This recipe was rustled up after a recent trip to my local Asian food warehouse, the awesome Yours Supermarket in Belgrave, Leicester. The place is incredible, it has so many fresh ingredients I’ve never used before and stuff you simply can’t get at the regular chains. I picked up some sweet tamarind to have a go at making my own tamarind paste, remarkably easy to do. The tamarind is a husky seed pod which when cracks open reveals its sticky, sweet and sour flesh. The fresh paste I made was then whisked up with soy, honey and the juice from some funky little yellow limes (you can substitute for regular ones) to create a zingy marinade for the beef. I served this with some flat Vietnamese rice noodles, (I added a sachet of miso/seaweed to the cooking water as the noodles were left to cool in the pan) and finally a spicy Kholrabi and beetroot slaw, pepped up with some Scotch Bonnets, more of the funky yellow lime juice and a glug of olive oil. This was an epic alternative Sunday roast for just me and my teenage son Robert and it was sooo good, light, fresh and a perfect sweet/sour/salt/spice balance, soft melting beef and the crunchy freshness of the slaw.
Robert has definitely inherited my carnivorous tendencies- he took the remainder of the beef upstairs with him for a bedtime snack (No plate or cutlery, I assume he just knawed on it like a caveman)
For the Tamarind paste
- Fresh tamarind pods
- Boiling water from the kettle
Pour enough boiling water over to just cover and leave to cool for 30 minutes.
Use a potato masher to mash together the pulp and water. I then poured the mixture into a colander set over another mixing bowl and pushed through the pulp to remove the stones before passing again through a fine sieve. There may be a better/less messy way, let me know?!
Simmer the sieved pulp in a small saucepan until it thickens to a sticky paste before transferring to a sterilised jam Jar
For the marinade
- 4 Tbsp tamarind paste
- 3 Tbsp Soy Sauce
- 1 Tbsp Honey
- Juice of two yellow limes
(Whisk together in a small mixing bowl)
For the slaw
- 1 Medium kohlrabi root
- 1 Large beetroot
- A handful of finely shredded Chinese leaf
- 1 Scotch bonnet chili, very finely sliced
- Chopped coriander
- Glug of Olive Oil
- Juice of two yellow limes
- 1 Tbsp Nigella seeds
- Salt to taste
Peel the beetroot and kohlrabi and use a mandolin grater to finely shred, mix well with the other ingredients at least 30 minutes before serving.
For the beef
Ask your butcher to tie the beef fillet for you, ask for the fat end (Chateaux Briande) It should be in the region of 500g to serve 4. In a shallow dish, pour over the marinade and turn well to evenly coat the meat.
Leave to marinate at room temperature for an hour, use a pastry brush to rebaste the meat before transferring to a hot frying pan. Use tongs to turn and seal the beef all over before transferring to an oven preheated to 220C for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for another 20 minutes before serving. Slice into 1-2cm slices and serve with the kohlrabi slaw and miso rice noodles.