Beef fillet with red peppers and Marsala sauce
This is a quick dish, it takes less than half an hour from prep to table - I seem to recall that I first heard about it on a cookery course by Valentina Harris. I've made it lots of times as it is one of my husband's favourites. The use of the Little Gem lettuce is unusual, but adds a really good flavour to the finished dish.
Enough for two
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, rimmed and coarsely chopped
1 large red pepper, e-seeded, cored and thinly sliced
1 Little Gem Lettuce, finely chopped (these are small, hearty, slightly bitter lettuces - I'm not sure what they might be called overseas)
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 thick beef fillet steaks, trimmed and tidied
1 small glass Marsala wine
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Put the olive oil, onion, celery and red pepper into a frying pan. Fry gently for 7-8 minutes until the onion is well softened. Add the lettuce and cook for a minute or so until wilted. Using a perforated spoon, remove all the vegetables and set aside.
Add the butter to the pan and increase the heat slightly. When sizzling, add the steaks and cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Remove the steaks and add to the reserved vegetables.
Pour the wine into the pan and stir thoroughly, scraping up any residue from the bottom of the pan and thoroughly mixing it with the reserved meat and vegetables. Drain into the pan any liquid that may have seeped out from the vegetables and meat. Allow to bubble together for 1 minute.
Increase the heat to high, then slip the vegetables and meat back into the pan. Season thoroughly and mix together. Cook for a maximum of 2 minutes, turning the meat as it heats through.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve at once.