ALLYSON GOFTON SHOWS HOW you can make a delicious meal simply by having the right ingredients on hand – whether it’s a one-bowl dinner, a simple stir-fry, a roast with all the trimmings or a dessert the whole family will enjoy.
SLOW ROAST BEEF WITH FINES HERBES PESTO
- 1.5–1.6 kg fillet of beef
- about ¼ cup wholegrain mustard
- 2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon (or ½ tsp dried)
Cream-loaded potato gratin:
- 750–800 grams starchy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 bay leaf (optional)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled (optional)
- 1 cup cream
- 1 x 200 gram tub crème fraîche
- ½ tsp grated nutmeg or mace
- ¼–1/3 cup grated Gruyère or Cheddar-style cheese
- Preheat the oven to 100°C.
Turn the beef tail underneath to achieve a fillet of even thickness. Tie the beef at intervals to ensure it retains a neat shape while cooking. Sit the fillet in a shallow-sided roasting dish. Mix the mustard and tarragon together and spread evenly over the fillet.
Roast in the preheated oven for 2 hours. When the beef is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes before carving, though the beef can be set aside and served when ready. Serve with Cream-loaded Potato Gratin and seasonal vegetables, with the Fines Herbes Pesto (see recipe below) on the side for guests to serve themselves.
Cream-loaded Potato Gratin:
Boil the potatoes in plenty of water with the salt, bay leaf and garlic until almost cooked. Drain well. To the saucepan add the cream, crème fraîche and nutmeg or mace. Bring to scalding point, transfer to a large, well-greased ovenproof dish and scatter over the cheese. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until hot and golden. For best results, bake this a day or two ahead; cool, cover, chill and reheat 30 minutes before required.
Fines herbes pesto:
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 cup pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup lightly packed grated pecorino or Cheddar cheese
- about 1/3 cup olive oil
Process all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil down the feed tube to make a thick paste. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice if wished.
WHITE CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE WITH RASPBERRY PURÉE
- 1 x 250–300 gram packet chocolate cookies
- 1 x 70 gram packet hazelnuts, roasted and skinned
- 100 grams butter, melted
500 grams frozen raspberries, thawed
White chocolate filling
- 1 tablespoon gelatin
- ¼ cup cold water
- 250 grams white chocolate
- 1¼ cups cream
- 250 grams crème fraîche
- ¼ cup Greek-style yoghurt
- ¼ cup caster sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Process the chocolate cookies and hazelnuts in a food processor until lightly crushed. Pour in the melted butter and pulse to combine. Press into the base of a 23 cm baking paper-lined, springform cake tin and refrigerate until required.
White chocolate filling:
Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and leave to swell. Dissolve by heating in the microwave for 15 seconds on High or stand the bowl over hot water. Set aside. Grate half the white chocolate and set aside. Chop the remaining chocolate into pieces and heat with ¼ cup of the cream in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir until smooth; cool.
In a large bowl, beat the remaining cream until thick. Stir in the grated chocolate, crème fraîche, yoghurt, sugar and vanilla with the melted white chocolate mix and gelatin. Pour the mixture into the prepared cake tin and refrigerate for a minimum of 4 hours or preferably overnight.
Remove from the cake tin to serve, garnished with extra grated chocolate and Raspberry purée if wished.
Put the raspberries though a mouli or process in a food processor and then sieve to make a smooth sauce. Sweeten to taste with icing sugar.