Christmas BBQ fillet of beef with bearnaise sauce

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With Christmas Day on our doorstep, people all over the world are gearing up to celebrate. Traditions differ the world over but in our family my father, a true gourmand (passed on from his mother Eunoe), has a long-standing tradition of serving a succulent rare BBQ fillet of beef with a bearnaise sauce. The beauty of this recipe is it will keep one set of hands out of the kitchen and on the BBQ, leaving space for the mass prepping required for the impending feast. Enjoy this fast, simple Christmas dish!

PREP TIME: 15 MINS
COOK TIME: 30 MINS
SERVES: 10-12 PEOPLE

Ingredients

Beef

2-2.5kg fillet of beef
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced quite thinly

Bearnaise sauce

1 tablespoon finely-chopped shallots
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
4 tablespoons white wine vinegar or tarragon vinegar
1 teaspoon peppercorns, crushed or bruised
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
220g melted butter
Juice of 1/4 lemon (optional)

Garnish

1 pack micro rocket

Method

1. Using a thin, sharp knife, trim sinew and fat from the fillet. Pierce fillet and insert the sliced garlic evenly over the meat. If the beef’s tail end is quite a bit thinner you can either cut it off or fold it under and tie with string – so the fillet is roughly the same thickness all over.

2. Rub fillet with olive oil then generously season with salt and pepper.

3. Turn BBQ to a medium-high heat.

4. Sear beef for five minutes on each side on the grill part of the BBQ until nicely browned, being careful not to burn it.

5. Next, take the beef off the direct heat, and place on the flat plate beside the grill. Shut the lid and cook for a further 15-20 mins, depending on how rare you like it. Turn meat halfway through cooking so it doesn’t cook unevenly down one side. If you have a temp gauge on your BBQ it should read about 200 degrees.

6. While the beef is cooking, put the vinegar, shallots, black pepper and half the tarragon leaves into a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer until the liquid has reduced by half, approximately 5-8 mins. Remove from heat and set aside to cool, then drain through a sieve.

7. Pour the reduction into a glass bowl and bring a pot a third full of water to the boil. Whisk your egg yolks into the reduction.

8. Put bowl over the boiling water, ensuring it isn’t touching the water. Continuously whisking, slowly pour in the melted hot butter. You may need to take the bowl off the heat at times to ensure the egg doesn’t overcook. Pour small amounts at a time and do not pour more until the previous lot has mixed in completely.

9. Once you’ve used all the butter (being sure not to pour in the solids left at the bottom), remove from the heat and add the rest of the tarragon, lemon juice and salt to taste.

10. Take the meat off the heat and rest, covered with foil, for at least 15 mins before thinly slicing. This beautiful meat should be served medium rare to rare.

11. Place on serving platter, season with salt and pepper, pour bearnaise over top and sprinkle with micro rocket.