Smoky Joe's Beef fillet

Using a good Spice rub and marinating can mean the difference between a good piece of meat and in this instance, the best beef fillet ever! Spice rubs are my go-to ingredient when it comes to imparting flavour into meats bound for the coals. In the cooler months when comfort is king, my trusty cast iron pots are home to hearty bone-in beef stews. Left to splutter away for hours, tougher cuts of beef are rendered spoon-tender and softly yielding. That said, when the weather heats up and we head outside for leisurely summer barbecues, there’s nothing better than a smoky beef fillet  Prized for its buttery soft texture, fillet is considered the Rolls-Royce of steers. Although it requires little effort in the way of cooking, accurate timing and sturdy flavouring are key to its success.

Smoky Joe's Beef fillet

Cooking the perfect steak can be challenging. With little fat marbling, keeping a fillet tender and juicy is tricky. The fat content of meat imparts distinctive flavour while simultaneously serving as a built-in baster. Having less fat to slow the internal temperature, fillet is easily overcooked.

Smoky Joe's Beef fillet

A spice rub adds concentrated flavour, especially if you’re finishing the fillet on open flames. Using a combination of paprika, cumin and Natura Sugars Light Muscovado Sugar, this Smoky Spice Rub is one of the most useful homemade rubs to have on hand. It goes well with red meats, chicken and is excellent  with pan-fried prawns. Remember to season the meat generously with the rub for a deeply caramelised crust.

Smoky Joe's beef fillet with salsa verde

Smoky Joe's beef fillet with salsa verde

Smoky Joe's beef fillet with salsa verde

Debating the accepted degree of ‘doneness’ is debatable and left to personal preference, although well done is considered, overdone. Rare or medium-rare is the goal for succulent, juicy meat. Delicious served with a lemony salsa verde.

Smoky Joe's Beef fillet

 

Smoky Joe’s beef fillet with salsa verde

Serves 6

Spice rub ingredients

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flaky sea salt
  • 2 heaping tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 4 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons Natura Sugars Light Muscovado sugar
  • 10ml (2 teaspoons) freshly ground black pepper
  • 5ml (1 teaspoon) celery salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 kg grass fed beef fillet

Lemony salsa verde

  • a handful of each, flat leaf parsley and basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2-3 anchovy fillets
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tablespoon capers
  • 1 teaspoon Natura Sugars Golden Caster sugar
  • 15ml (1 tablespoon) red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. To make the spice rub, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Store the spice rub in a well-sealed tin or mason jar and secure with a tight fitting lid.
  3. To prepare the meat start by patting the fillet dry with paper towel.
  4. Tie the fillet with butcher or kitchen string at a spacing of 2cm between each knot.
  5. Scatter about 3 – 4 tablespoons of the spice rub onto a board and roll the fillet in the dry spice mix. Press in by hand until the entire surface is covered evenly with the dry rub.
  6. Place the meat in a non-metallic dish and cover with cling film. Set aside for at least 1 hour to marinate. If time allows, place in the fridge overnight for the best results. Remember to bring the meat up to room temperature before cooking or barbecuing.
  7. Drizzle the fillet with olive oil and scatter with sea salt. Grill over hot coals until done to your liking. Turn regularly to ensure even cooking. Remove the fillet from the heat, cover with foil and rest for about 8 -10 minutes before carving.
  8. For stovetop cooking, heat a large pan until smoking hot. Drizzle the fillet with olive oil and sear in the hot pan. Cook for about 2 minutes per side and finish in a 200° C oven for 18 – 23 minutes or until done to your liking. Remove from the oven, cover and rest for 8 – 10 minutes before carving.
  9. To prepare the salsa verde, place the herbs, garlic and anchovy fillets in a pestle and mortar with 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil. Work together until the herbs are broken down and the anchovies have melted into a paste.
  10. Alternative, if you prefer a smoother consistency, place the ingredients in a processor and pulse together.
  11. Add the remaining ingredients and stir through to combine. Keep chilled until ready to use.
  12. Serve the fillet lashings of salsa verde, platters of bright summery salads and parsley butter new potatoes.
Here are two more recipes that love smoke and coals.

Lemon and herb chicken kebabs with sundried tomatoes

Best Marinated Rib-eye Steak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

11 Comments. Leave new

  • Caroline Heap
    4 November 2016 9:25 am

    This looks amazing going to give it a go this week end

  • Just had the last few slices for lunch today with caramelised onion and melted brie. Heavenly. Maybe two fillets will be a good idea!

  • Oh this looks so good – I would love this, steak is one of my favourite dishes.

  • Wow,wow,wow…your pictures are gorgeous, Absolutely mouthwatering!

  • So kind of you Akhila. The secret is undoubtedly the smoky spice rub, helped along by a vibrant green herb splash.

  • This beef sounds amazing! Your photos are incredible too!

  • Other than altering the taste, will the level of moisture be affected if I leave out the sugar? I am allergic to table sugar. Thanks!

  • Hi Monika. Leaving out the sugar definitely won’t affect the moisture. It adds to the caramelisation of the fillet and off-sets the smokiness of the paprika. You could try xylitol as a replacement. Other than that, I would just leave it out. Enjoy!

  • Thanks Sabrina. The spice rub just takes the flavour to another level. And the salsa is a burst of freshness.

  • I love your recipes ! They are all so appealing – want to try them all🙂
    Can this fillet be done in the oven ? Sear in frying pan and then in oven ? I am wanting to prepare rare sliced fillet to cater for a lunch function and want to cook the fillet the day before . Terrified of over cooking it – any advice re cooking times will be appreciated .

  • Dianne Bibby
    26 July 2019 8:47 pm

    Thank you Alison. That’s just the best news!
    Absolutely. That’s usually how I like to prepare it. Searing in the pan gives the fillet a good all-round crust. A couple of minutes each side will do. From there, I roast it in a hot oven for around 23-25 minutes, depending on how you like it. This would be for a 1 -1.2kg weight. The cooking times and temperatures are also on the blog post recipe. Hope it all turns out well.

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