Mushroom filled beef fillet with port sauce

Christmas doesn't have to be all turkey and ham. Stun your guests with this earthy mushroom-filled beef fillet served with a rich port sauce.

  • 1 hr 15 mins cooking (plus standing and cooling time)
  • Serves 6
  • Print


  • 20 g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 8 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 200 g Swiss brown mushrooms
  • 200 g cup or button mushrroms
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.8 kg eye fillet of beef, trimmed
  • 1 cup (250ml) port
  • Watercress, to serve


  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan-forced).
  • 2
    Place the porcini in a heatproof bowl; add 1½ cups hot water. Stand for 10 minutes, then strain over a jug. Reserve the liquid (about 1 cup). In a food processor, finely chop the garlic. Add the porcini, Swiss brown and cup mushrooms; process until the size ranges between a coarse breadcrumb and the fingernail of your pinkie.
  • 3
    n a large frying pan over medium-high heat, place 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the mushroom and garlic mixture, thyme leaves, half the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. The mixture will initially release moisture, then the moisture will dry up and eventually turn golden and take on a paste-like consistency. Remove from the pan; cool.
  • 4
    Lay the beef fillet perpendicular to yourself on a board. Using a sharp knife, slice the meat lengthways toward you, about one-third from the left side and about two-thirds deep. Spread the small flap out to the left. Gently repeat this process with the large piece of meat on the right, butterflying and laying it out another 2-3 times so you have a fairly wide piece of meat.
  • 5
    Spread the cooled mushroom mixture over the meat and tie back into a roll with butcher's string. Season the base then flip the roast uncut-side up in a heavy-based baking dish. Splash the remaining oil over and under the roast and sprinkle remaining salt and pepper on top.
  • 6
    Roast, uncovered, for 40 minutes. Cover with foil; rest for 30 minutes. Transfer roast to a carving board, keeping the roast covered in foil. Place the baking dish on the stove top over medium-high heat. Pour in the reserved porcini liquid and the port. Boil, while scraping any browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Cook to a syrupy consistency, then pour into a serving jug.
  • 7
    Slice beef thickly. Serve with the port sauce and watercress.
  • 8
    Not suitable to freeze or microwave.The recipe can be prepared to the end of step 4 a day ahead. Cover and refrigerate separately.

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