Florentine Meatballs

 

 

Florentine meatballs have spinach and loads of other aromatics that make them taste fantastic. Served over a simple marinara sauce or made into a wonderful meatball sandwich. If you have any leftovers they even make an awesome topping for Friday night pizza.

 

 

You will need:

 

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 9 oz of baby spinach = 1 cup cooked
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped fine
  • 1 onion – grated
  • 2 spring onions – chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesano Reggiano
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 3 sun dried tomatoes in oil – chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes – peperoncino
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup chopped bread soaked in 1/2 cup milk (10 minutes)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

Sauce

  • small can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasonings
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil – best quality

 

Step 1: start by quickly cooking your spinach in some olive oil with salt and pepper. It will just take maybe 4 minutes. The leaves will wilt and then some of the water will start to cook out. Once cooked you can chop until finely minced.

 

 

Step 2: add your pork and beef to a bowl. Add chopped spinach (you could use frozen spinach here just squeeze out most of the water. Add chopped garlic and grated onion.  If you prefer you can add all the ingredients except the meat to a food processor if you would rather not chop with a knife.

 

 

Step 3: chop spring onion and parsley. Chop sun dried tomatoes. Grate Parmesan cheese. Add everything to the bowl with the meat along with grated nutmeg, zested lemon, dry oregano, chili flakes and egg.

 

 

Step 4: soak chopped bread in milk.

 

 

Step 5: add bread, salt and pepper and mix well.

 

 

Step 6: using a large ice cream scoop make balls enough for dinner for your crowd.

 

 

If you have leftover meat you can make the same size to freeze or I am making small ones for my next spaghetti and meatball dinner which I will freeze and then place in a Ziploc bag.

 

 

I make a simple sauce and heat just before serving.

 

 

Step 7: Bake in a 400 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes. You can drizzle a bit of good oil and a grating of cheese to the tops before baking.

 

 

Plate with a scoop of hot sauce and a bit of fresh Parmesan on top. You can also make these into great meatball sandwiches and if you like you can top with a bit of mozzarella and put back into the oven to melt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Keftedes – Greek Grilled Meat

 

These are like Chevapcici or other grilled street meats served all over the Mediterranean. These are typical of the kind found in Greece. Of course everyone makes their own slightly different. They are moist and packed full of flavour and everyone will eat way too many!!

 

 

 

You will need:

 

  • 2 slices of bread – crusts removed and chopped into cubes
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 small onion – grated
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley – chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp fresh mint – chopped fine
  • 2 spring onions – chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic – chopped fine
  • 2 tsp dry oregano
  • 3 tbsp good olive oil
  • 1 tsp lemon zest – finely grated
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

 

Step 1: Remove the crust from 2 slices of your favourite bread. Chop into cubes and place in a bowl with milk. Wait 5 minutes then squish and crumble the bread in your fingers to create a wet breadcrumb.

 

 

Step 2: place ground beef in a large bowl. Grate onion and place on top. Add egg to bowl.

 

 

Step 3: chop parsley, mint, spring onions and garlic. Add to bowl.

 

 

Step 4: add all remaining ingredients; dry oregano, extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Mix well with your hands.

 

 

Step 5: form into small thumb sized keftedes.

 

 

Grill as many as you want to eat (make lots!) and freeze the remainder.

Served with Greek roasted potatoes, pita bread, tzatziki and a simple chunky salad.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tomato Sauce Burgers – there is sauce in them burgers!

 

These burgers take just a few minutes to prepare homemade so why would you ever buy a store bought burger? I have added some tomato sauce right in the burger along with some other flavours and aromatics it creates a nice juicy burger. Any leftovers freeze perfectly for a night when you don’t feel like preparing a big meal.

 

You will need:

 

 

  • 1 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef 
  • 1/4 cup your favourite tomato sauce or pasta sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp your favourite barbecue spice mix
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh herbs – I used basil, parsley and chives
  • 2 cloves garlic – minced fine
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

 

 

Step 1: chop garlic and herbs. In a large bowl add meat, herbs and all remaining ingredients. My tomato sauce was crushed tomatoes with garlic, chopped basil, parsley, salt, pepper and olive oil. Mix gently with your hands to distribute flavourings throughout but, don’t work the meat too hard or the burgers will be tough. I like the way the tomato sauce stains the burgers. Form into patties and place on wax paper. Freeze the ones you don’t use in Ziploc bags.

