Roast Fillet of Beef with a Mushroom Sauce, Roast Potatoes and Fresh Vegetables, all cooked over the coals.
This may seem an impossible meal to cook on a braai, but it’s not! And you just need an open fire with a grid – no need for a Weber!!
It takes some skill but the results are well worth it – the meat is tender and full of flavour, and just delicious with the creamy sauce, and even roast potatoes are not out of reach for a camper.
This meal would be suitable for a celebration, maybe an anniversary dinner for two, cooked at a romantic campsite in the wilderness. Remember to take along a lovely table-cloth and candles, for a dinner under the stars! Or maybe cook this just to celebrate the fact that you’ve escaped the rat race for a few days, and are in your favourite place in the world – a campsite (well – it’s mine, anyway).
The beef fillet is ‘roasted’ in a casing of dough, and cooked directly in the coals. The roast potatoes are cooked in a tinfoil tray, and the vegetables in tinfoil as well. The mushroom sauce is cooked in a pan or pot over the fire.
So here’s how to make roast beef with all the trimmings on a fire.
Roast Beef Fillet
1 piece of beef fillet (an idea of quantities – about 1 kg will feed 6 people)
salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
water to mix
- Start by getting your fire ready, you’ll need a nice hot bed of coals
- Make a dough with the flour, salt and enough water to mix, to about the same consistency as a bread dough. Note: about 5 cups of flour will make enough dough for a 1 kg fillet
- Knead the dough lightly until it’s firm and not sticky anymore, adjusting the amount of flour if needed, then press it out about 2 cms thick
- Wipe the fillet, and dry it well with a paper towel. Season thoroughly with salt and pepper
- Place the fillet on the dough, and wrap the dough firmly and snugly around the meat, making sure it is very well sealed. Use a little water to help the dough bind together at the closing edges. Make sure there are no gaps or cracks
- Once the meat is wrapped, cook it immediately. Place the meat on the braai grid over hot coals and let the dough cook until hard, turning it once to harden on both sides. Move it gently when turning it.
- Now move the hardened dough parcel directly into the coals, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour per kg, depending on how well done you want your roast. Roll the parcel over once while cooking.
- Remove from the coals, crack the dough open with an axe or hammer (discard the dough), and remove the fillet.
- Slice and serve with the sauce.
Butter for frying
2 small onions, chopped
½ punnet of mushrooms, chopped
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
200 mls cream
salt and freshly ground pepper
- Melt the butter in a cast iron pan or pot over the hot coals
- Add the onions, fry until softened
- Add the mushrooms and parsley, and fry for a few minutes, then add the cream.
- Cook until the cream has reduced and the sauce is thick. Season to taste.
- Serve over the sliced meat.
Roast Baby Potatoes
Salt and freshly ground pepper
A few sprigs of rosemary
- Place the washed, unpeeled baby potatoes in a tinfoil roasting dish
- Drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil, and season
- Seal the dish with tinfoil, and place on the braai grid
- Cook until the potatoes are golden brown, giving the tray a good shake every now and then to move the potatoes around.
Fresh Vegetable Packet
Young seasonal vegetables – I used beans and baby sweetcorn
Salt and pepper
- Prepare the vegetables
- Place them in the centre of a large piece of tinfoil
- Dot on some butter and season
- Place on the grid over hot coals and cook until done, about 30 minutes
And there you have it – something ambitious to try next time you have a braai, or go camping!