We’ve done these for years at Canoe. Originally we used caribou, but we’ll do it with venison, beef and veal. It’s a riff on a classic British preparation, usually a tender cut of beef with an oyster slipped inside, finished on the grill. The oyster and fish sauce are a natural brine, and the sear gets the oyster nice and juicy and activates the umami effect. This is a great, traditional dish with all the flavours I like—fresh horseradish, Dijon mustard, mustard greens. And it’s oyster season, so this makes me think of fall and a Thanksgiving vibe. The dish is a good introduction for people who normally wouldn’t think to mix beef with oyster. But you gotta be adventurous.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 50 ml (¼ cup) sliced shallots
- 250 ml (1 cup) mustard greens, leaves only
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 250 g (½ lb) centre cut beef tenderloin, chilled
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp freshly grated horseradish
- 8 large, choice East Coast oysters, freshly shucked (clean bottom shells and reserve)
- Salt, pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Mustard sprouts (optional)
Place a sauté pan on high heat, add olive oil and then the shallots. Sauté until golden—about 3 minutes. Add the mustard greens, stir, and cook until wilted—about 1 minute. Add fish sauce, stir, and set aside to cool. Transfer to a cutting board, julienne or chop, and set aside in the refrigerator.
Cut the tenderloin against the grain into 4 even slices. Cut each piece in half. Lay a piece of plastic wrap on a cutting board, arrange two pieces of beef on top (well spaced) and cover with another piece of plastic wrap. Use a mallet to pound the meat to a uniform thickness of about 3 mm ( inch).
Repeat three times. Set aside.
Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a work surface. Place one pounded slice of beef at the centre about 1 cm (½ inch) from the near edge. Brush beef with mustard, add a spoonful of the mustard green mixture, and spread. Add a pinch of horseradish and top with an oyster. Roll the beef with plastic wrap, twist the ends, and roll again into a tight cigar. Repeat procedure with the 7 remaining beef slices, then transfer your 8 bad boys to the refrigerator to set (this can be done up to 24 hours in advance of cooking).
To finish, preheat a non-stick skillet on medium-high. Unwrap the chilled beef rolls and season them generously. Add olive oil to the skillet and when it shimmers, sear the carpetbaggers on all sides quickly (do not overcrowd the pan, and do not overcook—you want them to be rare). Arrange reserved oyster shells on a serving platter. Place one carpetbagger in each one and garnish with (optional) mustard sprouts and grated horseradish.
Syrah has a natural spiciness to it which can enhance any spiciness in food. This recipe is meant to be adventurous and this pairing matches that enthusiasm!
For more info on these and other fine wines, go to Mark Anthony Wine & Spirits.