Cava de Paraje Calificado is produced from vines in a small area which is distinguished from others by its specific characteristics (location and terroir). A superior Cava, synonymous with exceptional quality.
Cooking topside of beef is something we learn from our grandmothers. A lot of variation is possible in terms of the ingredients to be used for the sauce, but not so much in the preparation of the meat. This is a recipe that needs time and patience, but it’s also ideal for sharing with family and friends.
2 or 3 springs of fresh thyme (if you don't have fresh thyme, you could use dried instead)
2l beef stock
1 glass of vino rancio (a type of sweet wine)
Ingredients for the potato purée
4 Agria potatoes
2 tbs butter
100g single cream
Use a sharp knife to cut a slit in the centre of the beef (don’t cut it all the way through) Another option is to ask your butcher to prepare it for stuffing for you.
Put the eggs in a saucepan with water and a pinch of salt, and hard boil them for use in the filling. This takes 10-12 minutes. When ready, allow to cool, remove the shells, and set aside in the fridge.
Clean the leeks, onion, and garlic. Chop into evenly sized pieces and set aside.
To stuff the meat, place it on a work surface and open it out like a book.
Lay the slices of ibérico pork pancetta on top, evenly distributing over the meat. Place the hard-boiled eggs from the fridge and half of the prunes on top. It’s important to intersperse the prunes with the eggs neatly to form an attractive pattern when you come to cut the meat.
Press the two sides of the meat together to make a roll. Tie securely with kitchen twine, and set aside.
Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan. When nice and hot, seal the beef on all sides. Once sealed, set aside on a plate.
Add the chopped vegetables to the hot oil left in the pan, and cook for 10 minutes. Be sure to stir from time to time to prevent burning.
Add the meat together with the thyme, and cover with beef stock. Boil for 20 minutes, uncovered.
Next, add the mixed mushrooms, the rest of the plums, the vino rancio and the peppercorns. Cover the pan, and cook for 3-4 hours on a very low heat.
While the meat is cooking, start preparing the potato purée by boiling the Agria potatoes. Leave them to cook (skins on) for 20 minutes.
Drain, allow to cool, peel, and then grate using a potato ricer.
Add the butter (at room temperature) and cream to the grated potatoes. Season to taste, and mix well into a smooth evenly seasoned purée. The purée will serve as a bed for your stuffed topside.
When the meat is cooked, remove from the pan and place on a wire rack to cool. Remove the kitchen twine, carve the beef into thin, even slices and set aside.
Serve on individual plates (you could also use a serving platter), first making a bed of potato purée. Place the slices of beef on top of the purée. Pour over the sauce remaining in the pan with the mushrooms, vegetables, and all the other ingredients.
Once your stuffed topside of beef is plated up and ready to serve, and your guests are seated at the table, it’s time to pair this dish with a Cava de paraje calificado (aged for more than 36 months). This dish and the cava have something in common: a lengthy preparation time that will make for a memorable occasion.
Like any dish of this kind, it’s best to cook it a day in advance, so that the meat has plenty of time to rest, and the flavours develop fully for an extra delicious sauce. The meat will be easier to carve into nice thin slices when cold.