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A very expensive dish, I know, but this is the kind of thing to serve on festive occasions such as Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year. It’s particularly good on those days that aren’t weighed down by a traditional dish (basically, when you don’t have to serve a turkey), but you want something luxurious and generous. I wouldn’t serve a roasted vegetable as well, just some boiled little waxy potatoes or good bread.


serves 8


for the beef

1.8kg (4lb) fillet of beef

sea salt flakes and freshly

ground black pepper

1 tablespoon groundnut oil, or beef dripping


for the salad

250ml (9fl oz) buttermilk

3 tablespoons soured cream

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white

balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 small garlic clove, finely grated

400g (14oz) bitter crimson

leaves, a mixture of Treviso tardive (the one that looks like purple quills), radicchio and red chicory is ideal

75g (2 ¾ oz) walnuts, lightly toasted

150g (5 ½ oz) Cashel


Preheat the oven to 210°C fan (425°F), Gas Mark 7.


Bring the meat to room temperature. Season the beef really well all over and heat the oil or dripping in a large frying pan. When the fat is smoking , add

the beef and colour it on all sides. Transfer the joint to a roasting tin and roast for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 190°C fan (400°F), Gas Mark 6 and cook for another 20 minutes. Cover the meat with foil, insulate it with tea towels or old towels and leave it to rest for 15 minutes.


To make the dressing, put the buttermilk, soured cream, olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, mustard, garlic and seasoning into a bowl and mix with

a fork. Taste for seasoning.


Put the leaves – tear the larger ones – into a broad shallow bowl or on to a platter and throw on the walnuts and the cheese. Drizzle or spoon the

dressing over the top (don’t drown the leaves, just serve the extra dressing on the side).


Slice the beef and serve it with the leaves, cheese and dressing.


This recipe is from From the Oven to the Table by Diana Henry.


If you liked this recipe, why not try this Roast Pork with Apple & Blackberries from Clodagh’s Suppers by Clodagh McKenna