Tagliata is a cut above

Sat, Oct 27, 2012, 01:00

Just the thing to bake for Halloween and for the fun of it, chuck in a ring or small trinket for good luck.

Tagliata of beef

I used fillet of beef and made it for two, but feel free to substitute sirloin or rib eye if making for larger numbers, as the fillet would get very pricey. But nice for a treat. Serves 4-6

600-800g fillet of beef

Salt and pepper

4 good handfuls rocket

8 Portobello mushrooms, peeled and cut into thick slices

Parmesan shavings

Marinade

100ml balsamic vinegar

Good few sprigs rosemary

8 cloves garlic, peeled

200ml olive oil

Start by making the marinade. First remove all the leaves from the rosemary, you want a good tablespoon of rosemary leaves, even two. In a blender, whizz all the ingredients together. Season the marinade, which should be dark and thick. Pour it on top of the beef and leave for a while to marinate – a few hours would be great, or even overnight.

When you are ready to cook, put the rocket onto each plate, along with some Parmesan shavings. Heat up a frying pan or chargrill until it is really hot. And if your pan is a regular size, you may need to do this in two batches.

Let the excess marinade run off the beef and then sear and brown it at a very high temperature. Turn the steaks over when they release themselves and when you have great colour on them, set them aside to rest. Finish cooking any remaining steaks if necessary, otherwise fry the chunky mushrooms and pour any remaining marinade on top. They don’t need much cooking. They will absorb the marinade and heat up thoroughly till they get slightly charred and burnt at the edges and are piping hot. At this stage, you can slice the beef and arrange beef slices and mushrooms on top of the rocket and serve straight away.

Dorothy’s brack

You’ll need a 24-centimetre (approximately), spring-form cake tin. You need 800ml liquid, but can substitute some whisky for the tea, if you want. Say 200ml whiskey and 600ml tea.

500g sultanas

500g raisins

500g dark brown sugar

800ml cold tea

680g flour

3 tsp baking powder

3 tsp ground mixed spice

3 eggs beaten

Soak the sultanas, raisins, sugar and tea overnight. The next day, preheat an oven to 150 degrees/gas 2. Line your cake tin with parchment paper. Sieve the flour, baking powder and mixed spice and fold this into the fruit.

Then add the beaten eggs and mix well, pour into the tin and bake for three hours. Cool in the tin and then serve slices with a good smear of butter and cup of tea.