Fillet Steak inspired by The Carpetbagger

Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a ‘surf ‘n turf’ fan… I find the whole concept a bit tacky – it’s just too much and nothing really ‘fits’.

Ok, so with that out of the way, let me tell you that this carpetbagger business is quite delicious, contrary to previous conceptions.

I used venison fillet, and what you must always remember with venison, that I learnt last year when I first started to cook with it, is that it is a naturally lean meat and needs a bit of fat or creaminess and it also likes to be paired with sweet things like fruit or sweet wines.

So, what is a carpetbagger? Well, it is a piece of steak, stuffed with oysters – in a nutshell.

I didn’t stuff the steak with the oysters, in fact, I didn’t even use oysters… I used smoked mussels and used it in the sauce.

You will need:
1 large piece of fillet steak, cut into thick steaks
1/2 a cup of cream
100g butter
About 100ml Cape Ruby {aka Port}
1 tin smoked mussels
Freshly ground sea salt

Heat the butter in a large, heavy based pan. Season the raw steaks with salt and fry both sides in the butter until they are medium to rare. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add the port and let it deglaze the pan. Add the cream and mussels and another dollop of butter.
Let it reduce ever so slightly and return the steaks to the pan to let it simmer for a few minutes in the sauce. It should be cooked to about medium.

Serve with a simple salad of beetroot, feta and mixed herbs. I used watercress, baby spinach and rocket.


I boiled the beetroot, then let it cool. Once cooled, I removed the skin and thinly sliced it.
I drizzled it with olive oil, a splash of lemon juice and a sprinkle of ground sea salt.
Use this with a selection of greens and then add feta and vanilla flavoured pumpkin seeds.
I guess these vanilla seeds are not very kosher when it comes to Banting, etc, but they are so yummy and just elevates your salad to another level. A yummy sprinkle isn’t too bad in the greater scheme of things…

Enjoy! X


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