 

 

Step 2: shred some cheese – mine was old cheddar. Slice some big fat tomatoes. Heat the grill!

 

 

Step 3: grill them to the way you view perfection. I like to place the cheese on the burger as soon as I flip them. Serve on a soft bun with your favourite toppings. 

 

Sweet Feta Cheeseburgers

 

I have said it before but, I truly love a great juicy burger and this one does not disappoint! It is made with grated sweet potato and crumbled feta cheese and is moist and yummy. If you have people in your house that don’t want to eat vegetables I always say “chop them fine and they won’t notice.

 

 

You will need:

 

  • 1 lb ground beef – don’t use extra lean you want some fat%
  • 1/3 cup finely grated sweet potato (this is not a yam )
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 spring onion – diced fine
  • 2 tbsp grated onion
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste when you are grilling

 

 

 

Step 1: finely grate 1/3 cup sweet potato (this is not YAM folks!! look it up.)

 

 

Step 2:  In a large bowl add ground meat, sweet potato, crumbled feta, finely diced spring onion, grated onion, chopped parsley, Worcestershire sauce and lemon juice.

 

 

Step 3: lightly toss rather than compress meat to mix all ingredients. You want a nice moist burger, don’t overwork that meat.

 

 

Step 4: form 4 patties.

 

 

Step 5: salt and pepper patties and grill to the way you like them.

 

 

Serve with your favourite toppings!!

 

 

 

 

 

Steak Sandwich

 

This is a  steak sandwich with an olive, hot pepper pickle, a smear of red pepper sauce and served on a whole grain bun. You can use a small amount of meat and pound it thin to create lots of little pieces of meat, then fill your sandwich full of olive salad or giardinera and sweet pepper sauce.

That’s a good sand-weeg!

 

 

You will need:

 

  • 1-2 top sirloin steaks – sliced and pounded very thin
  • 1 tsp Tuscan/Italian seasonings
  • 1 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tsp  chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • breadcrumbs 1 cup
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp dry oregano
  • 1 tsp lemon pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • flour
  • 2 eggs
  • Giardinera make it from scratch or buy a jar of hot peppers and mixed vegetables and then add some  chopped olives
  • nice buns

 

Roasted pepper sauce

 

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small jar roasted peppers 125 ml
  • 1 onion cooked in oil until sweet and carmelized
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan

 

 

 

 

Step 1: take a top sirloin steak and slice it into thin steaks. I normally slice it into a few pieces, then I flip the steak onto its side and slice it carefully against the grain to get a very tender piece of meat. It is a decent cut so even if you slice it with the grain and pound it, it will still be good. I got about 18 slices of meat out of two small steaks.

 

 

Step 2: in a small bowl add pounded meat, Tuscan or Italian seasonings, chopped rosemary, thyme and parsley. Add pepper, lemon zest and a few tbsp olive oil. Set aside.

 

 

Step 3: create a standard breading station. Breadcrumbs with dry mustard, Italian seasoning, dry oregano and lemon pepper. Flour with salt and pepper mixed in and eggs beaten. You add the meat first to the flour mixture, then to the egg mixture, then to the breadcrumbs.  Place breaded meat on a tray so they do not stick together. In a wide pan shallow fry meat in olive oil (just enough to come up the meat halfway) You may have to do this in batches. Place cooked meat on tray and sprinkle immediately with salt and pepper. You can keep these warm in the oven or you can re-heat them in the oven hours later.

 

 

Step 4: in a food processor add jarred hot peppers, hot pickled vegetables and some olives. Pulse a few times. You still want the mixture to be chunky. Remove to a small dish.

 

 

Step 5: add ingredients for red pepper sauce to food processor (I don’t even wash it out from the vegetables you just made) Pulse until pureed.

 

 

Step 6: assemble your sandwich and eat. I had some leftover artichoke dip and I also added some to my sandwich. YUM.

 

 

You could certainly add some tomatoes and lettuce etc.. the point is you have lots of vegetables and a bit of meat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Stuffed Peppers

 

 

When I was a child growing up on Greenwood Ave. my mother would often make stuffed peppers. Back in the 70’s there were never any red, yellow or orange peppers these were always in green,  stuffed with ground beef and rice and topped with tomato sauce. I have decided to add some extra vegetables and some Italian flavours to these as they can be quite bland. You can pre-cook the peppers if you want them very soft or just fill them uncooked for a pepper that retains it shape and still has a bit of texture.

