Note: The beef in this dish must rest in the fridge overnight before serving, so prepare in advance.
Preheat an oven to 180°C. Coat the beef in olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Heat an oven proof fry pan to a high heat and brown the beef on all sides to seal the meat. Cut a 60cm long piece of both foil and baking paper and place the baking paper on top of the foil. Place the beef on top and tightly roll the fillet up, folding over the ends to ensure no juices escape. Place on an oven tray and bake for 16 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool before placing in the fridge overnight.
For the bearnaise sauce – Combine the vinegar, wine, shallots, tarragon stems and black peppercorns in a small saucepan. Bring to a gentle simmer and reduce for about 15 minutes or until you have 30ml of liquid then carefully strain into a bowl and allow to cool. Melt the butter in a small saucepan then transfer into a container you can pour the liquid from. Combine the vinegar reduction, egg yolks, and a pinch of salt in the bottom of a jug and begin to mix with a stick blender. While it is running, slowly pour in the hot butter to emulsify into a thick and creamy sauce. Mix in the chopped tarragon and season to taste. If you do not have a stick blender, or the sauce doesn’t thicken, you can whisk your bearnaise sauce over a water bath to achieve the desired results.
To serve – place the salad dressing ingredients into a jar, shake vigorously and toss with the watercress leaves, then spread evenly over a platter. Slice the beef thinly and arrange over the watercress then dollop with the warm bearnaise sauce.
1 x 750g beef eye fillet, trimmed
1 bunch watercress, leaves picked
salt & pepper
watercress salad dressing
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup
½ clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 sprigs tarragon, leaves finely chopped, stems reserved
1 small shallot, chopped
1/2 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
2 large egg yolks
170g unsalted butter