“Pepper it, salt it, fry it.”
“Are you sure you want to experiment with that? It must have cost more than the national debt!”
My expected guests were all of similar minds “Don’t mess with the beef.” seemed to be the unanimous theme. Like the late Margaret Thatcher, I was not for turning. Unlike the late MT, I was not wearing a blue dress. I was cogitating a new recipe for beef fillet.
For the record, I never wear a blue dress. I don’t even know why I mentioned it. I’m a man for goodness sake. Now back to the beef.
Here’s the ingredients:
- A single piece of beef fillet suitable to serve six (about a kilo and a half)
- 400 grammes of hazelnuts
- A couple of hands-full of Panko breadcrumbs.
- A tablespoon of mixed peppercorns
- A tablespoon or so of thyme leaves
- Zest of a lemon
- Half a teaspoon of salt
- A couple of tablespoons of olive oil
First, get the nuts out of their shells. I used a vice grips and a lot of swearing. Fry the nuts in a dry pan until their beautiful nutty aroma gets up your nostrils.
Let the nuts cool for a bit and then wrap them in a tea towel. Rub them together to remove most of the dark brown husk.
Chop the nuts in a blender until coarse. Chop the garlic. Crush the peppercorns. Put them and the other dry ingredients into a bowl.
Add enough of the olive oil to bind the mixture. Be careful to not overdo this step. Spread the mixture on a piece of cling film.
Roll the beef in the mixture, wrapping it as you go.
Pop it into the fridge for 20 minutes to firm it up a bit. It will be very difficult to get into the oven dish. Get it into the oven dish. Go carefully.
Roast at 200º C for 30 minutes. Let it rest for 10 minutes before carving.
I served it with roast sweet potatoes and a beetroot purée. Ask me sometime to tell you the story of the beetroot purée and the blender that came in half. That’s another story.
Yes, I pushed my luck. The acid test? Everybody had extra crumb coating mixture. I had a hit on my hands. Luck pushed and a new beef fillet recipe on the books. Perhaps I could sell the recipe and buy that blue dress?