WHAT I’M COOK­ING...

Fiona Smith’s seared beef with crisp salsa verde

Cuisine - - ED’S LETTER -

SERVES 8 / PREPA­RA­TION 20 MIN­UTES PLUS OVERNIGHT MAR­I­NAT­ING/ COOK­ING 28 MIN­UTES

This is de­signed to be served at room tem­per­a­ture. The top­ping is like a de­con­structed salsa verde where all the in­gre­di­ents are fried to a crisp! You can do this step the day be­fore and re­heat it on a tray in a hot oven for about 3 min­utes to crisp up. If you can, buy an even thick­ness of beef so you don’t end up with over­cooked tail ends.

FOR THE MAR­I­NATED BEEF

2 ta­ble­spoons Ja­panese or light soy sauce 1 ta­ble­spoon brown su­gar 1 ta­ble­spoon tomato paste 2 ta­ble­spoons red wine vine­gar 800g eye fil­let 2 tea­spoons olive oil 2 ta­ble­spoons finely chopped oregano Pre­heat the oven to 200°C. Mix to­gether the soy sauce, su­gar, tomato paste and vine­gar and set aside – this is the mari­nade.

Heat an oven­proof fry­ing pan to hot. Rub the eye fil­let all over with the oil. Sear the fil­let for 2 min­utes on each side (8 min­utes to­tal) un­til browned then move to the oven for 10-15 min­utes (for rare to medium rare), turn­ing once half­way through. Re­move the fry­ing pan from the oven and set back on the el­e­ment. Pour the mari­nade over the beef, quickly turn­ing the beef to coat and let­ting the mari­nade bub­ble.

Re­move im­me­di­ately from the heat, trans­fer the beef to a dish and pour over the mari­nade. Cool, cover and re­frig­er­ate overnight, turn­ing oc­ca­sion­ally.

FOR THE CRISP SALSA VERDE

2 cups sun­flower oil 3 shal­lots, finely sliced 3 ta­ble­spoons capers, drained 1 gar­lic clove, halved 1 cup coarse bread­crumbs 6 an­chovies, drained, finely chopped (op­tional) 1 tea­spoon Di­jon mus­tard 1 ta­ble­spoon lemon juice 2 ta­ble­spoons ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 2 cups flat-leafed pars­ley leaves Heat the sun­flower oil in a medium saucepan to 180°C. Have a slot­ted spoon ready. Spread the shal­lots and capers on pieces of pa­per towel to dry out a lit­tle.

Fry the shal­lots in the oil for about 2 min­utes or un­til golden, then re­move with the spoon and drain on crum­pled pa­per towel (I find crum­pling the pa­per towel helps it ab­sorb the oil bet­ter).

Add the gar­lic to the oil and fry for 30 sec­onds or un­til just golden, then re­move and drain on crum­pled pa­per towel.

Add the capers and fry for 30 sec­onds or un­til just golden, then re­move and drain on crum­pled pa­per towel. Fi­nally fry the bread­crumbs for 1-2 min­utes or un­til just golden, re­move from the oil and drain on crum­pled pa­per towel.

In a jar, make the dress­ing by shak­ing to­gether the an­chovies (if us­ing), mus­tard, lemon juice and olive oil.

To serve, slice the beef fil­let thinly and ar­range on a plat­ter. Top with the pars­ley, driz­zle with the dress­ing and sea­son with flaky salt and freshly ground black pep­per, then scat­ter over the fried bits.

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