T-Bone Steaks à la Floors Castle

I recently did a demonstration at Floors Castle for the Duchess of Roxburghe, in aid of the Countryside Alliance - a cause dear to my heart - and the Erskine Hospital. The start of the demonstration featured a splendid wing rib of beef provided by the Buccleugh Beef, from the Duke of Buccleugh’s tenant herds. It was carried onto the stage by Mr. Sutherland of Carffray Mill to rapturous applause. Before I cut the T-bone steak from the rib I said: “Can anybody tell me that this will do me more harm than a hamburger from meat taken off the bone with a hose pipe.” As I used a pestle and mortar that I’d taken from the kitchens at Lennoxlove, which was the property of the Duke of Hamilton, I suppose this could just as well be called “T-Bone Steaks Three Dukes.”


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 shallots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 bulb of fennel, fairly coarsely chopped
  • ½ can anchovy fillets (about 1 oz), drained
  • 2 tsp black cardamom
  • ½ glass of red wine
  • 4 T-bone steaks
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 red (bell) pepper, peeled, seeded, and sliced


Heat the butter and olive oil in a heavy pan, add the shallots and garlic, and sauté lightly. Add the fennel and cook gently until colored. Add the anchovies and allow them to melt.

Remove the cardamom seeds from the pods and lightly pound the seeds in a pestle and mortar, then add to the pan. Cook gently. Strain off any excess fat from the pan, then pour in the red wine. Leave to cook for a few more minutes.

Meanwhile, take the steaks and cook them on a hot griddle or grill pan until seared on both sides. Season lightly with salt and pepper, then continue cooking until the steaks are done to each guest’s specification. Put them on the plates, cover with the sauce, and decorate with the sliced red peppers.