This classic French peasant dish is simple, clean and presents elegantly. The name translates as ‘beef on a string’ because, in the traditional version, the beef fillet is trussed and suspended in a pot of simmering stock. Using Thermomix, we can get exactly the same result without any necessity for string sorcery.
The beef slices beautifully so this technique is also ideal if you’re planning the Thermomix version of roast beef rolls.
Eye fillet (also called tenderloin) is the deluxe way to go but other cuts like sirloin, rump and topside can work well too. A fillet of up to about 700 grams will fit comfortably in the Thermomix.
Serves: 4-6 as a main
Time: 50 minutes
Boeuf a la ficelle
- 1500 grams (52.9 oz) beef stock
- 500-700 grams (17.6 oz – 24.7 oz) eye fillet, in one piece (ask your butcher to truss it, but if they don’t, the dish will still be fine)
- 2 celery stalks
- 2 leeks, white part only, cut into 8 cm lengths
- 6-8 small parsnips, peeled and halved
- 8 small carrots, peeled but untrimmed
- 1-2 bay leaves (optional)
- horseradish (fresh is best)
Boeuf a la ficelle
1. Pour the beef stock into the mixing bowl.
2. Place the beef gently into the mixing bowl and top up with water to ensure beef is covered. Poach for 20 min/100°C/Reverse/speed 1(for medium rare, 25 minutes for medium). Stock may bubble onto the lid but it shouldn’t overflow.
3. When time has elapsed, remove the beef from the mixing bowl and set it aside to rest in a warm place. While the beef is resting, poach the vegetables. Resting the beef while the vegetables are poached ensures that the muscle relaxes and the juices are retained.
4. Add the vegetables to the hot stock and poach 10 min/100°C/Reverse/speed 1.
To serve, snip any trussing twine from beef, slice it thinly and serve with vegetables, cornichons, mustard and freshly grated horseradish. Pour a little cooking broth over the beef and vegetables, if desired. The stock can be reused if it’s brought to the boil and strained.
- Boeuf à la ficelle is a very clean dish that relies on the integrity of the produce. It makes a beautiful main course if you’ve started with my Scallop Mousseline recipe. Scallop Mousseline, whilst also French, lies at the other end of the spectrum, being incredibly rich and creamy.
- If you’re looking for more Beef dishes, how about Beef Rotolo. It’s simple enough for a midweek meal and fancy enough for a dinner party.
More about this video
I love dishes that confound expectations and this dish is certainly one of those. People freak out about the idea of putting eye fillet (expensive, precious, I know!) in the Thermomix on the blades but one try is all it takes to convince them! ‘I’m never doing beef in the oven again,’ is a comment I’ve heard numerous times about this dish.
Like my top? Me too! It’s from Megan Park.