Medallions of Beef Fillet on Parsnip & Horseradish Mash served with a Trio of Beetroot, Wilted Swiss Chard & a Thyme Bernaise Sauce

Aspiring Student Chef 2020-21 Finalist - Jessica Khan

About the Recipe

I wanted an earthy winter dish with deep flavour, texture, and colour. I did lots of research (Silver Spoon, Mrs Beeton's Cookbook, Lesley Waters' apple crisp demonstration) and adapted to my own preferences. Most ingredients are British, seasonal and local and the dish is nutritionally balanced.


  • 2 medallions of beef fillet

  • 4 medium beetroots (1 for crisps and 3 for roasting)

  • 3 medium parsnips

  • 1 medium potato

  • Bunch of Swiss chard (preferably yellow stemmed)

  • 1 tbsp. honey

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil

  • 4 whole garlic cloves (3 x whole 1 x sliced)

  • Sprigs of thyme

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 3 tbsp. white wine vinegar

  • 1 shallot

  • 2 medium eggs

  • Tsp water

  • 110g unsalted butter

  • 120 ml beetroot juice

  • 2g agar agar

  • 1 ½ tsp horseradish

  • 180ml vegetable oil (this is for molecular gastronomy purposes and not added fat content)

  • Salt

  • Pepper


Preheat oven to 180°C

Place a tall glass of vegetable oil in the freezer and set a timer for 30mins.

Prepare the beetroot crisps by rubbing a medium sized beetroot with kitchen roll to remove any debris or hairs from the skin. Slice carefully using a safety mandolin on its thinnest setting. Lay slices on kitchen paper and pat dry - set aside.

Prepare 3 beetroots for roasting. Trim the beetroots, cut into wedges and place in a roasting tray with ½ tbsp. of honey, ½ tbsp. olive oil, 3 whole garlic cloves lightly smashed and three small sprigs of thyme. Season, toss and set aside.

Prepare the vegetables for the mash. Peel and cut 3 medium parsnips and 1 medium potato into even sized pieces and place in a pan of cold water. Set aside.

Rinse swiss chard and set aside on kitchen roll. Thinly slice a clove of garlic and add to a tbsp. of lemon juice and a grind of black pepper. Set aside.

Prepare the ingredients for the bernaise. Place 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar in a pan with sprigs of thyme and chopped shallot, Separate two eggs and place the yoks in a metal boal with a teaspoon of water. Place 100g unsalted butter in a pan. Set aside.

Line a baking tray with baking paper and place dry beetroot slices on top. Brush lightly with seasoned olive oil on both sides (reserve the remaining oil for later). Oven cook for 5 mins, flip and cook for a further 5 - 10 mins checking frequently.

Place 120 ml of beetroot juice into a small pan and start to heat gently, add 2g agar agar and stir whilst bringing up the heat. As soon as mixture start to boil, remove from heat. Take oil from the freezer and using a pipette place droplets of the beetroot mixture into the oil to form spheres. Drain and place spheres in fridge in an airtight container.

Place roasting pan in the oven and roast beetroots. a Set timer for 40 - 50 mins.

Check crisps, flip and cook for a further 5 - 10 mins checking frequently.

Bring parsnips and potato to the boil and then simmer until tender. Drain and set aside.

Check crisps. If ready, remove and put to one side to cool. If not, re-set timer.

Bring white wine vinegar to boil and then lower temperature and reduce by half. Drain, cool and set aside.

Put parsnips and potato through the potato ricer and add 10g unsalted butter and a 1½ teaspoons of horseradish. Mix, season, taste and adjust if needed. Keep warm.

Heat a small heavy bottomed frying pan to a high heat. Brush beef fillet with seasoned oil, When pan is hot add steak and cook for approx. 1m 45 s on each side pressing to check if cooked to required level. Sear edges and remove to a board to rest.

Heat butter until melted. Whisk eggs and water and then add vinegar reduction and mix lightly. Place bowl over bain marie and stir whilst gradually adding butter (remove from heat if eggs start to cook too quickly. Continue to required consistency then remove from heat and add thyme leaves.

Place chard and seasonings into a hot pan and wilt.

Plate up.