We’ll meat again

[Recipe 1] ROAST BEEF FILLET and ASPARAGUS with SWEET POTATO CHIPS transforms into
[Recipe 2] VIETNAMESE BEEF COLESLAW with KAFFIR LIME DRESSING
……………..
We’re right in the middle of asparagus season – one of my favourite vegetables. Stinky wee is such a tiny price to pay for something so delicious. They were $1 a bunch at the market recently, which helped alleviate my guilt from lashing out on a whole beef eye fillet. Yikes.
If you’ve not roasted a whole beef fillet before, I highly recommend you do. It’s the most beautiful, tender meat imaginable, and so easy to cook. It’s simply seared and tossed in the oven. I served it with sweet potato chips, although I do think ‘chips’ is a slight misnomer as they’re not exactly crunchy. They are however, absolutely scrumptious! The brown sugar is optional, but it does help the sweet potato caramelise nicely.
Reserve some of your roast beef fillet (look for the ♦ orange diamonds for quantity/instructions), and you can conjure up Vietnamese beef coleslaw with kaffir lime dressing for dinner later in the week. It’s actually a bit of a Thai/Vietnamese fusion, and it’s zingy and pretty fabulous. We ate ours outside on a beautiful balmy Melbourne evening, with a glass or two of Coopers ale. Bliss!

Roast eye fillet[Recipe 1] Roast beef fillet and asparagus with sweet potato chips

Ingredients (beef serves 4 for 2 meals):
1.65kg (3½ lb) beef eye fillet, trimmed and tied (see this youtube clip for method)
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing asparagus
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bunches asparagus spears, ends trimmed
Spiced sweet potato chips (serves 4):
750g (1½ lb) orange sweet potato, peeled and cut into chips
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon raw sugar (optional)
1 teaspoon sea salt

Preheat oven to 220°C (425ºF).
Heat a large heavy-based pan, add the olive oil, and seal the beef on all sides until browned. Place prepared beef fillet into a shallow baking pan.
Lightly brush the asparagus spears with olive oil. Place onto a large baking tray, lined with baking paper.
Place sweet potato pieces into a large bowl, add oil and shake well to coat. Mix all dry ingredients together, add to the bowl and shake or stir to coat evenly. Arrange the sweet potato chips next to the asparagus spears.
Place beef and vegetables into pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the asparagus spears. Turn the sweet potato chips over and continue roasting along with the beef for a further 15 minutes. Sweet potato and beef will need a total of about 30 minutes cooking time. Remove beef, cover loosely with foil and rest for ten minutes. Remove string.
Reserve about 400g (14 oz) of the beef fillet for the Vietnamese coleslaw with lime dressing. Don’t be tempted to slice the beef for the salad now – it will be much easier to slice thinly when cold.
Carve the remaining beef into thick 1cm (½ inch) slices. Serve with the asparagus spears, sweet potato chips and a simple green salad.

Vietnamese beef coleslaw

[Recipe 2] Vietnamese beef coleslaw with kaffir lime dressing

Ingredients (serves 4):
½ wombok (Chinese/Napa cabbage), finely shredded (about 4 cups)
2 medium carrots, cut into fine match-sticks
1 cup bean shoots (mung bean sprouts)
3 spring onions (scallions), white parts only, thinly sliced (reserve dark green parts for serving)
1 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1 cup chopped fresh mint (or Vietnamese mint)
400g (14 oz) reserved roast beef fillet, very finely sliced
1 cup (150g) unsalted cashews, roasted, crushed with a mortar and pestle
Kaffir lime dressing:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice (from 2 limes)
6 kaffir lime leaves, very finely shredded
3 small red birdseye chillis, de-seeded, finely chopped
2 tablespoons peanut oil (or olive oil)
2 tablespoons Japanese rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons fish sauce
 

Make dressing by combining all ingredients in a screw-top jar. Shake until combined.
Place all salad ingredients (except beef and cashews) into a large bowl. Pour dressing over salad and gently toss to combine.
Arrange reserved sliced beef fillet on top of salad.
Serve, scattered with chopped green ends of spring onions and cashews.

