At her cooking school in Hilton, award-winning KwaZulu-Natal chef Jackie Cameron puts her creative flair to work on heritage food. Try her Hay-smoked Beef Fillet with Leek Purée and Ashed Leeks.
- 15ml duck fat
- 150g portion beef fillet, all sinew removed and cleaned
- smoked salt
- Leek Purée
- 100g fresh leeks
- 250ml cream
- Ashed Leeks
- 100g fresh baby leeks
- For the beef, put the duck fat in a pan. When it is smoking hot, sear the beef fillet. Place some hay onto a small oven tray, place the portion of beef fillet on it, season with smoked salt and top with more hay. Cover with foil.
- Place the tray into the oven at 260°C and smoke for about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven, allow to rest, then cut the beef fillet into slices. To make the purée, blend the leeks and cream very well together. Strain and place into a piping bag. Set aside.
- To make ashed leeks, cut the baby leeks in half widthways and then again in half lengthwise. Place them onto a sheet of greaseproof paper and into the oven at 125°C for 30-60min. Remove some leeks at different times of cooking, to ensure different coloured ones, from golden-crisp ones to almost charcoal.
- To serve, slice the beef fillet and place onto your plate, pipe the leek purée on top and add the ashed leeks. Season with a good grind of fine salt and garnish with freshly picked herbs.
Wine suggestion: Sijnn Syrah