Beef Carpaccio with Mustard Dressing

Preparation Time: 25 minutes plus 15 minutes chilling in the freezer

Cooking Time: No cooking required

Ingredients:

8-10 oz lean beef tenderloin, centre cut and trimmed

2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

4 oz arugula leaves, rinsed

1 lemon, quartered

For the Mustard Dressing:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2-3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives

Method:

  1. Chill 4-6 serving plates in the refrigerator. Meanwhile, prepare the beef; loosely wrap the fillet in foil or baking parchment and place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes.
  2. To make the mustard dressing, place all the ingredients into a screw-topped jar and shake well.
  3. Remove the beef from the freezer and slice as thinly as possible across the grain of the meat.
  4. Place each slice between two sheets of cling film and using a rolling pin or meat mallet flatten evenly into wafer-thin slices.
  5. Stack the slices, still covered in cling film and chill until required.
  6. Arrange the beef slices evenly, slightly overlapping on the chilled plates, season, drizzle over the dressing and garnish with the capers, rocket leaves and lemon wedges before serving.

Beefy Picnic Bites with Parsley Pesto

Preparation Time: 20-25 minutes

Cooking Time: 25-30 minutes

Ingredients:

12 oz lean ground beef

2 tablespoons oil

2 medium potatoes, peeled, thinly sliced and dried

2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1-2 teaspoons ground paprika

2 large zucchini, topped, tailed and very thinly sliced lengthways

1 x 9 oz jar prepared grilled capsicum peppers, drained

2 oz mild hard cheese (e.g. Cheddar), grated

4 medium eggs, beaten

Fresh rocket or watercress leaves, to garnish

For the Parsley Pesto:

4 tablespoons fresh parsley

1 garlic clove, peeled and finely chopped

1 oz grated Parmesan cheese

1 oz raw cashew nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Cook the potato slices for 10 minutes, turning regularly until golden brown. Remove and drain on absorbent kitchen paper.
  3. In the same pan, cook the mince with the garlic, seasoning and paprika for 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Lay half the potatoes over the base of a 8 inch non-stick square cake tin, followed by the zucchini, peppers and mince mixture. Add the remaining potatoes then the cheese.
  5. Season the eggs and pour into the tin. Leave for 1-2 minutes for the egg mixture to settle.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes then set aside to cool slightly for 15-20 minutes then cut into bite-size pieces and serve warm.
  7. Meanwhile prepare the pesto; place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste and serve with the bites.

Steaks with Chili Butter

Preparation Time: 5 minutes

Cooking Time (3/4 inch steak)

Rare: 2 1/2 minutes on each side

Medium: 4 minutes on each side

Well done: 6 minutes on each side

 

Ingredients:

2 lean sirloin, rump or rib-eye steaks

1 teaspoon Sichuan peppercorns, crushed

1 tablespoon oil

For the Chili Butter:

1/4 cup butter, softened

1/2 inch piece fresh red chili, deseeded and finely chopped

 

Method:

  1. In a small bowl mix together the butter with the fresh chili. Form the butter into a sausage shape and wrap in cling film or foil and refrigerate until required.
  2. Place the crushed peppercorns on a large plate and coat the steaks on both sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a large griddle or frying pan and cook as preferred.
  4. Top with a disc of chilli butter and serve immediately with a crisp green salad, sweet potato wedges or thinly cut roasted parsnips.