Beef Fillet Dry Rubbed with a Red Wine Reduction and an Essenwood Salad.

What a day yesterday was! We said

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our final “Arriverderci’s” to Tricky’s brother Mario. He was highly respected in the community as a leader of GA – Holy Trinity Church was groaning at the seams as she kind of breathed out to let more people in – the church was packed with so many people. What a fitting tribute to a really very special man. Wonderful words of condolences poured in from all over the world.

Once the public tea and cake was done and dusted – we all went to his daughter Claudia’s house to celebrate his life. I lost count – we probably numbered in the region of 50 people. We all made food, five different types of lovingly prepared pasta and wall to wall salads later – the vino buono flowed into the night. Again – we were all comforted, consoled and healed by Pasta Power!

I wish to pay tribute to Mario’s wife Clara – her strength, courage and indeed – energy was amazing. She was running around chatting to and consoling everyone there. What a wonderful role model you are for all of us. Your daughters, granddaughters and indeed great granddaughter are truly blessed to have you on their side. I have a special post in mind to honour Clara – an old family recipe that I just know she will be delighted to see surface again.

Spring has me in a head-lock!

Today I am sharing my meat rub recipe with you. I bought a butter lettuce at The Essenwood Craft market last Saturday – the veggies I bought from John Hosking’s stall are of still life quality! If only I had the time to paint them! This butter lettuce – surely must have weighed in at around 1,5 kgs – these are organic veggies showered not only with life giving water but showered too with loads of love. John and his wife come all the way from Underberg – around 4.30am every Saturday – to bring us wonderful organic veggies. I bought another lettuce from them – a frilly one – well it too is heavy and looks pretty much like a Spanish dancers skirt! I shall name this salad Essenwood Salad – for the lettuce, carrots, olives, feta and Gumbo Eggs were all purchased there last Saturday!

A Quick and Easy Summer Salad that packed with

organic energy giving goodies. Ideal for a Saturday lunch

around the pool with some friends.

Firsty pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees.


For the Rub

2tsp coriander seeds

2 tsp yellow mustards seeds

2tsp black musard seeds

2 tsp black pepper corns

2 tsp smoked salt flakes

1 tsp citrus lime salt flakes

1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/2 cumin

3 sprigs of fresh rosemary (remove the leaves from the stem)


Place all of the spices and rosemary in either your pestil & mortar or a spice mill.

Pound the living daylights out of it – you will be wacked between the eyes by the amazing

woody – spicey aromas – it’s just wonderful.

Now to prepare your fillet ..


1 whole fillet

1 onion roughly chopped

2 sprigs of fresh rosemary

6 cloves of garlic – whole


Heat a grilling pan or frying pan – until it’s smoking hot

Massage the whole fillet with some olive oil

Seal the whole fillet in the pan – keep your eye on it, don’t let it burn

but you want loads of caramelisation – all over the fillet.

The pan juices are going to be used to creat your sauce so don’t throw them away.

Once the fillet is well coloured – roll the fillet in the rub – push the meat hard into the rub you want

every single inch of it covered in the rub.

De-glaze your frying pan with 1/3 of a bottle of a good strong red wine such as this

Cab Sauvignon from Spier – Once all of the alocohol has

cooked off pour them over

1 roughly chopped onion, 6 cloves of garlic and a few

sprigs of rosemary in a roasting pan –

Add about a cup of water to prevent the sauce from drying out in the oven.

Place a rack in the roasting pan and put the meat which is covered in the

rub on top of the rack – into the oven it goes for about 20 minutes.

You could also put this whole fillet into a Webber to cook it.

After 20 – 30 minutes – remove the meat and set it aside to rest

and relax while you assemble your salad and finish off the sauce.

I would losely cover the meat with a piece of tin foil to prevent it from drying out !

For your salad platter –

Most of these ingredients came from my market trip!


1 head of lettuce – here is the beauty I bought at Essenwood Market

Cherry tomatoes, courgettes sliced, cucumber sliced

carrot batons –

red pepper sliced

hard boiled eggs – cut in half (check out the double yolks on these Gumbo’s)

Olives – i used green olives from Essenwood – marinated in honey and mint

black olives – in cherry and sultanas

a good couple of

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handfulls of sprouted seeds

Cocktail brinjals – from Dino @The Mediterranean Kitchen – Essenwood

Danish Feta – from Jan Bowes at the market

some tinned anchovies – if you like them.

Go Wild – the more flavours and textures that you layer in a salad

the better it tastes.

Finally Slice your Rubadubdub Fillet and place on top of the salad.

Some juices will have leeched from the fillet – add them to the roasting sauces and reduce

the sauce to a nice dark red wine sauce – with a

tsp of either cranberry or redcurrant jelly if you like a slightly sweet sauce – if not

just reduce the juices down, whisk in a knob of butter, adjust the seasoning and pour over the


The beauty of a whole fillet cooked this way is that you get both medium and rare pieces of

meat – all you need do is adjust your cooking times if you

like to eat cremated – burnt – dried out meat!

Dress your salad with your favourite dressing – our house

it’s an Italian – Olive Oil and Vinegar dressing – and

serve with some crusty bread and more of this fabulous Spier Cabernet Sauvignon!!

Buon Appetito




Scorpio, RED WINE, Dalmatians, VINO, my men, Mamma Estraordinaria, massive pots of pasta, la famiglia, candle light, designer Handbags, Adult Survivor, Red Lipstick, writing, drumming, painting, red RED and Pasta .... lots of it!