Following on from all the starters I posted in the past week, this beef was served as the main course at my Italian Dinner and Wine Tasting. I originally saw the basis for this recipe years ago in a bookstore in Sydney, and it was in a Jamie Oliver book, although I couldn’t tell you which one. (I tend to stand in the cooking section in bookstores and just read recipes and look at pictures!). This is what I remember of it, at least, this is the way I make it.
I have made this dish many times over the years and it works beautifully every time, never failing to impress. This particular one was my best yet I think, so let me explain how it goes. (It is utterly delicious cold for several days afterwards when sliced finely, so don’t be afraid to buy a big piece of beef and live off it for a few days!)
For the purposes of feeding 12 people and having leftovers, I used 2.8kg of Rib Eye, Grass Fed Beef (so adjust accordingly to suit your numbers).
- 2.8kg Rib Eye Beef or Fillet Beef
- 100-120gm dried porcini mushrooms
- 16 slices prosciutto
- 5-6 cloves garlic
- 1/2 lemon (juice only)
- 1-2 cups red wine
- salt and pepper
- 4-5 big sprigs rosemary, leaves removed
- good handful of fresh lemon verbena (or lemon thyme)
Heat the oven, and roasting dish to to 220 degrees celsius.
Pour boiling water over the dried to porcini mushrooms in a bowl to rehydrate. Leave for approx 20 minutes. Keep the water. When the mushrooms are completely rehydrated, remove them from the water. Crush 2 gloves of garlic into in a frying pan with a little olive oil. Chop the mushrooms and add them to the pan. Add the lemon juice, some salt and pepper. if your mushrooms start to stick spoon a little mushroom water into the pan. Sautee until the mushrooms are cooked and browned with the garlic, and all the liquid has been absorbed.
Trim any excess fat from your beef fillet. Season with salt and pepper. Finely chop the herbs.
In a large frying pan heat some olive oil. Sear the beef on each side until all of it has a little colour. Spread the herbs out over a board and roll the seared beef fillet/s over it so that the herbs cover all the beef.
Lay out the strips of prosciutto side by side, and two down (see photos) on some greaseproof paper. I did my beef in 2 separate parcels as there was so much of it. Spread the porcini mushroom mix along the top end, about 2cm down from the top of the prosciutto. Place the beef on top of the mushrooms and prosciutto sheet, sprinkle with 2 more crushed garlic cloves, and roll the grease paper over the fillet to wrap the beef. When the prosciutto meets prosciutto it will stick, so this forms your blanket, and the greaseproof paper will pull away easily.
Secure the beef wrap with cooking string (or in my case sewing cotton doubled over!). Basically this involves slipping the string under the beef and tying it up on the top. It helps to do one piece length ways around the whole fillet too. (see photos).
Smear some olive oil on the base of the roasting dish. Place the beef in the dish with 2-3 peeled garlic gloves. Cook for 30-40 minutes. Half way through cooking, so after 15-20 minutes, pour the wine over the beef into the oven dish. It should come up about 1cm on the beef.
30 minutes will give you medium rare beef.
35 will give medium.
40 cooked through but with a little pink.
It will of course vary according to your oven, size of meat etc, but you can always put it back in for more cooking!
Take the meat out and cover the whole dish with aluminum foil for 5-10 minutes.
Snip the string from the the beef and ensure you pull it all off. Slice the beef on a board into steak size slices and spoon over with some of the wine/sauce from the roasting dish. Serve with green beans, sweet potato mash
, or in the case of an Italian dinner party..some risotto!
Apologies that there are not really photos of this plated up…it was served quite far in to the wine tasting! 😉