We’ve teamed up with Chef Jason Whitehead to create a delicious beef fillet recipe, paired with a refreshing asparagus and leek terrine.
Beef fillet is the most tender of all steaks to eat, with it’s flavour often being described as having a mild, beefy flavour. It is not as flavoursome as other meaty cuts such as rump or sirloin. However, there is a reason why beef fillet is the most desired out of all cuts; it is very lean, with minimal marbling, meaning it is less fatty in taste and texture. As a result, you are greeted with a almost melt-in-your-mouth beef cut that is beautifully soft and tender.
Chef Jason Whitehead serves his beef fillet with a tasty asparagus and leek terrine. Nothing pairs better than green vegetables with a hearty protein! Both the asparagus and leek help balance the meal and add a gentle hint of sweetness as you cut into the dish. Jason composes the two vegetables into a terrine, where layers of each vegetable are delicately placed on top of one another and packed into a rectangular dish. It looks very impressive and makes a great side dish!
The charred leek puree brings a gentle warmth and smokiness to the dish, with a pinch of Maldon Salt to elevate the sweetness.
How to make the charred leek puree…
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.
- Cut your leeks in half straight down the middle, then drizzle some EVOO and season with some Maldon Salt.
- Pop them into the oven and leave them there until they start to turn black / burn. Keep an eye on them, and when the leeks are completely black, remove them from the oven. While still warm, add them to a blender along with your garlic clove, rosemary sprigs and about 1/8 cup of EVOO. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as you go and adding more EVOO as needed. You want a thickish paste. Pass this mixture through a sieve, then taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. Place into a squeezy bottle and set aside.
Here’s how to make the leek and asparagus terrine…
- Blanch your spinach leaves for 20 seconds in hot water, then immediately place them into an ice bath. Remove from the ice bath and dry thoroughly with a kitchen towel. Remove the thick white stem from the spinach leaves, trying to keep the leaves intact.
- Cook your leeks whole in some salted water until tender, then drain and pat dry.
- In a small saucepan, bring your veggie stock and agar-agar to a simmer for 2 minutes, then strain and set aside (it must remain warm or it will start to set).
- Line a small loaf tin with clingfilm. Now line the tin with your spinach leaves, making sure they overlap each other, and also hang over the sides of the loaf tin. Place your asparagus spears and cooked leeks inside the loaf tin and press down gently to make sure they are nice and compact but not squashed. Pour over your veggie stock mixture, then fold in your overlapping spinach leaves to ‘close off’ the terrine. Using another loaf tin of the same size, place it on top and fill it with some dried lentils or beans to weigh it down. Pop it into the fridge to set.
How to make the charred tomato sauce..
- Fry your shallot in the butter until nicely browned, then add in your tin of chopped tomatoes. Season with Maldon Smoked Salt and brown sugar, then allow the sauce to reduce until it is thick and the tomatoes have mostly disintegrated.
- Blend until smooth, then pass through a sieve and set aside.
Here’s how to cook beef fillets…
- Make sure your fillets are at room temperature. Rub them in some EVOO then season well with Maldon Salt and black pepper. Get a frying pan nice and hot, then drizzle with a little more EVOO.
- Fry your fillets to your liking, then add in your butter, garlic and rosemary, and baste your steaks with this foamy mixture. Allow your steaks to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.
- Gently remove your leek and asparagus terrine from your loaf tin, then remove the clingfilm. Cut into 2cm slices and place onto a serving plate.
- Place your fillets next to the terrine, then decoratively place dots of your charred leek puree and smoky tomato sauce around the plate. Add some Maldon Salt to your steaks and then serve.
- Optional – drizzle a little red wine just around the plate.
Can you substitute beef fillet?
Beef fillet is expensive compared to other meats due to it’s time-consuming efforts of cleaning, trimming and preparing the meat cut. Gristle, and fatty tissue are taken out, which although results in a beautifully tender fillet, the price can be pretty costly!
Cheaper cuts of meat normally come from the rear end of an animal, resulting in a tougher, chewier texture. However, a great alternative to beef fillet would be shoulder cuts. This is a very economical cut of meat and rich in flavour! It may not be readily available at your local butcher, but they can either cut or order them for you if requested.