Just fillet

03 Oct 2016

Fillet is not always the tastiest cut of the animal, but it's certainly the most tender for steak. It is also the easiest to work with. Serving a whole fillet for a dinner or party and much easier than you might expect - and it's really impressive. If you are entertaining this weekend, pop into Ryan Boon at de Warenmarkt and pick up a fillet for this easy, yet show-stopping recipe.

1 whole beef fillet, 2.5–3 kg

olive oil


30 ml dried rosemary

45 ml salt

15 ml white pepper

30 ml dried thyme

15 ml dried sage

15 ml cayenne pepper

kitchen string

Heating 7 Fillet 08

Ask Wynand, Pieter or Ryan to trim the beef fillet of excess fat and the silver skin.

At home, make the rub by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl. Place the fillet flat on a chopping board with the smoothest side up. Neatly fold the tail of the fillet back onto the thicker part so you get a slab of meat an even thickness throughout. Tie the tail in place with a couple of lengths of soaked butcher’s string. (Again, one of the butchers at the de Warenmarkt counter can do this for you.) Coat with a little olive oil to hold the rub.

Season all over with the rub. Create a medium indirect fire. Sear the fillet on four ‘sides’ for a minute each over the hot coals or gas burner coals. Now place it in the centre of the kettle braai, or on your indirect cooking spot. Cover with a lid and roast for 20 minutes. You can check for ‘doneness’ by prodding after 20 minutes and leave it longer if you want medium or well.

To cook in the oven, heat a skillet to smoking and quickly brown the fillet all over so it takes on some charring. Put the whole thing in an oven preheated to 200°C for 20 minutes. Prod for rare, medium well at intervals after 20 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before carving. This is a great summer lunch, as it is actually best served at room temperature with a leafy green salad.