  • Fussy kid tip: You can make a kid-friendly version of this salad by combining thinly sliced beef, carrot matchsticks and chopped avocado. Serve in soft wholemeal rolls with mayo or relish. If your kids are coleslaw fans, you could make them a traditional coleslaw, using some of the shredded wombok and carrot, with a spoonful of mayo.
  • Leftover Vietnamese coleslaw with lime dressing is lovely for lunch the next day. If you’ve used up all the beef, it’s equally delicious with leftover chopped roast chicken.
  • This salad is easy to very – stir through snowpeas, sugar snaps, celery or sliced cucumber. Cashews can be replaced with crushed roasted peanuts.
  • Kaffir lime leaves are available fresh, dried or frozen from Asian food stores. If unavailable, substitute with 2 tablespoons lime zest. You may be lucky to find kaffir limes at your market – the juice is too sour to use in cooking, but the leaves can be picked and frozen for up to 3 months. I always have a bag of them in my freezer. They’re beautifully aromatic and an essential ingredient for Thai recipes, particularly green curry and tom yum soup.
  • Japanese rice wine vinegar is readily available from large supermarkets and Asian food stores. Supermarkets often sell ‘sushi seasoning’ which is a good replacement.

34 thoughts on “We’ll meat again

  1. Hi lovely Saskia! You have inspired me to cook a beef fillet — looks fantastic. I love thai beef salad and the idea of combining that with a Vietnamese style coleslaw is great — healthy too. Clever lady as usual….

    • Thanks lovely Sandra! Your comment has made my day. Hope you enjoy the beef fillet if you make it. Walked past my butcher today and spotted those tempting fillets in the window again… may have to make it again this weekend methinks.

    • Thanks Squishy Monster! Yeah, I find 30 minutes is the perfect amount of cooking time for a beef fillet. Some recipes call for 20 minutes but that results in something just too scary and pink for me. I prefer more of a ‘blush’.

  2. Hello Snass, you made me go out and buy a whole beef fillet. My family love you, and as you mentioned earlier the salad does go really well with tempeh. The other bean salad recipe you gave me has now become a staple in our house. At least once a week I make it with green beans and asparagus and the now the midgets fight over who gets the most every time. Spara for her, bean for him. Happy Mama. Everybody wins.

    • Thanks petal! Impressed you bought a beef fillet – what a selfless vegetarian you are (you must gag going into the butcher though). Also very impressed your midgets will eat asparagus. Need to send my midgets over to watch and learn.

  3. Nothing wrong with the stinky wee … it is the greatest pleasure of asparagus … might i suggest coupling said green with beetroot to enhance the frightening toilet experience ….

  4. Waw, Saskia! 🙂 You are such a culinary inspiration to me! Such beautiful pics too!

    I love the second recipe the most: it is more my thing! I rarely eat beef, maybe once a year! But I love veal though! 😉 MMMMMM! My hsuband would love these 2 tasty & fabulous meals! ooh yes!

  5. saskia,i have never seen a beef fillet look sooo good!! i feel like a pavlov dog. stevie has been away 3 weeks now (he’s mostly the cook in our house). i am starved!! and asparagus and sweet potatos are favorites of mine. we must try this one when he comes back from tour. he’ll cook the beef and i’ll do the veggies…( i tend to overcook things 😦

  6. I have wanted to make a beef fillet and with the holidays around the corner (sigh) I am sure I will have an occasion to make this. Your salad looks incredible — but I may not be able to wait for the fillet to make it so I will try it with chicken as you’ve suggested. Your kid friendly version is brilliant — I can usually get them to try anything with cashews but even that may not work on the original!!!!

  7. I am loving asparagus at the moment, too! You’re sweet potato chips look delish…I’ll have to remember the sugar trick. Love that Vietnamese salad recipe too! Double win!

    • Thanks Ali! I must admit I bought even more asparagus yesterday. I now have 4 bunches in the fridge. It’s like an addiction. Husband has promised to clean the BBQ this weekend, so I think we’re going to be all asparagus-ed out by next week.

      • Haha! Maybe you’ll be able to have a break for a week or two before buying it again! We’ve been putting it in salads, raw and grilling it…and barbecuing it! Love it!

        • Haven’t actually tried asparagus raw, but I can imagine it would be good. My favourite raw vegie is corn – I tasted it straight after it was plucked from a corn field many years ago and it was amazing. So juicy.

  8. Sas, this is totally yum!!! (as all of your recipes are of course!!) And I’ve been craving a bit of Vietnamese cuisine of late – but with no idea on how to…shall do this one this week, yay!

  9. Thanks Sas, can’t wait to try these recipes – always on the lookout for a good Vietnamese salad recipe. Absolutely stunning pics too – you’re giving ‘what Katie ate’ some serious competition:)

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