For the shallot gravy600g/1lb 5oz peeled shallots
Let the beef come to room temperature in a roasting tin while you prepare the gratin.
Preheat the oven to fan 200C/conventional 220C/Gas 7. Rub the beef all over with olive oil and season generously ( 2tsp black pepper and 1 tsp salt ) to make a crust. Roast for 20 minutes, turn the oven down to fan 170C/conventional 190C/gas 5 and roast for a further 1 hour for rare beef, 1.25 for medium. Remember to baste the beef occasionally.
While the beef is roasting, put the shallots in a heavy-bottomed saucepan with the butter and 1 tbsp olive oil and heat so the butter melts. Stir to coat, then add 2 tbsp water and the balsamic vinegar. Cover, turn the heat down very low and let the shallots cook for 10 minutes until they are almost tender. About 25 minutes before the beef is ready, tip the shallots round it and leave to caramelise.
Blend the flour with 2 tbsp stock then pour the rest of the stock into a pan with the Madeira and bay leaves. Boil until reduced by half. Stir the flour mixture, pour the rest of the stock into a pan with the Madeira and bay leaves. Boil until reduced by half. Stir the flour mixture, pour into the pan and stir in the gravy. Remove the bay leaves, then reheat before serving.
When the beef is ready, cover with foil and let it rest for 20 minutes before serving. Remove the shallots and add to the gravy with any meat juices, skimmed of fat. Serve the beef with gravy and vegetables.View more Beef recipes...