 

You will need:

 

  • 6 peppers any colour – tops and seeds removed
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups cooked rice (1/2 cup uncooked in 1 cup water for 20 minutes on low)
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 small leek
  • 3 brocoflower  flowerettes- 1 cup chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cabbage
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 pound ground Italian sausages (hot or mild whichever you prefer!)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp Italian Seasonings

Sauce (make this amount for each dish of  3 peppers)

  • 2 small 14 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp dry Italian seasonings
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil
  • 2 spring onion
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • aged balsamic vinegar to serve

 

1. wash and cut peppers. I prepare two dishes 3 peppers to eat for one meal and 3 to freeze for another day. Slice off lids and remove seeds and veins. Slice off a piece of pepper from the bottom so they will sit flat in your dish. Do not throw these bits away. Chop and add to your filling.

 

2. In a food processor add your favourite vegetables to add flavour to the filling. Add onion, carrot, leek, broccoflower, cabbage and garlic. If you like other vegetables feel free to interchange what you like.

 

3. In a large pan on high heat saute ground sausage and beef until water has evaporated and the meat has been browned. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning.

 

4. Add the processed vegetables and any extra bits of chopped peppers you have. If you prefer you can also add the peppers to the processor to make them very fine. This is especially good if you have a picky family and you are trying to hide the vegetables just to get them in them! Cook 5-10 minutes until water from veggies has evaporated and they are softened.

 

5. cook your rice or if already cook set aside for assembly.

 

6. Prepare sauce by chopping parsley, basil, spring onion and adding to crushed can of tomatoes or add a can of diced tomatoes and all above ingredients along with 1 tbsp Italian seasoning to a blender or food processor until you have your sauce. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and set aside.

 

7. In a bowl add ground meat and vegetables and rice. Mix until incorporated.

 

8. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Stuff peppers and put lids back on top. Place 3 in a baking dish and cover with half the sauce or bake all together to serve a larger crowd. Cover with lid and bake for 45 minutes with the lid on and 30 minutes with the lid off.

 

9. serve peppers with extra sauce and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

 

1. wash and cut peppers. I prepare two dishes 3 peppers to eat for one meal and 3 to freeze for another day. Slice off lids and remove seeds and veins. Slice off a piece of pepper from the bottom so they will sit flat in your dish. Do not throw these bits away. Chop and add to your filling.

 

2. In a food processor add your favourite vegetables to add flavour to the filling. Add onion, carrot, leek, broccoflower, cabbage and garlic. If you like other vegetables feel free to interchange what you like.

 

3. In a large pan on high heat saute ground sausage and beef until water has evaporated and the meat has been browned. Add a generous sprinkling of salt and pepper and 1 tbsp Italian Seasoning.

4. Add the processed vegetables and any extra bits of chopped peppers you have. If you prefer you can also add the peppers to the processor to make them very fine. This is especially good if you have a picky family and you are trying to hide the vegetables just to get them to eat them!

Cook 5-10 minutes until water from veggies has evaporated and they are softened.

 

5. cook your rice or if already cook set aside for assembly.

 

 

6. Prepare sauce by chopping parsley, basil, spring onion and adding to crushed can of tomatoes or add a can of diced tomatoes and all above ingredients along with 1 tbsp Italian seasoning to a blender or food processor until you have your sauce. Add 1/2 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper and set aside.

 

 

7. In a bowl add ground meat and vegetables and rice. Mix until incorporated.

 

 

 

8. Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Stuff peppers and put lids back on top. Place 3 in a baking dish and cover with half the sauce or bake all together to serve a larger crowd. Cover with lid and bake for 45 minutes with the lid on and 30 minutes with the lid off.

 

 

 

9. serve peppers with extra sauce and a drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Catalan Beef

 

This is a hearty beef stew with a picada or crumbled bread, nut and herb topping for something a bit different. It has flavours of garlic, paprika, cinnamon, and orange for a hearty  bowl that is warming and delicious on a cold winter night.

