Slow roast beef with fines herbes pesto
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Slow roast beef with fines herbes pesto

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The fuss-free nature of this roast beef dish makes it a favourite in my home. While it's finishing cooking, simply reheat the cream-loaded potato gratin, then all that's required is a salad or a bowl of steaming hot, buttered seasonal greens to accompany.
<b>Prep:</b> 10 mins Prep: 10 mins
<b>Cook:</b> 2 hours  Cook: 2 hours
Serves 10 Serves 10
Good source of iron Good source of iron
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  • 1.5-1.6 kilogram fillet of beef
  • about ¼ cup wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon or 1/2 teaspoon dried

Cream-loaded potato gratin

  • 750-800 grams starchy potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed and peeled optional
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 x 200 gram tub creme friache
  • ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg or mace
  • ¼-1/3 cup gruyere or cheddar-style cheese

Fines Herbes Pesto

  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chervil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 cup pine nuts or walnuts, lightly toasted
  • ¼ cup light packed grated pecorino or Cheddar cheese
  • about 1/3 cup of olive oil


Preheat the oven to 100°C.

Turn the beef tail underneath to achieve a fillet of even thickness. Tie the beef at intervals to encuse it retains a neat shape while cooking. Sit the fillet in a shallow roasting dish. Mix the mustard and tarragon together and spread evenly over the fillet.

Roast in the preheated for 2 hours. When the beef is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for at least 15 minutes before carving, though the beef can be set aside and served when ready, Serve with Cream-loaded potato gratin and seasonal vegetables, with the fines herbes pesto on the side for guests to serve themselves.

Cream-loaded potato gratin

Boil the potatoes in plenty of with salt, bay leaf, and garlic until almost cooked. Drain well. To the saucepan add the cream, crème friache and nutmeg or mace. Bring to scalding point, transfer to a large well-greased oven proof dish and scatter over the cheese. Bake at 180°C for 20 minutes until hot and golden. For best results, bake this a day or two ahead; cool, cover chill and reheat 30 minutes before required.

Fines Herbes Pesto

Process all the ingredients except the oil in a food processor. With the motor still running, slowly pour the oil down the feed tube to make a thick paste. Season with salt and a squeeze of lemon juice if wished.

This recipe is courtesy of Allyson Gofton's cookbook, Good Food Made Simple, photography by Alan Gillard
  • Suitable Cuts
  • Nutrition

Nutrition Information Per Serving

Serving size: 324g
Energy kJ (kcal) 2778 (663)
Protein (g) 47.8
Fat (g) 44.9
Saturated (g)
Carbohydrate (g) 16.7
Sugars (g)
Sodium (mg) 429
Iron (mg) 7.0
Zinc (mg) 7.1
Vitamin B12 (ug) 4.6
Vitamin D (ug) N/A
Selenium (ug) 8.0

This recipe provides an adult woman with nearly 40% of her daily iron needs. It's also a rich source of zinc, vitamin B12 and selenium. 

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