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Mauro Farella, from Italy, shows how to make fillet of beef with red wine Tuscan style.
Since then they have had another child, Terence, who is nearly 2. They come from Naples in the south of Italy and it took time to adjust to the Dunedin climate despite having lived in Switzerland for a while, he said with a laugh.
They enjoy living and cooking in Dunedin - although food is more expensive than in Italy, it is good quality. However, they miss some Italian cheeses. They could not find buffalo mozzarella like that produced near Naples, he said.
They both enjoy cooking. He particularly likes to make quick easy dishes that taste delicious.
Beef fillet in red wine Tuscan style
4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (Mauro uses Italian)
4 cloves garlic
1 sprig fresh rosemary
500-600g beef fillet
150-200ml red wine (see tips below)
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium to high heat. Crush the unpeeled garlic cloves and put them in the oil. Add the rosemary.
When the oil is hot put in the meat and seal it on all sides. Use tongs rather than a fork to turn it so the juices don't run out. When it is lightly coloured on all sides but not browned, add a generous glassful of red wine. Let the wine bubble up to reduce a bit, then put on the lid, turn the heat down a little and leave to cook. Turn once or twice so all sides cook in the wine. It will take about 15 minutes, depending on the size of the meat and how you like it done. Add a little more wine if needed.
He tests the inside temperature of the meat with a thermometer. He aims for 40degC, at which the meat will be rare. You could cook it to medium rare (50degC) but he does not recommend cooking fillet for a longer time.
When the meat is done to your liking, turn off the heat, take out the meat and wrap it in tinfoil to rest and cool.
Strain the cooking juice and add salt to taste. Set aside.
The meat is best served warm or cold, but not hot.
When ready to serve, slice the meat thinly and drizzle some of the juice over it. Serve more juice on the side.
Serve with agria potatoes boiled in their skins, peeled and mashed with butter, hot milk and grated parmesan.
• Topside or sirloin would be a good substitute. They will need cooking a little longer than fillet.
• The garlic will be strained out so there is no need to peel it. Don't let the garlic brown or it will taste bitter.
• Traditionally chianti would be used, but shiraz is a good substitute. Merlot or cabernet could also be used but pinot noir and white wine are not ideal.
• Thanks to Afife Harris and Centre City New World.