 

You will need:

 

  • 1 kg beef – cut into 1-2 inch pieces – chuck roast or stewing beef
  • 3 tbsp olive oil to brown meat (you will need more if you cook in batches)
  • 1 large onion – diced
  • 3 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • handful of dried mixed mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic – chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (hot or mild whatever you prefer…I used hot smoked)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp grated orange zest
  • 1/2 cup white wine or use the juice from the orange
  • beef broth (approximately 1/2 litre or just enough liquid to almost cover meat)
  • optional = 1 square of dark chocolate just before serving

Picada – Topping

  • 2 cloves garlic – crushed
  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley – or a handful
  • 1/4 cup almonds (any kind blanched, chopped, whole)
  • 1 slice fresh bread (any kind)

 

1. cut meat into similar sized cubes. I cut mine into 1 1/2 inch cubes. I like the meat to still have some shape after the long braising however, if you cut them smaller the meat will cook faster. I remove any hard or large pieces of fat. Meat should be at room temperature and patted dry on paper towels before cooking.

 

2. heat a large pan on high heat. Add a few tbsp of olive oil and add dried meat allowing space between cubes to avoid steaming meat. Allow to get browned on at least a few sides before removing to a plate. If you need to do this in batches do so.

 

3. chop onion and fry in the same pan with a bit more olive oil. Scrape all the browned bits left by the meat. Once the onion starts to brown (may take 15 minutes on medium-low heat) add sherry vinegar to further deglaze  the pan.

 

4. Soak a handful of dried mushrooms in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove from water and chop.(add mushroom water to the stew when you add liquid later)

 

5. In the same pan or a heavy oven proof pot add meat, onions, mushrooms, mushroom liquid, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, tomato paste, cinnamon, orange zest, wine or orange juice and cook for 5 minutes on high to reduce wine.

 

6. Add enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Cover pot with a lid and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 1/2 hour.

 

7. remove lid and continue braising another 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours until meat is very tender. You will need to check it approx every 20 minutes. Stir mix and check liquid level in pan. If you find the liquid is reducing too much add a half cup of additional broth at a time. You are looking for the meat to have a nice gravy but, not for it to be too runny. It should be thick like a stew not like a soup.

 

8. In a food processor add all ingredients for the picada topping. Process until fine.

 

9. In the last-minute before serving add a square of dark chocolate to round out the rich stew.

 

10. Serve hot with a sprinkling of the topping, a slab of crusty bread and a nice glass of Spanish red wine!

 

 

1. cut meat into similar sized cubes. I cut mine into 1 1/2 inch cubes. I like the meat to still have some shape after the long braising however, if you cut them smaller the meat will cook faster. I remove any hard or large pieces of fat. Meat should be at room temperature and patted dry on paper towels before cooking.

 

 

2. heat a large pan on high heat. Add a few tbsp of olive oil and add dried meat allowing space between cubes to avoid steaming meat. Allow to get browned on at least a few sides before removing to a plate. If you need to do this in batches do so.

 

 

3. chop onion and fry in the same pan with a bit more olive oil. Scrape all the browned bits left by the meat. Once the onion starts to brown (may take 15 minutes on medium-low heat) add sherry vinegar to further deglaze  the pan.

 

4. Soak a handful of dried mushrooms in boiling water for 5 minutes to soften. Remove from water and chop.(add mushroom water to the stew when you add liquid later)

 

 

5. In the same pan or a heavy oven proof pot add meat, onions, mushrooms, mushroom liquid, garlic, salt, pepper, paprika, tomato paste, cinnamon, orange zest, wine or orange juice and cook for 5 minutes on high to reduce wine.

 

 

6. Add enough beef broth to almost cover the meat. Cover pot with a lid and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 1 1/2 hour.

 

7. remove lid and continue braising another 1 hour – 1 1/2 hours until meat is very tender. You will need to check it approx every 20 minutes. Stir mix and check liquid level in pan. If you find the liquid is reducing too much add a half cup of additional broth at a time. You are looking for the meat to have a nice gravy but, not for it to be too runny. It should be thick like a stew not like a soup.

 

8. In a food processor add all ingredients for the picada topping. Process until fine.

 

 

9. In the last-minute before serving add a square of dark chocolate to round out the rich stew.

 

 

10. Serve hot with a sprinkling of the topping, a slab of crusty bread and a nice glass of Spanish red wine!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Tenderloin Crostini with Horseradish Cream

 

This is the second part of my beef tenderloin. I lightly seared it and created some carpaccio and then I used the remainder of my piece of tenderloin and created these little garlic toasts with a slice of beef topped them off with some horseradish cream and a drizzle of my very best olive oil, a drizzle of aged balsamic and a sprinkle of sea salt. Come on!!

