef.