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Meat is good for you, for the farmers, and your local butchers.  Beef is delicious, and eaten in small quantities it is not going to give you a heart attack.

The recipe might look a bit complicated and very long to follow but many of the steps can be made ahead of time.

The roast can be stuffed, rolled and tied a day ahead, it is very important not to season the exterior of the meat until you are ready to cook it.

This roast  has a rich mushroom stuffing and produces both a beautiful reddish-pink interior and the delicious crust.

Ingredients for the beef

  • 1 beef tenderloin (fillet steak) 2 kilos
  • Kosher salt and ground  black pepper
  • 1 cup of baby spinach
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for the Stuffing

  • 1/2 kilo button mushrooms, cleaned, stems trimmed, and broken into rough pieces
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced into small cubes
  • salt and black pepper
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, pressed through a garlic press
  • 1 cup of Madeira or sweet Marsala wine

Ingredients for the Herb Butter

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, pressed through garlic press
  • 2 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Method for the Stuffing

  • Process mushrooms in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  • Heat the butter and oil over medium-heat until foaming subsides.
  • Add the onion, salt, and pepper and cook stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften.
  • Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the moisture has evaporated.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the mushrooms are deep brown and sticky.
  • Slowly add the Madeira or Marsala wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen any browned bits, until the liquid has evaporated.
  • Transfer the onion-mushroom mixture to a plate and cool to room temperature.

Method for the Tenderloin

  • Insert a chef’s knife about 1 inch from the top of the tenderloin and cut horizontally, stopping just before the edge.  Open the meat like a book.
  • Make another cut diagonally into the thicker portion of the tenderloin.  Open up this flap, smoothing out the butterflied rectangle of the meat.
  • If you feel this is too difficult for you perhaps you friendly butcher can do it for you.

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  • Season the meat with salt and pepper, then spread the cooled mushroom stuffing mixture over the entire surface, leaving a 1/2 inch border on all sides.

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  • Lay the spinach on top of the stuffing.

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  • Roll the tenderloin lengthwise and tie.

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  • In a small bowl, stir together olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Rub the tenderloin with the oil mixture and let it stand at a room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Heat the oven to 180C.
  • Heat the remaining tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until smoking.
  • Add the beef to the pan and cook until well browned on all sides.

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  • Transfer the tenderloin to a wire rack baking sheet and place it in the oven.

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  • Roast at 120C for rare, approximately 20 minutes or 125C for medium rare, approximately 30 minutes.  If you want the meat to cook further to medium you will have to cook the tenderloin for another 10 more minutes.
  • While the meat is roasting, combine all the herb butter ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and spread half of the butter evenly over the top of the meat.
  • Cover the meat with a loose tent of foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes.
  • To serve cut the roast between the pieces of twine into thick slices or remove the twine and slice the meat and serve with the remaining butter separately.

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Tips

  • It is very important that the meat is well tied or the filling will fall out when cut.
  • Once the meat is cooked it has to rest or you will end up with lots of juices and blood from the meat and this does not look very appealing.

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