Marinated beef pesto

Marinated beef pesto
  • Serves icon Serves 6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 40 min, simmering time 10 min, plus marinating

Chef Peter Gordon’s famous beef pesto recipe has an international following — the soy and vinegar marinated steak is a must-have at your next dinner party.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
537kcals
Fat
39.5g (9.1g saturated)
Protein
37.5g
Carbohydrates
9.4g (4.9g sugars)
Fibre
2.7g
Salt
3.3g
Calories
537kcals
Fat
39.5g (9.1g saturated)
Protein
37.5g
Carbohydrates
9.4g (4.9g sugars)
Fibre
2.7g
Salt
3.3g

Ingredients

  • 1 British grass-fed middlecut beef fillet (about 800g), trimmed
  • 200ml tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 red chilli
  • 250ml cider vinegar
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 60ml olive oil, plus extra for brushing
  • 400g swiss chard, shredded thinly (stems and all) and rinsed well
  • 3 courgettes, julienned (see tips for success, right)
  • 4 medium raw beetroot, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 150g kalamata olives, pitted (see tips for success)

For the pesto

  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 2 handfuls fresh basil leaves
  • Small handful fresh mint leaves
  • 1 handful roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 120g toasted pine nuts
  • 120g parmesan, finely grated
  • 150ml olive oil

Method

  1. Cut the beef into 6 equal steaks. Whizz the tamari/soy, chilli, 200ml of the vinegar, 3 of the garlic cloves and 60ml cold water in a blender.
  2. Lay the steaks in a ceramic or glass dish just large enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour over the marinade, then cover with cling film and put in the fridge to marinate for at least 12 hours (see make ahead and tips). Halfway through, turn the steaks.
  3. Take the beef out of the fridge an hour before you want to cook it and drain well (discard the marinade). Pat dry with kitchen paper, then leave to come to room temperature.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the pesto, put the 6 garlic cloves, herbs and pine nuts in a food processor and whizz to a coarse paste. Add the grated parmesan and pulse briefly to combine, then slowly drizzle in the 150ml oil with the motor running. Scoop into a bowl, then cover and set aside until ready to use (see make ahead and food team’s tip).
  5. Whizz the remaining 3 garlic cloves and 50ml vinegar in a food processor with the mustard, salt, pepper and 60ml olive oil to form a smooth dressing. Pour into a bowl and set aside (see make ahead).
  6. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil, then add the swiss chard and stir well. After 30 seconds, stir in the courgettes and cook for 1 minute more. Drain the vegetables in a colander.
  7. Tip the hot vegetables into the bowl with the garlic dressing and stir well to coat. Stir through the grated beetroot, then leave the bowl in a warm place for 5-10 minutes for the flavours to infuse.
  8. Heat a large frying pan or griddle pan over a high heat until very hot. Lightly oil the steaks on both sides, then fry/grill for no more than 2 minutes on each side for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. The steaks should be well ‘browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and rest them for 2 minutes.
  9. Divide the beetroot salad among 6 warmed plates. Sit a steak on top, then arrange the olives around it and drizzle with the pesto to serve.

delicious. tips

  1. You may have leftover pesto. It’s great with pasta or stirred into soup.

    Our guest chef’s tips for success:

    •To julienne (cut into thin strips) the courgettes, slice diagonally lengthways as thinly as you can, then lay the fat pieces on the chopping board and slice into lengths about 1-2mm thick.

    •Buy olives with their stones in and pit them yourself by pushing the back of a teaspoon onto the olive. The finished look is rustic but the flavour is much better.

    •If you want to get ahead, you can marinate the whole fillet for up to 4 days, but make sure you turn the beef every day. You may also need to double the amount of marinade to ensure it completely covers the fillet.

    •If you prefer your pesto runnier than the consistency this recipe gives, gradually drizzle in more olive oil in step 4. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.

  2. Marinate the steaks for at least 12 hours or up to 2 days. The pesto and dressing will keep for up to 1 week in a sealed container in the fridge.

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