 

You will need:

 

  • a large piece of beef tenderloin (mine is .34kg)
  • a handful of flat Italian parsley- never buy curly if you can get flat! it has way more flavour
  • 2 cloves garlic -crushed
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian seasonings
  • salt/pepper
  • best best olive oil- to drizzle
  • large flaked sea salt
  • aged balsamic
  • slices baguette/french bread
  • 1 clove whole garlic for rubbing on bread

Chili Oil

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic- crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dry chili flakes
  • 1 fresh chili chopped fine- seeds included

Cream

  • 3 heaped tsp creamed horseradish
  • 1-2 tbsp fresh cream or double cream (comes in a small jar usually sold where cheeses are sold)

 

 

Step 1: either with a knife or food processor create herb coating. Chop parsley, garlic, rosemary, thyme, chives and dry Italian seasoning. Sprinkle over a plate and then roll the meat over to cover. Press into meat to form a nice layer. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in fridge at least 1 hour. Before cooking meat make sure it sits at room temperature. It should not be cold as it goes into the pan. Add some salt and fresh cracked pepper to meat just before putting it into the hot pan.

 

Step 2: create the chili oil (can be made days in advance and will get stronger as it sits) Add oil, garlic and chilies to a small bowl.

 

 

 

Step 3: heat a cast iron or heavy pan. Once it is very hot add a few tbsp of chili oil to pan and add meat. Sear meat in the hot pan 1 minute on each side to sear. This meat took 5 minutes to sear because I used part of this meat for carpaccio and then I sliced it into medallions and cooked them for 1 minute on 1 side and then flipped and turned off the heat for slices that were pink and tender inside.

If you wanted to create this piece for your toasts you can sear 2 minutes maybe 3 on each side to get a nice pink interior when you slice for your toast. (see link to carpaccio part of recipe)

 

Step 4: in a small bowl mix horseradish and cream

 

 

I thinly sliced a few slices for my carpaccio. Then flatten with your knife to make the meat very thin.

 

 

 

Step 5: I sliced my meat into medallions and cooked 1 minute on 1 side, flipped over and turned off the heat.

 

 

Step 6: slice bread, lightly toast and rub with a clove of garlic.

 

 

Step 7: drizzle your very best olive oil on toast. This is where I bring out my single variety, first press best olive oil. Place a slice of meat on top, a dollop of horseradish cream, a fresh crack of pepper, a sprinkle of Maldon sea salt (large flake) and a final drizzle of aged balsamic.

 

They will go out of their mind!! It’s that good!

Carpaccio

 

 

A beautiful piece of beef tenderloin cooked for a second just to sear the outside and served with your very best, BEST olive oil, a sprinkle of flaked salt and a drizzle of aged balsamic is just a bite of heaven. You can stop there and it will be fantastic but, I have also created a little mustard dressing and served a salad of tender greens for a great first course. Carpaccio can be served completely raw and most people freeze it slightly so that it can be sliced paper thin or you can sear it lightly and slice thin then flatten the meat with the side of the knife to further thin it out. I like it both ways.

 

You will need:

 

 

  • a piece of beef tenderloin (mine was .34kg) I used this piece for the carpaccio and some beef crostini with horseradish cream (see link to recipe)
  • handful of flat/Italian parsley- never buy the curly if you can buy the flat- much more flavour.
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives
  • 1 tbsp dry Italian Seasoning
  • salt/pepper

Chili Oil

  • 1/2 cup olive
  • 1-2 cloves garlic- crushed
  • 1/2 tsp dry chili flakes
  • 1 fresh red chili- sliced (seeds included)

Dressing

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp horseradish (creamed or regular or fresh grated)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

 

  • mixed salad greens
  • a nice sprinkling of Maldon- or any large flaked salt
  • aged balsamic vinegar for drizzling
  • your very best olive oil for drizzling

 

Step 1: in a food processor or with a sharp knife, chop parsley, garlic, rosemary, thyme, chives and add dry Italian seasoning. Sprinkle mixture on a plate and roll the piece of beef pressing the herbs to allow it to stick. Wrap in plastic and put in fridge for an hour or 2.

 

Step 2: Bring the meat out and let come to room temperature before cooking. It should not be cold when it goes into the hot pan. Just before putting it in the hot pan sprinkle meat with salt and pepper.

