First posted: Dec 30, 2011

Beef Fillet and Warm Beetroot Salad


If you’re swimming in that proverbial post-Christmas and pre-New Year ennui, you might want to give this a bash. Because if you’re going to throw a meal together effortlessly, it’s always a bonus if it has both prettiness and punch and belies the fact that the output exponentially exceeded the input. This far from fussy beef fillet and warm beetroot salad is the antithesis of high maintenance food and it’s definitely worth a go asap. I like to think that the key that unlocks the door to the real ooh la la is the horseradish.



Cooks in:        Serves:2

  • 1-2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • About 300g beef fillet (or any steak of your preference, cheaper cuts like rump/porterhouse will also work)
  • 4 fresh beetroot heads
  • 1-2 tsp horse radish
  • 1/2 tub smooth fat free cottage cheese (about 125g)
  • Mixed salad leaves - I like baby spinach and rocket
  • 1 roll of goats cheese (about 175g) or the equivalent of feta
  • S + P and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to taste

What to do

1. Remove the stems from the beetroot, peel and quarter (using kitchen gloves if necessary to avoid staining your hands pink). In enough water to cover the beetroot, simmer on med-high for about 15 minutes, or until can be easily pierced with a knife.

2. Meanwhile, add the olive oil to a very hot pan, then brown the whole piece of fillet on all sides. Turn the heat down to medium and continue cooking the fillet, turning often. After about 6-7 minutes (for medium), add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes. Don't let the garlic burn. Remove the steak from the pan, set aside on a warm plate and cover with tin foil or cling wrap and leave to rest.

3. Prepare the salad leaves on a platter. Mix the cottage cheese and horseradish together in a mixing bowl. Once the beetroot is cooked, drain and add to the bowl and mix.

4. Slice the rested steak into strips and lay it haphazardly over the salad leaves. Then just before serving, gently spoon over the beetroot in its sauce and add the goats cheese.

* Note: you can cook the beetroot in advance and keep in the fridge for 5-6 days. Then just heat for 1-2 minutes in the microwave before mixing with the cottage cheese and horseradish.Or, and don't tell anyone I said this, buy pre-cooked beetroot (plain, NOT in vinegar) warm through in the microwave and then add to the sauce.

* If you don't have horseradish, you can use dijon mustard instead.

Photo from 'Smitten' by Warren Heath.

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