Shaved asparagus, Manchego and cured beef salad

AT A GLANCE

  • Serves 8 people

  • 12 thick asparagus spears (about 1½ bunches), halved widthways, thinly shaved on a mandolin
  • 2 punnets baby mustard cress, trimmed
  • ¼ cup finely grated parmesan
  • 2 tsp thyme leaves
  • To serve: Manchego, shaved
  •  
  • Cured beef
  • ⅓ cup thyme sprigs
  • 1 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 600 gm coarse sea salt
  • 400 gm white sugar
  • 1 small beef fillet (about 600gm), trimmed
  •  
  • Mustard and buttermilk dressing
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) buttermilk
  • 1 tbsp sour cream
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Finely grated rind of 1 lemon and juice of ½
01   For cured beef, coarsely crush thyme and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Stir in salt and sugar and transfer half to a non-reactive container large enough to fit beef snugly. Add beef, scatter over remaining salt mixture, cover and refrigerate to cure (3 days), then brush salt mixture from beef, pat dry with absorbent paper and season with freshly ground black pepper.
02   For mustard and buttermilk dressing, whisk ingredients in a bowl, season to taste and set aside.
03   Place asparagus in a bowl, drizzle over a little dressing, season to taste, toss to combine and set aside to marinate (5 minutes). Add cress, parmesan and thyme, season to taste and toss to combine.
04   Thinly slice beef across the grain, arrange on a platter, top with asparagus mixture and Manchego and serve with extra dressing.
This recipe is from the January 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

Recipe:

LISA FEATHERBY , ALICE STOREY

Photography:

SHARYN CAIRNS

Styling:

GLEN PROEBSTEL , LISA FEATHERBY

Drinking Suggestion:

AROMATIC SPANISH WHITE SUCH AS A VERDEJO FROM RUEDA. , suggested by MAX ALLEN

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