In a weekend when hearts had been broken and lost ground needed to be regained I was glad we were eating a fillet of beef for Sunday dinner. It had been decided long before the fall out that it would be this week’s Sunday best and it was a relief when I later remembered it was on the menu. It always feels opulent and excessive due to the many gold coins you exchange for this small piece of meat. However we were feeling a little flush so the decision was taken and by Sunday something that would cause no frowns or dismissal was definitely required. Even the self defined pescetarian Tink had agreed to this beef.
As I mixed the marinade on Sunday morning, I was aware that it was a job I lost to Saturday, to overbearing sadness, and my heart was lightened by the intoxicating scent of ginger, garlic, mustard and herbs. It was a step towards normality that I relished. We did cheat this time and added to our opulent meal with a trip to Waitrose for easy accompaniments, the fillet deserves Waitrose we feel. Three different types of potatoes, Yorkshires, creamy cabbage, peas and bacon and of course gravy.
My favourite time we ate this meal was two Christmases ago when my Dad was staying with us for the festive season. I prepared the beef on Christmas Eve and left it to marinade until Boxing Day. On Boxing Day we wrapped up and went out to climb a mountain. It was a blustery cold day and we were out for a good couple of hours. After a stop off at the pub we returned and I placed a dish of already prepared creamy dauphinoise potatoes in the oven, followed by best beef and later served with green beans. I think the fact that we all felt full of fresh air and a little tired and given the meal was delightfully easy and then tasted so delicious, plus the lovely glass of red and the blazing fire, it just seemed like perfection in the moment.
I also have to say that it’s a bit of secret recipe passed to me from my father-in-law, who had it given to him by someone else, who got it from goodness knows who or where, so guard it with your life.
This recipe is for a 3lb piece of beef but we usually have smaller for 4 of us about 800g, just adjust cooking time as required.
3lb piece of beef fillet
3 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 tsp herb de Provence
1tsp steak/beef seasoning
2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 tsp olive oil
1. mix all the ingredients for the marinade together in a bowl.
2. coat the meat in the paste, cover and leave for at least 12 hours.
3. Roast for 40mins at 200C / Gas mark 6 or for appropriate time for your piece of meat.
4. Leave to rest for 10 minute before carving and add juices to gravy.
5. Serve and enjoy.