Tender, good quality fillet steak, cooked well and served with a rich espagnole sauce, is a personal favourite and a dinner party pleaser. It’s really simple to do well, but as always the quality of ingredients is critical. So first catch your steak. The organic shop sells the most amazing New Zealand steak, but be prepared to shell out something like Dhs 150 for four decent sized fillets (which is still a third of what the average hotel will gouge you for a lump of Wagyu). If you’re buying your fillets from Spinneys I always find it’s worth keeping an evil eye on the butcher and simply insisting on what you want: four deep steaks cut the same size from a fillet that’s been properly trimmed – including the tough sinew that runs down the fillet. Watch out for the cling film trick: it looks lovely wrapped in the film, but that’s a way of packing together a raggle-taggle folded piece of thin end.
The great thing about this way of doing fillets is that, if you’re doing this for a dinner, you can fry them off and then keep them to one side until you’re ready.
- 200g fillet
- 1 rasher streaky bacon
- Cocktail sticks
- Olive oil
Flatten out the rasher using the back of a knife, it should go to something like twice its original length. Wrap this around the fillet to pack it up and secure it with a couple of cocktail sticks. Pan fry the fillets to seal them, browning them on each side and around the edges, too.
At this stage you can put them to one side, awaiting your pleasure, in a foil lined baking tray.
Heat the oven to GM9/240C/475F and cook the steaks for 8-10 mins (rare), 15 mins (medium), 20 minutes (well) or 25 minutes (cremated). Let them rest for ten minutes before serving – and don’t forget to remove the cocktail sticks!