Can’t pass up these bargains. Beef fillet, priced just over $40 a Kg, is not something I would buy, usually. However, a month or so ago, I saw a 600 gram piece marked down from $25 to $12.50 – again because it was short dated. I snapped it up and froze it. I then forgot all about it until Saturday, when I found it while sorting through what I had left in the freezer, prior to making a shopping list. I still have a few pieces of salmon, a bag of prawns and some frozen vegetables, along with one or two ready-made meals I froze after making too much, plus some bread rolls and a few rashers of bacon left over from the Christmas Eve breakfast barbecue we had at my place. With this inventory, I decided that perhaps except for a fresh lettuce and a few more tomatoes, there is no need to shop for another couple of weeks.
What to do with a beef fillet? My first thought was Beef Wellington, but no. I have some bacon left over from the brekkie BBQ. I have some smoked oysters (canned). I have garlic and herbs. I have cookery string.
It came out really well. I was very pleased indeed. What a shame I have to eat it all myself. This is a meal that might help seduce someone. It was so good I nearly ate it all at once. Only two helpings left this time. Mind you I did have a long busy day and nothing except coffee and a lime juice since breakfast at 0500.
Roast Beef Fillet Stuffed with Smoked Oysters
Preheat the oven to 220 C
- One beef fillet roast (this one is 600g)
Cut a pocket in it:
Rub it with pepper, sage and rosemary and sear it in a hot pan.
On a clean cutting board, lay out two pieces of string long enough to go round the fillet twice. Space them about 1/3 of the length of the fillet apart. Place a rasher of bacon over them and put the pocket on top, with the opening up.
In a bowl place:
- a tin of smoked oysters (oil included)
- a tablespoon of chopped onion
- a tablespoon of dried breadcrumbs
- a teaspoon of mustard powder
- an anchovy fillet (or a quarter teaspoon of beef stock)
- a heaped teaspoon of crushed or minced garlic
- a dash of Worcestershire sauce
- a dash of Angostura Bitters
- a pinch of sage, a pinch of rosemary and a pinch of powdered bay (or put a bay leaf in the pocket)
- a grind of pepper
Mix the ingredients and spoon them into the pocket.
Cover the slit in the fillet with a rasher of bacon lengthwise and two more crosswise.
Tie up the string.
Place the fillet in a baking tray, with the rest of the onion. Drizzle a little oil on it.
Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, after which turn the heat down to 180 for ten more minutes (longer if you do not want rare beef but if so, SHAME on you!).
Remove the meat from the heat and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Slice and serve. The juices make a good sauce, but you might want to use them to make gravy.
I served it with a side salad of tomato , capsicum and lettuce and
Crispy Baked Garlic Potatoes
- Preheat the oven to 220C.
- Boil potatoes, in salted water until almost tender but not yet cooked. (alternaively you can nuke them)
- Drain, and as soon as you can handle them, cut in half (if large) and place on an oven tray flat side down. With a very sharp knife cut thin slices in each about ¾ through the potato.
- Gently squeeze the side so that the cuts open and push a little minced garlic into the gaps
- Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with rock salt and black pepper.
- Bake in the top of the oven, until the sliced edges are golden brown and the potatoes cooked through. About 20-30 mins.
The spuds in this photo were cooked but did not crisp up because I took too long getting them into the oven. It may pay to prepare them first.
NOTES: Short dated meat is often a bargain. The use-by dates are usually quite conservative, and meat continues to improve as it ages until bacterial decomposition takes over from autolysis. Some people even like the gamey flavour that produces. the bacteria that spoil meat are not the ones that make you sick, in fact they usually compete successfully against pathogens and destroy them. So, rotten meat may make you nauseous but it will not usually give you a foodborne infection .
Provided that storage conditions at the butcher or supermarket are up to scratch, and the product has not been mishandled or temperature abused, it should have a good four or five days left at least after the use by date. If you freeze it immediately it will keep a considerable time, but should be used within a couple of days of being thawed.