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Serves: 6

Preparation: 1 hour

Cooking: 75’

Slowly switching to Christmas mode. 🙂
This dish makes for a very festive holiday dinner. As I love holding dinner parties, I always try something new every time. This is a dish I cooked two years ago for some very good friends of mine and it proved to be an excellent choice. It looks troublesome at first, but it’s not and it’s guaranteed to tempt even the most jaded palate.

1 whole beef fillet roast, about 4 pounds when trimmed

4 tbsp butter

1 ½ tbsp minced garlic

1 finely chopped onion

1 cup of dry white wine

½ cup of lemon juice

1 cup of beef broth

80gr Italian Parma Ham (Prosciutto di Parma)

 

 

For the stuffing:

500gr baby spinach leaves

4 tbsp butter

2 eggs

½ cup parmesan cheese

tarragon

salt

freshly ground pepper

nutmeg

 

Preheat oven to 180oC/ 350oF / Gas Mark 4.

Preparing the stuffing:

In a large saucepan, heat the butter and add the spinach. Cover the pan allowing for the spinach to wither. Remove to a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and stir.

Trim the fillet, cut away the side strip of meat (save for stir-fry) if it is still attached. Trim away most of the external fat and cut it lengthwise down the centre of tenderloin; open like a book. Using a meat tenderising tool, gently flatten the meat to an even thickness.

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Top with the filling. Carefully roll meat lengthwise into a long slender roll. Cover the roll with the prosciutto and tie to secure using kitchen twine.

Heat the butter and add the beef roll, turning to brown all sides. Add the chopped onion, garlic, remove in 5 minutes.

Move the beef roll with the rest of the ingredients to a covered roasting pan. Pour in the wine, the beef broth and the lemon juice. Cover and roast for 1 hour. Every 15 minutes or so, open the pan and sprinkle the beef roll with its own sauce.

60 minutes later, open the pan, season, raise the oven temperature to 200oC/ 400oF /Gas Mark 6 and roast for another 15 minutes until it looks brown and crispy.

Remove twine and slice 1/2-inch thick slices. Serve immediately to a platter and don’t forget to pour over the sauce.

Bon Appetit!

Food for thought

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I should be posting something about Italy today, but I’ll wait until Silvio Berlusconi gets back into shape. Instead, I’m moving next door to Spain, which seems far more interesting these days.

The people of Catalonia, the richest region of Spain, voted last Sunday in an election which may – and I repeat, may – set them on a path to independence. Artur Mas, the man who trumpeted the cause of independence throughout the campaign will still run its regional government. The central government in Madrid is most unlikely to give its approval for the holding of a referendum on Catalan independence and if the opinion polls are right, there is in Catalonia, unlike in Scotland, a pro-independence majority.

Apparently, the EU has far more problems to deal with than it bargained for. The reason all this matters far beyond Spain’s borders is that the Catalans are not the only Europeans itching to form their own independent state. Quite apart from those Scots who favour independence, what about the Corsicans of France, or the Padanians of northern Italy?

Say goodbye to old Europe as we know it?

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