Forget roast beef, the fillet is in town27

Posted on August 7, 2008 by ChristieDinner Time, Gluten Free, Sides, Vegan, Vegetarian


[Pepper crust beef fillet with pesto vegetable skewers]

There’s only one way to enjoy beef fillet – rare.

The best steak I’ve ever had was in Toulouse in the south of France. It barely had any time in the pan and sliced smoother than fresh butter; every mouthful was more flavoursome and tender than the last. I never wanted it to end. I don’t know what it was that made that meat so wonderful, perhaps the lucky little cow skipped in the field and slept on tulips?

Some would argue that it was the red wine or good conversation that swayed me. Well it certainly wasn’t the cigarette smoke clouding the room – yes, you are allowed to smoke in restaurants in France, and the lovely locals do so between each course.

No, my memories are very clear. The. Best. Steak. Ever.

Thinking about that steak got my taste buds welling up with fond recollection and I knew I needed to try and recreate it. I wasn’t really in the mood for hauling out the deep fryer to make french fries so these delicious and healthy vegetable skewers were born.

A small pile of rocket dressed with lemon and some good olive oil is the only other accompaniment it needs. Well, maybe a nice glass of red too.

Happy cooking, Christie

Pepper crust beef fillet with pesto vegetable skewers
serves 4

2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon sea salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 beef fillet portions, approx 125g each
8 wooden skewers
1 red onion, cut into large dice
16 cherry tomatoes
16 small button mushrooms
2 tablespoons pesto
salad leaves to serve

1. Soak the wooden skewers in cold water while you prepare the steaks.

2. Crush the peppercorns and salt in a mortar and pestle or food processor to a medium-fine texture. Mix with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and press onto both sides of the beef fillets.

3. Heat the remaining oil in a large fry pan. Cook the beef fillets 3-4 minutes each side for medium or until cooked to your liking. Transfer to a plate, cover with foil and let them rest for 5-10 minutes in a warm place while you cook the vegetable skewers.

4. Remove the skewers from the water and pat dry. Alternate two pieces each of the mushrooms, onions and tomatoes onto each skewer and brush with pesto to coat. BBQ or grill them until tender, about 5 minutes. Serve two skewers per person with the beef and fresh salad leaves.

LOVE MEAT? Try one of my other meaty recipes:
Grilled lamb with feta and sun dried tomato couscous
Red wine lamb shanks with herb mash
Leg ham open sandwich with fresh corn salsa

  • That looks delish…..you should have invited me y’know….

  • I’m with you rare! And a nice glass of red. Great blog, I will be back.

  • hmnn.. that steak looks like a million bucks… and the veggie skewers… Perfect!

  • Those pesto glazed vegetables skewers look absolutely awesome! Yumm!

  • Just your recollection alone of that steak in Toulouse makes my mouth water. You know what? It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had filet mignon. Maybe it is time to splurge. . .

  • My mom will have an absolute fit bout the rare beef, but for me it is the best that way. A beauty of a picture…..

  • Oh you have reminded of beautiful French memories, minus the smoke though. I would walk a mile for asteak like this. Guess I’ll just have to make it!

  • Wow, that is a gorgeous photo! You’re making me crave dinner and I just had lunch! I think this is definitely the way I’ll have to make the first purchase of steaks from our local grass-fed cattle company – skewers, rocket and all!

  • My mouth is watering – That looks so great and I agree with you on the France thing – The best steak by far was in Paris last May – I can still taste and smell it.

  • Rare and wonderful. Great photo!

  • Joe

    Looks great. Photo is awesome. Did you use a cast iron skillet, such a nice sear on the steak.

  • Dee

    Your fillet has a beautiful crust. Mine always falls off and ends up looking sad sad sad. Great pix!

  • Ju’eta – There’s always next time honey.

    Simply Gluten Free – Thanks! See you soon.

    Jescel – *blush* – thanks!

    Laurie – They were really good. Pesto on veggies is delish!

    JS – Do it! I can almost promise you won’t regret it.

    Nina – Agreed. I’ll never understand how people can ruin good meat by over cooking it.

    Noble Pig – I know you can cook up a storm! Isn’t France wonderful?

    Michelle – Local beef! Lucky Girl!

    Cathy – What is it about French meat? It’s so delicious!

    Dragon – Thanks for stopping by again!

    Joe – Yes! A nice heavy pan is the secret to perfectly cooked steak… AND…

    Dee – The trick is not to move it for at least 4 minutes on the first side! That gives it time set. Also, mixing the pepper/salt with a little olive oil before pressing onto the meat helps it stay together. Best of luck!

  • I’ve only just gone medium and what a HUGE difference it makes to the texture and taste of the meat. I’m glad to see you don’t over flavour the meat – I’d love some right now!

  • I totally agree with you, there is only one way to eat steak and rare is definitely it. Great steak cooking skills Christie – you are a pro! A beef eating lass after my own heart Hx

  • Hello heaven!

  • Yummy alternative to the fries, I bet they have more flavor too :)

  • That beef looks so good!

  • Mallika – It sure does! Hopefully you can steer closer towards rare shortly and find out what you’re missing out on!

    Helen – We must have a cooking session together one day – we have such similar tastes!

    Jerry/Sophie/Kevin – Thank you! Butcherman beef tastes as amazing as it looks!

  • Christie, I had a steak last night as it has been ages since I last had one. Great photos as always.

  • That’s what we’re having tonight! Yum!

  • That looks perfect! Nice blog too!

  • Diane

    Made these (with butcherman eye fillet too) for Mothers Day BBQ today. Everyone swooned at how delicious it was, I merely smiled to take all the credit for your gloriously simple recipe. Great ingredients make for great food experiences. Thanks!!

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  • Just tried similar idea. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Nikki

    Any reason why this juicy rare meat dish is filed under your vegan recipes ? He he.

    • Hi Nikki,

      The pesto vegetable skewers are vegan and the recipe for those is in with the beef recipe. Sorry for the confusion!

      Christie :)

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