 

 

Step 3: In a small bowl add oil, fresh and dry chilies and garlic. This garlic can infuse for a few hours or a few days. The longer it sits the stronger it gets.

 

 

Step 4: in a small jar add ingredients for dressing: olive oil, Dijon mustard, horseradish, lemon juice, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar. Shake well to mix ad set aside.

 

 

Step 5: in a heavy or cast iron pan, heat until very hot. Once hot add a few tbsp of chili oil, sprinkle meat with some salt and pepper and place in pan. I cooked the meat on each side for 1 minute and then removed the meat. I cooked this for a total of 5 minutes.

 

 

Let meat rest for a few minutes before slicing.

 

 

I sliced the meat as thin as I could with a sharp knife and then flattened the meat further with the side of the knife blade. Be careful not to tear the delicate meat. You can simply finish with sea salt, pepper,  a drizzle of good oil and a bit of aged balsamic or you can dress it with a bit of tender lettuce and some mustard dressing.

 

 

I also used the remainder of this piece of meat to create these delicious Beef slices on crostini with some horseradish cream (see link for recipe)

 

My husband was in heaven!! you have got to make these recipes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beef Wellington

Beef Wellington is an English preparation of a beef tenderloin coated typically in pate and mushrooms and then sometimes wrapped in a crepe to keep the pastry flaky. I have made the preparation quicker by omitting the pate and using a layer of prosciutto to seal the meat.

Beef Wellington sounds intimidating however, if you just prepare it over 2 days you will have no problems and it wont feel like such a challenge. I use store bought puff pastry and a few simple ingredients to prepare a show stopper of a meal. We enjoyed this for New Years Eve and it went perfect with lots of good champagne!

You will need:

  • 1 small piece of beef tenderloin (mine is .505kg/1.1lbs and 6 inches -this can serve 4 people\
  • olive oil and butter for frying
  • 1 small pkg of mushrooms -white
  • 1/2 cup dry mixed mushrooms – rehydrated in boiling water 
  • 6 cloves -garlic
  • 1/2 onion- chopped very fine
  • salt/pepper
  • 1 sheet all butter puff pastry
  • 3-4 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp horseradish (can be prepared or fresh)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 slices prosciutto
Step 1: gather all your ingredients.  Let meat come to room temperature before cooking it.
 Pat beef dry with paper towels.
Step 2: pour some boiling water over your dry mushrooms. Set aside while you prepare your meat.
Step 3: prepare your mustard topping. In a small bowl add mustard, horseradish and honey. Mix and set aside.
Step 4: in a very hot pan add a few tbsp of olive oil and a tbsp of butter. Brown the meat on all sides. I cook for approximately 2 minutes on each side. (don’t forget the ends!) Remove and place on plate.
Step 5: when cooled slightly slather on the mustard. You want to add this while the meat is still warm so it sucks up all the flavour.  Let cool completely and then place in fridge to chill. (30 minutes)
Step 6: in the same pan add the chopped onions and scrape off all the yummy bits cooking until slightly browned.
Step 7: drain the soaked mushrooms and add to a food processor along with the fresh mushrooms and the cooked onions. Process until fine.
Step 8: saute in pan until most of the moisture has evaporated and the mix is somewhat dry. You want there to still be some moisture but it should not be sloppy wet. Taste and add salt and pepper. Let cool completely.
Step 9: add 4 slices of prosciutto to a large piece of plastic wrap (I only had 2 slices in my fridge and typically I don’t used the smoked variety but, if you lay out 4 you will be able to wrap the tenderloin completely to provide a layer between the puff pastry. This keeps the pastry flaky and dry.
Step 10: Remove the chilled beef from fridge and add cooled mushroom mix to the entire outside of the beef. I add a layer and place it on the prosciutto and then continue to pat it on with my hands until it is coated.
Step 11: wrap and freeze the meat for 1 hour.
Step 12: wrap the beef in a slice of puff pastry. I also place on a piece of parchment with a large sheet of plastic wrap underneath.
Step 13: roll up beef and wrap tightly in plastic. At this stage you can leave in fridge overnight or a few hours until chilled. 
Step 14: remove from fridge, skor lightly with a knife and brush with egg to make a nice sheen when baking.
Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until just browned. This will make a medium rare tenderloin. If you want it cooked a bit more keep it in for approx 5-10 minutes more.
 Remove from oven and let rest 10-15 minutes before slicing.
I served it with some asparagus and a green salad.