6 x 75g/3oz beef fillet medallions
6 herbed bread slices, same size and shape, for croutons
15g/½oz dried ceps or boletus slices
50ml/2fl oz boiling water
25g/1oz unsalted butter
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
7g/½ tbsp truffle flour or 1 tsp truffle oil
50g/2oz small chestnut mushrooms, sliced
225g/8oz mixed wild mushrooms, chopped (I found some wonderful horse mushrooms when I was devising this dish, but you can now buy all sorts of wild mushrooms; try to include dark chanterelles for their sumptuous flavour)
50ml/2fl oz beef or vegetable stock
150ml/¼pt dark dry porter
salt, pepper, nutmeg to season
25g/1oz chilled unsalted butter, cut into small dice and tossed in flour
1. Place dried cep or boletus slices in a small bowl and add the boiling water; leave to soak for 15 minutes, remove and chop. Strain the soaking liquor and reserve.
2. Sweat the shallot and garlic in the unsalted butter, then add chestnut mushrooms, wild mushroom mix, and soaked ceps or boletus. Cook gently until mushrooms begin to soften, then stir in the truffle flour or oil, add the soaking liquor and the beef or vegetable stock and cook for a few minutes until the liquid starts to reduce; pour in the porter slowly, stirring, and cook gently for a few minutes until the sauce is reduced, then whisk in the diced butter to thicken and add gloss; season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
3. Meanwhile, fry the beef medallions in the butter on both sides either rare or medium, as wished; remove from the pan and keep warm, stirring the juices into the mushroom sauce. Fry the croutons in butter and set one on each plate, top with mushroom sauce and place a beef medallion on each. Serve baked tomatoes still on the vine and a green salad dressed with walnut and a little chopped red basil.