Steak with Cream of Juniper Sauce

Serves 4

1¼ pound beef sirloin steak or 4 (4-ounce) beef tenderloin fillets

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 medium shallots, minced

1 tablespoon juniper berries, crushed

¼ cup gin (optional)

1 cup veal or beef stock, preferably homemade

½ cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

Chopped flat-leafed parsley for garnish

Season beef with salt and black pepper. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add beef to skillet and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until browned but still pink inside. Transfer beef to a warm dish and cover with aluminum foil.

Lower heat to medium and melt butter. Add shallots and juniper berries and sauté until shallots are soft, about 1 minute. Deglaze the pan with gin and stock, scraping bottom of skillet to dislodge  any brown bits. Cook until stock is reduced slightly, about 5 minutes. Stir in heavy cream and reduce further, about 5 minutes. Add rosemary and thyme, and season with salt and black pepper.

Slice sirloin against the grain. Serve fillets whole. Spoon sauce over beef and garnish with parsley.

From Herbal Cookery From the Kitchens and Gardens of the St Louis Herb Society © St Louis Herb Society 2009, p.116

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