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Beef Steaks In Merlot Marinade With Prune Jam

  • 4
Beef Steaks In Merlot Marinade With Prune Jam

It's best not to marinate steaks in cheap wine because its flavour is strong once the meat is cooked.


  • 4 beef fillets, 3 cm thick
  • 1 cup merlot
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 4 juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 tsp peppercorns, crushed
  • 12 juicy prunes

Prune Jam

  • 1 small red onion, peeled, sliced or diced
  • 1 tblsp each butter and oil
  • prunes from the marinade
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup port
  • grated rind and juice 1 orange


  1. If wished, tie steaks with string to hold their shape. Place in a resealable bag or lidded container and pour in the wine. Add garlic, juniper berries, peppercorns and prunes. Seal, refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Turn to coat in marinade as required.
  2. Cook onion in oil and butter in a frying pan over a low to moderate heat until softened and beginning to brown. Add the prunes from the marinade, brown sugar, port, orange rind and juice. Cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally for about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick. During cooking, crush the prunes with a wooden spoon. Set aside.
  3. Remove steaks from the marinade, dry on a paper towel. Heat a frying pan until very hot. Brush the steaks with oil and pan-fry over a high heat. Allow 3-4 minutes each side depending on how well done you prefer your steak. Stand 2-3 minutes. Serve over panfried polenta wedges and vegetables, with a large spoonful of Prune Jam.

Cooks Tips

You can easily tell whether your steak is rare, medium or well done by carrying out the touch test. Press your index finger in the centre of the steak. If it is very soft to touch, it is rare; soft and springy, medium-rare; firm and springy, medium; very firm, well done.

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