Beef pesto

Over to Peter Gordon to explain the story behind this beef pesto recipe: “I have no idea how I came up with the idea of marinating beef in soy and vinegar, but people would come into the restaurant just to have it. When we first opened The Sugar Club in London in 1995, we would get New Zealanders phoning up to ask if I was the same chef that had created Beef Pesto in Wellington". You can use ready-made pesto, or make your own from Peter's recipe below.

First published in 2015
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Beef fillet


Chard, courgette and beetroot salad


  • Blender


To prepare the marinade for the beef fillet, add the tamari, 120ml of cold water, the vinegar, chilli and garlic to a blender and blitz for 30 seconds until a fine purée forms
Add the fillet to a long dish or container that is only just large enough to hold the beef. Drizzle the marinade over the beef, cover with cling film and leave to marinate in the fridge for up to 4 days, turning every 12 hours so that the beef is evenly marinated
1 hour before you are ready to cook, remove the beef from the marinade, drain thoroughly and pat dry with a clean kitchen cloth. Slice into 8 even portions and set aside until required
For the pesto, add the herbs, garlic, olive oil and pine nuts to a blender or food processor and blitz until a coarse paste is achieved. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the Parmesan and mix in enough extra virgin olive oil to reach your desired consistency. You will need approximately 250g for the final dish - the pesto is best eaten fresh, but will last for up to 48 hours if covered and refrigerated
To prepare the rest of the vegetables, add the garlic, cider vinegar, grain mustard, salt, pepper and olive oil to a blender and blitz until smooth. Transfer the dressing to a large bowl and set aside
Bring a large pan of water to the boil and add a pinch of salt. Add the chard, stir well and cook for 30 seconds. After this time, add the courgette and cook the vegetables together for a further 1 minute
  • 400g of chard, thinly shredded, stems included, and washed well
  • 3 courgettes, julienned
Drain in a colander, then add to the bowl with the dressing. Mix well so the vegetables are well coated, then mix in the beetroot. Set aside in a warm place for 5-10 minutes
Place a pan over a high heat and allow it to get very hot. Brush a little oil on the cut-sides of the fillet portions and fry for no more than 2 minutes on each side to achieve a rare finish
  • vegetable oil
To serve, divide the salad onto warmed plates and place a piece of fillet on the top of each. Arrange the black olives around the beef and spoon over the pesto. Serve immediately
First published in 2015
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Decades on from the halcyon days of The Sugar Club, the 'King of Fusion', Peter Gordon still reigns supreme on the London dining scene.

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