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    Seared fennel fillet of beef Salad

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    Seared fennel fillet of beef Salad

    This couldn’t be more meaty, but the beef is accompanied by piles of punchy-tasting salad. It looks and tastes summery eaten either just warm or cold. You can use sirloin instead (less expensive than fillet), if you sear it briefly, then cut it into strips. But whichever the cut, always try to find tasty, well-reared, well-hung meat. When eaten simply like this, it makes a huge difference.

    • Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus at least 4 hours marinating
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes, plus resting
    • Total time: 50 minutes, plus marinating and resting time 50 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • Dressing
    • 1 Red Chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp Red wine vinegar
    • 1½ tbsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 Garlic clove, crushed
    • 15g Fennel or dill fronds
    • 7 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
    • Marinade
    • 2 Lemons, juice and finely grated zest
    • 1 Red chilli, chopped
    • 15g Fennel or dill fronds, chopped
    • 3 Garlic cloves, chopped
    • 100ml Olive oil
    • 1 tbsp Fennel seeds, lightly toasted and crushed
    • 1.2kg Beef fillet, trimmed
    • 300g Mixed peppery leaves, such as wild rocket, mizuna, chicory, and mustard and cress, refreshed in cold water and dried


    1. Start with the marinade, putting the lemon juice, chilli, fennel or dill, garlic and oil in a blender; process until smooth. Add the fennel seeds, then spread over the beef fillet and leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours (or overnight), turning from time to time.
    2. Bring the fillet to room temperature and preheat the oven to 220˚C/gas 7.
    3. Brown the fillet all over in a smoking-hot, ovenproof griddle or frying pan. Transfer the pan to the oven (or use a roasting tin) and roast for 15–20 minutes, depending on the thickness of the meat and whether you like it rare or medium. Rest for 10 minutes.
    4. Combine all the dressing ingredients,using half of the fennel or dill fronds, plus seasoning and 1–2 tbsp water.
    5. Thinly slice the fillet and arrange the slices on a bed of the salad leaves. Drizzle the dressing over and scatter the rest of the fennel or dill fronds over the top.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This wine’s red fruit flavours, subtle acidity and silky tannins provide the perfect balance. Villa Antinori 2005 Tuscany, Italy. Bin 82394; £11.99.


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    5 stars