Fabulous Beef Recipe

Roasted Eye Fillet

Recipe: Roasted Eye Fillet Wrapped in Bacon

Recipe: Mushroom Crostini with Mustard and Thyme

Medium Tips: Meat

Ingredients Explained: Beef

Tricky Words: Pancetta

Q&A: 7-hour Lamb?

Blog: Shaping a Menu


If you live in New Zealand I hope you are surviving the awful weather. It's passed through the Auckland region for the moment, although some houses are still in jeopardy and might be uninhabitable, and it's still giving you Southerners a tough time. Let's hope the next few days bring a little sunshine to dry things up and that those of you who have suffered are spared the second predicted deluge. My home was battered and plants were knocked about, but otherwise we didn’t fare too badly. Of course the biggest storm of the decade would fall on the night I was having 30 people to dinner. I had candles and torches at the ready and pretty well cooked everything ahead that I could in case there was a power cut, so when the power did go off, I wasn't too upset. Unfortunately, I'd just put the last tart in the oven so I quickly whipped it out of the oven, cooled it for a few minutes by putting ice packs under the baking sheet, then transferred it to the fridge. If it had stayed in the oven the pastry would have softened in the warmth and turned oily then been unusable, but cooling it quickly arrested that. Luckily, the electricity came back on about 2 hours before people were due to arrive. All the guests were able to make it although some of them had to use essentials (hairdryer and iron) as their homes were still without power, and others packed galoshes and oilskins in case they got stranded on the way home. It really was that bad. I will share the mushroom pie recipe from this night soon, but right now I want to do a fabulous beef recipe which will work for you no matter where you live. If you're in warmer climes, this recipe could be the centre of a special dinner. I'd opt for olives and a dip to start, or for a more formal occasion, a crab or prawn cocktail (mix shredded kaffir lime leaves through the seafood and toss through a lime aioli for a fresh flavour). To go with the beef, serve a bowl of crunchy potatoes scented with rosemary – simply cube baking potatoes, toss with a little oil, dot with butter and roast on high heat until golden, then strew with rosemary and season with sea salt – a good crisp green salad, and maybe finish with fresh raspberries and cream, with homemade sponge or almond cake for dessert. Elegant, light and summery.

But it's a bit colder down here, so the beef is better with more robust vegetables. I'd start with mushroom crostini which are easy to do, and served with a little tangy rocket (arugula) salad, are light to eat. Team the beef with a big mound of fluffy parsnip mash (remember to heat the milk because it keeps the puree hot and helps keep it light and fluffy, and beat it in with a wooden spoon to keep it aerated), and leeks any which way. I'd finish with a fruit crumble - use your favourite recipe but include a handful of oats in the crumble topping for good health and tamarillos in the fruit mixture. Cook the crumble until the juices run down the sides of the dish, remembering to put a baking sheet underneath them in case of spillages (line it with baking or parchment paper to make cleaning easier). Yum!

The downside with bad weather, is that you'll be stuck inside, but the glass half empty-half full theory applies here. You’ll have time to cook! I heartily recommend that you turn the oven on, don an apron and get cooking because there’s nothing better than filling the house with the gorgeous smells of home cooking, and having everyone huddling around as they try and stay warm and dry.


Recipe Stash 

Roasted Eye Fillet Wrapped in Bacon

Mushroom Crostini with Mustard and Thyme
This is really just a glorified version of mushrooms on toast and just shows that sometimes the very simple things in life can be the best. The beauty of it lies in the contrast between incredibly juicy mushrooms and crisp garlic toasts.

Cooking Tips


Have meat at room temperature before cooking - it can take 20-30 minutes for heat to penetrate the centre and start cooking a solid joint of chilled meat. Salt meat immediately after cooking (not before), then let it rest for at least 10 minutes before slicing so it can firm and the juices settle.
More Medium Tips

Always remove silver skin, and as much fat as possible from the meat. Bring the meat to room temperature before roasting. Cold meat taken straight from the refrigerator then roasted may take up to double the time to roast.
Read the fill bit


Tricky Words Pancetta
Belly of pork, flavored with spices then rolled. Eaten fresh, like prosciutto, or used as bacon. It is generally not smoked and is not as salty as bacon.
More Tricky Words

Q & A

Q: Hi, Julie.
I heard you talking about a 7 hour lamb recipe on National Radio. I'd love to try it. Have looked for it on the site but can't find it. Could this be cooked in a slow cooker, do you think? - Sue Iversen

A: Dear Sue,
Here is the 7-hour Lamb, with Potato Puree and Leeks a la Grecque. Yes, you could use a slow cooker, but the most important thing in this dish is the initial browning, it's where a lot of the flavour is developed, and also, the colour – otherwise the lamb will look grey. Therefore I suggest browning it as described then using the wine and stock to deglaze the pan, then pouring this liquid with any bits into the slow cooker with the lamb (and vegetables, herbs etc). This ensures you don't leave valuable flavour behind in the pan.


More Q & A


Best Barbecue Book - Gourmand Awards

"Julie Biuso already won a Best in the World Award for culinary food writing in 2001, in Sorges, Capital of the Truffles of Perigord. Sizzle is already a best seller thanks to her deep understanding of the cookbook reader needs and hopes".

- Edouard Cointreau