There’s only one way to enjoy beef fillet – rare.
The best steak I’ve ever had was in Toulouse in the south of France. It barely had any time in the pan and sliced smoother than fresh butter; every mouthful was more flavoursome and tender than the last. I never wanted it to end. I don’t know what it was that made that meat so wonderful, perhaps the lucky little cow skipped in the field and slept on tulips?
Some would argue that it was the red wine or good conversation that swayed me. Well it certainly wasn’t the cigarette smoke clouding the room – yes, you are allowed to smoke in restaurants in France, and the lovely locals do so between each course.
No, my memories are very clear. The. Best. Steak. Ever.
Thinking about that steak got my taste buds welling up with fond recollection and I knew I needed to try and recreate it. I wasn’t really in the mood for hauling out the deep fryer to make french fries so these delicious and healthy vegetable skewers were born.
A small pile of rocket dressed with lemon and some good olive oil is the only other accompaniment it needs. Well, maybe a nice glass of red too.
Happy cooking, Christie
Pepper crust beef fillet with pesto vegetable skewers
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 beef fillet portions, approx 125g each
8 wooden skewers
1 red onion, cut into large dice
16 cherry tomatoes
16 small button mushrooms
2 tablespoons pesto
salad leaves to serve
1. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water while you prepare the steaks.
2. Crush the peppercorns and salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor to a medium-fine texture. Mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and press onto both sides of the beef fillets.
3. Heat the remaining oil in a large fry pan. Cook the beef fillets 3-4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes in a warm place while you cook the vegetable skewers.
4. Remove the skewers from the water and pat dry. Alternate two pieces each of the mushrooms, onions and tomatoes onto each skewer and brush with pesto to coat. BBQ or grill them until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve two skewers per person with the beef and fresh salad leaves.
LOVE MEAT? Try one of my other meaty recipes:
Grilled lamb with feta and sun dried tomato couscous
Red wine lamb shanks with herb mash
Leg ham open sandwich with fresh corn salsa