as seen in Crumbs Devon
by Matthew Mason
To make the purée, melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan, add the shallots and gently fry without colour.
Add the diced celeriac, a good pinch of salt and pepper, and again cook without colour for 4-5 minutes over a low heat.
Add the milk and double cream, bring to the boil and cook until the celeriac is tender (approx 10-15 minutes). It is worth saving a little of the cooking liquor back because, if the purée is a little thick, you can always add a touch more. If it is too thin, of course, then it is celeriac soup for lunch tomorrow!
Separate the celeriac from the cooking liquor with a sieve and place in a blender, being careful not to over fill the jug. Add the remaining butter and a little of the cooking liquor as you go, and blend in batches until smooth.
Seasons to taste and pass the purée through a fine sieve into a clean pan.
Allow the steaks to come to room temperature before cooking. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F gas mark 4. Heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over a medium to high heat and drizzle in a little vegetable oil. Heavily season the rumps with salt and freshly ground pepper (I like a coarse mix of white, black and pink peppercorns).
Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side until a rich golden colour has been achieved. Place on an ovenproof tray the oven for a further 3-4 minutes for medium-rare, or longer if you want it more cooked. The time may vary according to the thickness of your steak.
Remove from the oven and return to the frying pan. Add the butter, thyme and garlic and fry over a medium heat in the butter until foaming, spooning the nut-brown butter and residual meat juices over the now-cooked meat. Remove from the heat and rest in the butter momentarily, until needed. (Be aware that the residual heat from the pan will continue to cook the steak.)
Reheat the celeriac purée and divide between four plates. Slice the cooked rump steaks into thick, even slices and arrange neatly over the purée.
For extra indulgence, drizzle with oil and serve with fresh seasonal vegetables, some chips on the side, and perhaps a roast baby artichoke.
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