Pepper Crusted Fillet of Beef

w2 pepper crusted beef

Pepper Crusted Fillet of Beef

If you want your guests to feel like you’ve spared no expense for them there are few better ways than to invest in an eye fillet of beef. Although if you’re a champagne and caviar type of person that will work too.

While it is expensive, fillet is reliably tender so it does take a lot of stress out of the cooking process. To keep it even more reasonable, I recommend investing in a meat thermometer so you’ll know exactly when your meat is done, rather than worrying about it.

per person:
about 150g (5.5oz) eye fillet of beef
1 teaspoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground

1. Remove the beef from the fridge an hour before you’re ready to cook.

2. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F). And get a cast iron pot or frying pan on to heat up on the stove top.

3. Rub beef with olive oil and coat in the pepper.

4. When your pot or pan is very hot, sear beef for about 2 minutes each side. Then transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes (rare), 15 minutes (medium rare) or 20 minutes (medium). If your frying pan won’t go in the oven, transfer to a roasting tray and an extra few minutes to the cooking time.

5. Remove the beef from the oven and check the temperature:
rare: 50C (125F)
medium rare: 55C (135F)
medium: 60C (145F)
well done: 70C (160F)

6. If the temp is too low, return to the oven and recheck.

7. When you’re happy wrap the beef in foil and rest for 10-20 minutes before carving.

Leftover Potential

Wonderful in salads or on sandwiches with hot mustard. You won’t have any problems getting rid of leftovers.

Variations for Serving Sizes

For 6 people you’ll need about 1kg (2.2lb) beef and 2 tablespoons pepper. Although if you’re serving super big eaters you might like to share this amount between 4 people. If serving less than 4 I’d chop the beef into individual steaks and just cook them on the BBQ or stove top. For more than 6 just get a larger piece of beef or go for 2 pieces or more. The cooking time won’t increase too dramatically for larger pieces of beef because they tend to be longer rather than fatter.

Variations

vegetarian / vegan – serve roast portabello or field mushrooms instead.

budget – make pepper steaks with a cheaper cut of beef – cook on the stove top or BBQ.

mustard – rub beef with a thin layer of dijon mustard before coating in the pepper.

chicken breasts – you could use a pepper crust and the same cooking method on chicken breasts. You’ll need them cooked to well done which should take about 15 minutes in the oven after they’ve been browned. The same temperature targets apply.

Problem Solving Guide

pepper crust burning – this charring is part of the process – make sure you turn on your extractor fan so your kitchen doesn’t get smoked out.

don’t have a pan that will go from stove top to oven
– no probs just use your frying pan and transfer the meat to an oven tray for roasting. And expect to add a few minutes to the cooking time to make up for the fact that you’re using a cold pan in the oven.

not cooked as expected, even when tested with the thermometer – it’s important to make sure your thermometer goes into the middle of the meat and not through to the other side. I also make sure I check a few different places and take the average temperature rather than just relying on one reading. IF you’ve used a pan that has gone from stove top to the oven, remember that the beef closest to the pan would have received much more heat than the beef in the air, so make sure you turn and check the temperature from both sides (like I didn’t do in the video! – Note that if I had checked both sides I would have had a very different temperature reading and would have not cooked for longer and ended up with pinker and lovelier beef)

no thermometer? – when you think the beef is done, cut through and check that you’re happy.

beef tough or dry – sounds like overcooked beef. Next time check earlier on in the cooking process. Also make sure you don’t skip the resting stage.

Serving Suggestions

Great with bernaise sauce, chimmichurri or your favourite mustard.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary K Frymire April 21, 2017

This looks wonderful (and simple). I’m hesitant to try anything too fancy, but this gives a wonderful impression to guests certainly.
Meat thermometer is now on shopping list!

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jules April 27, 2017

Great Mary! Meat thermometer is a brilliant investment.. takes the stress out of meat cooking 🙂

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