Fillet of East Lothian beef, braised truffle barley and Scottish girolles

by Simon Attridge, Executive Chef, Gleneagles

Few things speak of autumn quite like the bright colour and delicate flavour of girolles and, thanks to an abundance of the damp, dark woodland conditions in which these delicacies flourish, Scotland has attracted an international reputation for producing arguably the best in the world. This has never been truer than in 2019 – our disappointingly rainy summer has ensured that we are now in peak girolle-picking territory.

At Gleneagles, our girolles are locally sourced by a small team of expert foragers who explore the Perthshire woodland in search of the best harvest. On occasion, our kitchen team will join them in the hunt for the perfect specimens, which can be hugely fun. If you fancy trying it yourself, just make sure you are guided by someone who is in the know about our different varieties of fungi and the best growing conditions for them.

When it comes to preparing girolles, while it’s important to remove any dirt and grit from the head and stem of the mushroom, their fragility means that they will need extra care. A light wash should be enough to clean them, but they are then best left to air dry before cooking.

Our brigade has been having a ball putting this year’s bounty to use, and this dish from our specials menu, pairing the girolles with Scottish beef and luxurious truffle, is a great one to try at home. Using the finest quality Scottish beef is imperative here – ours comes from East Lothian, where it has been aged for over 28 days, making it succulent and tender. The addition of fresh truffle finishes things off perfectly, with its signature earthy, pungent flavour adding an impressive touch that makes for a great afternoon sharing plate to enjoy with family and friends. If you’re struggling to get your hands on fresh truffles, try using truffle oil or paste, which can be found in most large supermarkets and delis, instead. At Gleneagles, we source our truffles from a bespoke supplier who works with foragers in Italy, ensuring only the very best of the Italian woods is brought together with this true highlight of Scotland’s natural larder.

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Serves 4


For the truffle barley

200g pearl barley

2 bay leaves

4 sprigs thyme

2 cloves garlic

600ml vegetable stock

160ml whipping cream, whipped

20g fresh truffle, grated

For the beef:

600g beef fillet

100g unsalted butter

3 sprigs thyme

Rapeseed oil

For the tenderstem broccoli and girolle mushrooms:

12 spears tenderstem broccoli

400g girolle mushrooms, cleaned and air dried

Salt, to taste


1. To start, pre-heat the oven to 160°C. Next, add the barley, herbs, garlic and stock to a large pot. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, or tin foil, then place in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes until the barley is cooked. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before folding through the lightly whipped cream and freshly grated truffle.

2. Next, season the beef fillet and place in a hot roasting pan with a little rapeseed oil and brown, until evenly coloured on all sides. Add the butter and thyme and baste the fillet until well-coated, then place it in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until it is medium rare, making sure to baste every four minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling wire before pouring over the remaining butter from the pan and leaving the fillet to rest for ten minutes. Once rested, carve into slices.

3. Now prepare the tenderstem broccoli and girolle mushrooms. Boil a pan of salted water and blanch the broccoli until just cooked. Add some butter to a frying pan and heat until foaming. Add the girolle mushrooms and sauté. Drain the broccoli and add to the pan, season with salt and pepper and heat through.

4. To serve, place the barley on a serving platter, top with the sliced beef and arrange the broccoli and mushrooms. Garnish with the freshly grated truffle and enjoy.