There are few sides as simple and perfect as pan-fried spuds - the secret is boiling the potatoes in their skins before frying until golden
- 6 even-sized medium potatoes (about 700g)
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chopped rosemary
- generous sprinkling flaky sea salt
MethodBring to the boil and cook for 15 mins. Drain and leave to cool. Can be done several hours ahead.
- 400g small even-sized new potatoes
- 12 slices Iberico ham (such as Paleta Iberico from the shoulder)
- handful rocket leaves
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 2 tbsp snipped chives
- Boil or steam potatoes whole for 15 mins or until just tender. Meanwhile, mix the ingredients for the dressing with seasoning and ½ tbsp water.
- Lay the slices of ham over dinner plates. Carefully slice the warm potatoes, toss them into the dressing then spoon them on top of the ham. Add a few rocket leaves and grind over pepper.
- 1½ l beef stock or chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 onion, quartered
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 1 medium fennel bulb, stalks trimmed and reserved
- 4 large sprigs fresh rosemary
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- 1kg prime quality beef fillet
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 6 tbsp vinaigrette, preferably homemade
- about 6 baby courgettes
- 4 tbsp double cream
- 2 large Little Gem lettuces, leaves separated
- Parmesan shavings, to serve
- Pour the stock into a deep saucepan that will hold the beef. Add the onion, carrot and fennel trimmings plus 2 sprigs of rosemary, all the thyme and the bay leaf, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Trim the beef fillet of any membrane or sinew if necessary. There is no need to tie it, so leave it a natural shape. Sprinkle sea salt and black pepper evenly and lightly on a large plate, ready for seasoning.
- While stock is simmering, slice the fennel from the root end using a mandolin (or sharp knife) into wafer-thin slices. Drop the slices into a big bowl of iced water with the lemon juice. Leave for 10-15 minutes then drain, pat dry and toss with 2 tbsp of the vinaigrette. Season and set aside to marinate.
- When ready to cook the beef, roll it in the seasoning on the plate so it is well coated. Submerge the beef in the stock, pushing it down under the veg and herbs so it cooks evenly. Bring it to the boil, then reduce the heat and poach for 18 minutes for rare, 20 minutes for medium rare.
- Lift the fillet out onto a large plate and pour over 2 ladles of stock (about 150ml). Place the poached herb sprigs on top of the beef, then cover with cling film and leave the meat to rest and cool. It will keep warm for up to an hour.
- Meanwhile, strain the stock and return it to the pan. Reheat to boiling. Top and tail the courgettes and slice these into thin shavings using a mandolin or sharp knife. Dunk the courgettes in the boiling stock for about 30 seconds until they wilt, then immediately remove with a slotted spoon and put in a sieve under cold running water to cool down quickly.
- Pour about 4 ladles (300ml) of the stock into a smaller pan, add another sprig of rosemary and boil down to about 100ml. Pour in the cream and boil for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Strip the leaves from the last sprig of rosemary and finely chop. Add half to the rosemary cream as it cools. Then mix in the remaining 4 tbsp vinaigrette.
- Put the Little gem leaves in a bowl and toss with the fennel and courgettes, remaining rosemary and seasoning. Toss the salad with half the rosemary cream dressing. This can now be chilled for up to an hour until ready to serve. Keep back a handful of the salad for garnishing, put the rest on a large platter.
- Uncover the beef, remove the herb sprigs, then cut the beef lengthways into 6-8 long thin slices using a well-sharpened carving knife. Lift these up all together on a palette knife and place on the salad in a neat mound. Top with the reserved salad and shave over some parmesan. Drizzle the remaining sauce over the beef.
- 18-24 Cornish or Jersey new potatoes
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 25g butter
- bunch of spring onions, chopped
- 4 slices smoked streaky bacon
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Scrub new potatoes well and rinse in cold water. Cook in boiling salted water for 15-20 minutes with bay leaves until tender.
- Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Melt butter in a small pan, add a bunch of spring onions, chopped and cook gently for 1-2 minutes to soften.
- Grill the smoked streaky bacon until crisp and golden, drain on kitchen paper, then break into small pieces.
- Drain the potatoes and toss with the spring onions, olive oil, some sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the potatoes in a warmed serving dish and top with the bacon pieces. Drizzle with more olive oil if needed.