Ingredients

  • Beef fillet (allow about 200g per adult, less for kids – I cooked for 5 adults and 2 kids and used 1.2kg)
  • 6 cups liquid (this could be stock, water, whiskey or a combination – I used 1/2 cup whiskey and 3 tablespoons of vegetable stock concentrate with 5 1/2 cups of water). If you are cooking less meat you won’t need as much liquid.
  • 1 large swede, cut into batons (sticks)
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into batons
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cabbage, sliced
  • 6 shallots, trimmed and cut into long lengths
  • A few sprigs of parsley

Method

  1. Trim the beef of any visible fat and sinew and cut into portions. Tie a length of cooking string around each piece so that it holds shape leaving enough string attached to lower the beef into the pot.
  2. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the vegetables and parsley and cook at a medium boil for about 8 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Discard the parsley and skim and fat or foam from the surface.
  3. Season the beef with a little salt and lower into the boiling stock. Tie the string around the pot handle or to a wooden spoon resting across the top of the pot. Cook for 6mins for rare, 10 mins for medium rare, 15 mins for medium and 20 mins for well done (for those who can’t bear the sight of pink in their meat).
  4. Place each piece of meat on a plate or shallow bowl, add the cooked vegetables and ladle some of the broth over to serve.

Variations

  • Salicylates – Add a carrot cut into batons with the other vegetables (moderate) and a bay leaf and 2 sprigs of thyme (very high).
  • Amines – use beef stock for the liquid.

Recipe and photos by Failsafe Foodie

Beef on a String (Boeuf à la Ficelle)
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