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food & drink: jamie's dish: Give beef a continental twist.

Byline: Our young chef at London's Savoy Grill, JAMIE WILLIAMS, puts British beef on the menu but gives it a Mediterranean flavour.

Beef Fillet with Pesto and Med-Veg

THIS is another dish I quickly made myself at home which I have jazzed up to make a nice meal.

The large flat mushrooms or "cap" mushrooms can be bought in most shops.

This is a quick dish - keeping the continental spirit but staying simple. It eats well with just a bowl of salad with some nice dressed leaves.

The pesto was out of a jar but here is a nice recipe if you want to make your own.

Simply get a small bunch of basil - a pre-packed bunch is about the right size - and place in a blender or food processor. Add a clove of garlic, a handful of freshly grated parmesan, a handful of toasted pine nuts, salt and pepper and blitz to a thick pulp while slowly adding olive oil.

I prefer to use olive oil instead of extra virgin olive oil because extra virgin has a stronger taste and I want to get the maximum taste out of the other ingredients without the oil stealing them away.

You may see many chefs using half extra virgin oil, half veg oil or grapeseed oil. This is because a good extra virgin oil is peppery and has more of a kick, so it makes sense to tone it down with another, more mellow oil.

If you don't like basil, replace it with a small tin of sundried tomatoes to make a cool tomato version, which works equally as well.

If making your own basil pesto make sure it is covered in a small bowl immediately with clingfilm, to prevent oxidisation and the pesto turning black on contact with air.

Serves four


4 fillet steaks (5oz each)

drizzle of veg oil

4 large flat mushrooms (about the size of the steak is good)


4 teaspoons of grated parmesan

salt and pepper

For the veg:

2 peppers

3 fl oz olive oil

1 onion (chopped)

2 garlic cloves (very finely chopped)

4oz mushrooms (quartered)

2 courgettes (diced)

small pinch sugar

teaspoon vinegar

four plum tomatoes (tinned is OK, de-seeded)


1. Fry the onion on a low heat until soft, add garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the mushrooms and courgettes and cook for two minutes longer. Add the peppers and stir well to mix them all up. Add sugar, vinegar and season. Cover with foil and cook for around 20 minutes on gas mark 4 (150C). Then add the chopped tomatoes, stir well and return to the oven for two minutes longer.

2. Grill the steak how you like, seasoning well and adding a drizzle of oil, turning once when cooking. If you want you can peel the mushrooms, drizzle with oil and season. Grill with the steaks until cooked. When soft spread with pesto, sprinkle with parmesan and grill for a few moments until the parmesan browns lightly.

3. Sit the grilled fillet in the centre of the plate and the mushroom curved side down on top. Surround with the med-veg. Sprinkle with chopped herbs.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Coventry Newpapers
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:May 19, 2001
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