I love it when my test cooks follow the film star recipe EXACTLY, as I personally tend to rigidly stick to doing what I am told…

But I also love it when they put their own take on a recipe.

Work colleague and cake-baker-extraordinaire Neil Owens sent me a report on his version of this dish and I must say, I am TEMPTED to make a version following his directions. As I have said before, this is my absolute favourite of all the many hundreds of film star dishes I have made. Also, I do so love something that can be cooked in a slow cooker…

Here’s Neil’s verdict!

I used beef short ribs as I’m a cheapskate but think the marrow adds a richness to the dish in a way the cream doesn’t. I used fresh anchovy fillets and not the brown ones that come in bottles of oil. I browned the shallots in a pan. At the same time I flash browned the ribs in a very hot oven for 20 minutes.

I placed the shallots, ribs and anchovy fillets, paprika and brandy, along with a splash of Worcestershire Sauce and the parsley into a slow cooker along with enough fresh beef stock to cover everything and left for 5 hours on low.

After 5 hours I made a simple roux from some of the dripping from roasting the ribs, some plain flour and added the cream making sure not to create any lumps. I ladled out the stock from the slow cooker into the roux to thicken the mix to the required consistency. I like mine just slightly thicker than runny – just nicely coating the back of a spoon without running off kind of thing. I removed the meat from the beef bones and combined this along with the sauce back into the slow cooker pot.

I served mine with American long grain rice and a sprinkling of parsley. I like a nice Rioja to go with this.

THANK YOU, NEIL. Rioja eh? I shall take that tip and run with it.

Here’s the original recipe so you can see how someone who knows their way around the kitchen like Neil does, can muck around with it to make something the same, but different!

Ross Martin’s Beef in Anchovy Cream

3 lbs / 1350g of tender beef (Chateaubriand) cut into in 1/8 inch thick slices
3/4 cup / 180ml heavy cream
1/2 cup / 120ml beef stock
1/4 cup / 5g parsley
1/4 cup / 25g chopped shallots
Dozen anchovy fillets
2 tablespoons brandy
Paprika to taste

Put the beef in a casserole dish with the cream, beef stock, parsley, shallots and anchovy fillets. Simmer uncovered, over a low heat for one and a half hours, adding extra cream and stock, if needed to keep meat covered. Add the brandy and paprika during the last hour of cooking.

Serves 4-6


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