Blind Finches in Beer Gravy

They're not real finches, and they're not blind! The Hairy Bikers cook stuffed and braised steak parcels served with frites
Blind Finches in Beer Gravy
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the filling

  • 250 g minced pork
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
  • 1 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard

For the steaks

  • 4 thin slices sirloin steaks, (50-75g each)
  • 4 thin slices good cooked ham
  • 75 g butter
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 shallots, quartered
  • 150 ml Belgian beer
  • 4 tbsp plain flour

For the Belgian frites

  • floury potatoes
  • clean vegetable oil
  • sea salt
  • chip shop malt vinegar

Tips and Suggestions

if you have the time, it's worth starting the chips in advance and letting the cut potatoes soak in cold water overnight.


1. For the filling: mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, and season with salt and pepper.

2. For the steaks: take each sirloin steak and beat the living daylights out of it between two sheets of clingfilm until it is paper thin. Lay the beaten steaks out flat and lay the ham on top. Place a quarter of the filling on each one, and then fold the steak over, tucking the ends in to make little parcels. Tie the parcels up with butcher's string so they look ready for the postbox. (These can be set aside for cooking later if required).

3. In a large frying pan, heat 25g of the butter with the oil until hot, but not smoking. Add the meat parcels and brown all over - this will take about 10 minutes. Remove the meat to a plate, then add the quartered shallots and cook for about 5 minutes over a high heat until they turn a lovely caramel colour.

4. Return the meat to the pan, add the beer and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and cook for 7 minutes. Turn the meat over and cook for another 7 minutes. Remove the meat parcels on to a warm plate and set aside.

5. Blend the remaining butter and the flour with a fork, then gradually whisk this thickening mixture into the gravy, making sure you get all the nice tasty bits in the pan worked in. Add more beer if it is too thick. Keep warm until ready to serve.

6. For the Belgian frites: cut as many chips as you like, not too thick and not too thin! Wash under cold water to get rid of the starch then blot dry on some kitchen paper.

7. Heat a generous quantity of oil to 130C in a deep-fryer or chip pan. Cook the chips in batches for about 10 minutes - they will not brown but will cook through to the middle. Set aside on kitchen paper and leave to cool.

8. Heat the oil up to 190C and re-cook the chips (in batches again) for about 5 minutes until crispy and golden.

9. To serve, pour the gravy over the meat parcels and serve with chips.

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