Recipe: Pip's favourite beef pesto

By Grant Allen

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Beef pesto is marinated for two days. Photo / Doug Sherring
Beef pesto is marinated for two days. Photo / Doug Sherring

Serves 6

• 1 piece of mid-beef fillet, trimmed, about 1.2-1.5 kg
• 500ml tamari
• 250ml cider vinegar
• 1 red chilli, moderately hot
• 12 cloves garlic, peeled
• ¼ cup seed mustard
• 150ml cider vinegar
• ½ tsp salt
• ½ tsp cracked black pepper
• 350ml olive oil
• ½ bunch chard or silverbeet, about 400g, shredded finely, stems and all, and washed well
• 3 courgettes, diced
• 2 medium-sized beetroot, raw, peeled and finely diced

Pesto
• 10 cloves garlic, peeled
• 3 loosely packed cups fresh basil leaves
• 1 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves
• 1 cup roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
• 500ml olive oil
• 1 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted to golden brown in a dry pan, and left to cool
• 1 cup finely grated parmesan
• Some more olive oil

Marinate the beef for at least two days before you eat this dish.

1. Put the tamari, the first amount of cider vinegar, the chilli and six cloves of the garlic into a blender and puree to a fine consistency for 30 seconds.
Lay the fillet in a long dish, just large enough to hold it, and pour the marinade over it, cover with cling film and place in the fridge. Every 12 hours, turn the beef over to expose all of it to the marinade. It can be left to marinate for up to a week.

2. Just before you cook the beef, take it out of the marinade and drain well, then dry with a clean cloth. Cut it into six equal pieces and leave to sit until you're ready to cook it.

3. Put the remaining garlic, the seed mustard, the second amount of cider vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil into a food processor, purée for 30 seconds and pour into a large bowl.

4. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil, add the chard and stir well. After 30 seconds add the courgettes and stir, and after 1 minute drain it all through a colander, (the chard and courgettes can be steamed if you prefer).

Tip the hot vegetables into the bowl with the garlic dressing and stir well, add the beetroot and stir that in, then leave the bowl in a warm place.

5. For the pesto, put the garlic, herbs, olive oil and pine nuts in a food processor and purée to a coarse paste, but be careful not to overwork it.
Turn into a mixing bowl and stir in the parmesan. Stir in a little more olive oil to get the consistency you want. Set aside.

6. Heat up a grilling skillet or grill to a high heat. Lightly oil the fillet on the cut sides and, for the best flavour, grill for no more than 2 minutes on each side. As it's marinated the beef won't need a lot of cooking, but of course if you like your meat well done, then cook it so.

Serve the grilled beef on top of the warm chard salad and dollop the pesto on top.

- Herald on Sunday

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