Beef Fillet with a Coffee-Miso Sauce

A traditional Japanese seasoning, miso is a versatile ingredient that works wonders in a selection of sauces and pastes. In this recipe, the bitterness of the coffee and the saltiness of the miso makes for a delicious flavour combination.

  • Oude Molen Potstill brandy, enough for 2-4 people
  • 4 x 200g beef fillets
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • duck fat, for roasting
  • 1 Tbsp butter, for frying the mushrooms
  • 120g shimeji mushrooms (or replace with oyster, enoki or similar mushrooms)
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 120g asparagus tips
  • 1 Tbsp butter, for frying the asparagus

Coffee-miso sauce

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 5cm piece of stem ginger, grated
  • 2 Tbsp butter, for frying the onion, garlic and ginger
  • ¼ cup brandy
  • ¼ cup sake (Japanese rice wine)
  • ¼ cup mirin (a sweet, low-alcohol rice wine, available from delis and speciality stores)
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp miso spread (a soya bean spread, available from delis and speciality stores)
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 25ml (single) espresso
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 400ml beef demi-glace (a rich, concentrated, brown sauce; a typical basic sauce or brown stock used by chefs; the best substitute is reduced beef stock or infusion)

1. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

2. Seal the meat in an ovenproof pan, and then grill until it is cooked to your liking. Keep warm on one side.

3. Place the halved potatoes and duck fat in an ovenproof container and roast until the potatoes are soft.

4. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the mushrooms until they are soft. Remove from the pan and keep on one side.

5. Deglaze the pan with lemon juice (add lemon juice to the pan to loosen up the burnt-on scraps). Pour the juice off and discard the loose scraps.

6. Bring a small pot of salted water to the boil and blanch the asparagus tips for 30 seconds. Drain, and sauté the tips in melted butter in the frying pan.

To make the coffee-miso sauce:

1. Sauté the onion, garlic and ginger in melted butter in a frying pan until soft.

2. Add the brandy, sake and mirin and burn the alcohol off by bringing the liquid to a rapid boil and     allowing the liquid to reduce.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients, including the demi-glace, and stir until the sauce coats the back of a metal spoon.

4. Pour the brown sauce into a jug or gravy boat and serve with the meat and vegetables.

Serve the fillet, potatoes, mushrooms and asparagus with carrot purée and spinach purée and the demi-glace sauce.

Enjoy this recipe with one of South Africa’s best wines, go to