As the Singita kitchens are gearing up for memorable New Year’s celebrations this weekend, Kyle Ralph, Sous Chef at Singita Boulders Lodge, shares insights into the delicacies behind the menu.

At Singita we try our utmost to use the best South African products that are available to us. The beef we source is from one of Africa’s best beef suppliers who has been producing top quality since 1974.  Along with all of the other local suppliers we have sourced we are only too pleased to showcase the best of South Africa.

In the recipe shown below we use Karan beef, blue cheese from the Cape and butternut from local Belfast farmers.

Ingredients:

4 x 200g per portion Beef fillet

2 x large butternut or pumpkin

20-30 marjoram leaves- picked

250g blue cheese

200g green beans or asparagus

2 TBSP butter

salt and pepper to taste

The vegetables:

Peel and seed the butternut, cutting one butternut into medium-sized pieces.  Place in a tray and season with salt and pepper, oil and some thyme leaves.  Roast for 8-10 min until tender, and then set aside in the refrigerator.

With the second butternut, roast whole in the oven for about 20-30minutes until soft.  If the skin becomes a bit burnt, don’t worry; what we are after is inside.

Cut the cooked butternut in half and discard the seeds.  Scoop out the flesh of the butternut into a blender, add butter and blend.  If the puree is too thick just add some water until you achieve the right consistency.

Crumble the blue cheese into medium-sized pieces.

Cook green beans in boiling water for 1-2 minutes and then run under cold water and keep aside until needed.

For the sauce:

1 liter beef stock (store bought is fine)

500ml red wine

1x large carrot

1x onion

1x leek

1 stick celery

2 cloves garlic

3 sprigs of rosemary

50ml sherry vinegar

2TBS of dark brown sugar

Making the sauce:

Cut onion, celery, carrot and leek into small rough cubes and sauté with 1 tsp of oil till softened, and then add garlic and rosemary

Add sugar and caramelize for depth of flavor (the sugar should just melt and form a light brown color) then de-glaze with sherry vinegar and reduce by about half.

Add red wine and reduce by half.

Add the beef stock and reduce by ¾; it should have a shiny and slightly thick

Putting it all together:

Pre-heat a heavy base pan; season the beef fillet with salt and pepper.

Place about 2TBSP of vegetable oil in the pan and put your beef in the hot pan; don’t move the beef around for about 3-4minutes, it should form a beautiful crust before you turn it.  Once turned, cook for another 3-4 minutes on the other side.

Then place a little bit of blue cheese on top of the beef and place into a 180˚C  oven for 2 minutes.  Take out and let the meat rest for another 2 minutes.  This should give you a perfect medium rare fillet.

To plate, place a bit of the butter puree on the plate (this is were your creativity comes in).  Lightly mix the blue cheese and butternut cubes with the fresh marjoram leaves, and place on top of the puree.

Put the rested beef fillet on the plate and pour over some red wine sauce.

Enjoy!  And warmest wishes for a wonderful 2012.


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