Foodstyle Review Magazine

Beef eye fillet with rich tomato sauce 

This is a recipe for the adventurous. The challenging part is the rich tomato sauce – it takes at least four hours, so make it in advance. While labour-intensive, this is a sauce that involves both fast stove-top and slow cooking techniques, caramelising, reduction, and seasoning – so it is good training, and will provide the same satisfaction as making stock on a lazy, rainy day.

The meat
Cook the meat last. We used Silver Fern Farms Beef tenderloin eye fillet – one serving should satisfy three diners. Before cooking, take the meat from packet and rest for 10 minutes. Then sear the sides in a pan and roast in oven at 220 degrees C for 10 minutes (for medium rare), or pan fry on high heat for four minutes on each side. Rest for five minutes and slice into three thick slices for serving.

But first the sauce
The sauce is an ensemble of roasted meat bones and roasted vegetables (including a lot of tomatoes), stock/wine, herbs and other bits and pieces that are cooked for a long time to create intensity.

This process is not unlike a traditional restaurant-made demi-glace that used to be used as a sauce base. We don’t reduce our stock as much, but the principles are the same. Make this sauce in advance, as you can always freeze it, (so make plenty). It takes half an hour to roast the vegetables and another three hours to simmer and reduce the liquid, so pick a lazy day for this job.

What you need:
Meat (beef, veal or pork) bones
Bacon chunks (optional)
500ml chicken or beef stock
1 bottle red wine (your choice)
6 whole tomatoes
800 gram can of tomato chunks
2tbsp tomato paste
2tbsp brown sugar
2 red peppers
1 red chili
1 whole garlic bulb
3 red onions
2 carrots
Sprigs of rosemary and oregano
Freshly cracked pepper
Lemon rind
Half small can of anchovies
2 bay leaves

Place seeded red peppers and red chili, tomatoes, garlic bulb, whole red onions (cut bottoms off so they sit upright), peeled carrots on a roasting tray and drizzle with olive oil. Season heavily and roast in a medium oven for half an hour. This caramelizes and concentrates their flavours.
Caramelize the meat bones and bacon chunks (if using them) in a large saucepan with a little oil until browned. Drain the excess oil and fat (keep the meat in the saucepan). While the pan is still hot add a little of the red wine and deglaze the pan. Add rest of the wine and chicken stock. Put on low heat while your roasting veges catch up.

Wait until the roasted veges have cooled down and peel off the skins (squeeze the garlic flesh from the bulb skins). Then add them to the stock along with meat bones, tomato paste, brown sugar, herbs, bay leaf, fresh cracked pepper, fresh herbs, lemon rind, and anchovies. Simmer on low heat for three hours until reduced by a third. Strain mixture through a large sieve into a bowl (scrap residue off bottom of sieve) and add to liquid. Place saucepan back on the stove and simmer another 15 minutes.

Alternative quick meat sauce
If you are making a quick meat sauce, then this recipe is very simple and tasty but will not have any of the depth of the sauce above: 1 cup of beef stock, ¾ cup of red wine, 1tbsp tomato paste, 1tbsp brown sugar, 2tbsp of dark soy, seasoning – add to saucepan and reduce until a ‘saucy’ thickness.

Herb pasta cake
To make four cakes cook quarter of a packet (around 150gms) of thick spaghetti in boiling, salted water until soft. Drain and place in a bowl and add one finely chopped small onion, ½ cup finely chopped olives, sun-dried tomatoes, and fresh green basil, and 1 cup of grated parmesan. Mix together and add ½ cup of flour and two eggs. Mix together (the mixture will be sticky). Dust hands with flour and form into ‘saucer-like’, free-form cakes. Pan-fry golden in a little oil on both sides.

After the eye fillet has rested, cut against the grain into fat slices. Arrange on top of each pasta cake and liberally douse with the rich tomato sauce.

Winter 2015

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