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Perfect match: rare roast beef and sauvignon blanc

You'll need

30 ml vegetable oil 1 beef fillet (about 1.2kg), trimmed and tied 250 gm broad beans (about 550gm unpodded) 200 gm peas (about 400gm unpodded) 2 bunches green asparagus, trimmed 400 gm green beans, trimmed   Green goddess dressing 125 ml (½ cup) mayonnaise 125 gm (½ cup) sour cream 40 ml lemon juice, or to taste 2 cups (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped 2 golden shallots, finely chopped 7 anchovies, finely chopped ¼ cup chives, finely chopped 1 garlic clove, finely chopped 2 tbsp capers, rinsed, finely chopped


  • 01
  • Preheat oven to 160C. Heat a large frying pan over high heat, add oil, season beef to taste and cook, turning occasionally, until brown (1-2 minutes each side). Place on a wire rack over a roasting tray and roast until cooked to your liking (35-40 minutes for rare), cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest. Just before serving, thickly slice.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for green goddess dressing, combine ingredients in a food processor, pulse until combined, refrigerate until required.
  • 03
  • Blanch broad beans and peas (2-3 minutes; see cook’s notes p210), drain and refresh, then blanch asparagus and green beans (2-4 minutes), drain and refresh. Combine in a bowl, drizzle over a little dressing, toss to combine, season to taste. Serve with roast beef and extra dressing to the side.

White wine with beef? Haven't you heard of the golden rules of wine and food matching? Are you mad? Well, not entirely. Most of the flavours and tastes in this dish - snapping-fresh spring vegies, lemon juice, salty anchovies and capers, pungent chives and garlic - are aimed straight at the heart of an aromatic, assertive white wine so it seems crazy not to follow their lead. It's true, though, that the juicy, bloody slices of rich-tasting but lean beef probably call for a red. So I suggest you compromise and choose a strong-tasting white like a sauvignon blanc (remembering that savvy is a genetic parent of the cabernet sauvignon vine, and shares many of the leafy, herbal aspects of the red grape's flavour profile), but one made more like a red wine. Luckily, a small but steadily growing band of adventurous winemakers are fermenting their sauvignon grapes in oak barrels, either partly (they'll ferment some of the juice in barrel, some in a stainless steel tank, and then blend the two components) or wholly. And the results can be remarkably satisfying, deliciously full-bodied white wines, perfect with spring beef salads like this.

At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 8 people

Featured in

Oct 2010

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