Surf and turf

Serves 8
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Indy Lifestyle Online

Lobster and beef may seem an odd concoction, but it's always been popular in the States, and the combination looks great lined up on a wooden board down the middle of the dinner table. If you don't want to splash out on lobster, prawns are a little more cost effective. (Waitrose are currently selling great fresh prawns from the Red Sea.)

Beef fillet can end up being rather bland considering its very high price, and although you are always guaranteed tenderness, you don't get that depth of flavour, which I think is the most important thing. The problem is that fillets tend to get cut out of the carcass while it is hanging, so that no weight is lost, and the trimming left on the meat is minimal. I like to leave the crust and fat on my fillet and as intact as possible, as that's where all the flavour is in the bits that butchers and chefs trim off. So, if you can persuade your butcher to hang the fillet on the carcass for a couple of weeks and not to put his knife to it, you'll be in for a real treat.

1 fillet of beef weighing about 1-1.5kg
4 small live lobsters
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2tbsp chopped thyme leaves
1-2tbsp olive oil
100g butter, softened

Pre-heat the oven to 220/gas mark 7. Place the lobsters in the freezer for about an hour (I hate doing this part, but what can you do?), then with a heavy chopping knife on a chopping board insert the point of the knife through the head and cut each lobster in half. Crack the claws with the back of the knife, then season and lay on a baking try.

Heat a roasting tray in the oven for about 10 minutes with the olive oil. Season the fillets and roast the fillet for 30 minutes, turning it 3-4 times during cooking and keeping it rare.

Meanwhile pre-heat a grill, season the lobster flesh and rub the flesh with butter. Grill for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size and making sure that you baste every so often.

Serve the beef cut into 1cm slices and arrange on a big platter or board with the lobster.

Serve with a simple green salad or maybe roasted endive simply season the endive and roast in a few tablespoons of olive oil in a moderate oven for about an hour until they are caramelised and golden. I quite like to squeeze the juice of an orange or two over them when they are almost cooked.

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