• 18 slices air-dried beef
  • 50g (2oz) walnut pieces
  • 675g (1 1/2lb) small beetroot (each one weighing about 75g/3oz)
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 4 tblsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tblsp rapeseed oil, plus extra for dressing
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 25g (1oz) fresh small watercress sprigs
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 50g (2oz) parmesan shavings
  • For the Mustard Cream:
  • 100g (4oz) crème fraîche
  • 2 tblsp freshly grated horseradish
  • 1 tblsp wholegrain mustard
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 220°C (450°F/gas mark 7).
  • Remove the air-dried beef from the fridge 30 minutes before you intend to use it to allow it to come back to room temperature.
  • Place the walnut pieces in a small baking tin and roast for 3–4 minutes, until toasted. Set aside.
  • Scrub the beetroot, then trim off the tops and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place in a roasting tin with the thyme and drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and rapeseed oil. Season, then cover with tin foil and roast for 1 hour, until the beets can be pierced easily with a knife. Leave to cool, then cut into quarters and toss back into the cooking juices once cut.
  • Meanwhile, make the mustard cream. Place the crème fraîche, horseradish and wholegrain mustard into a bowl with 1 teaspoon water and mix well to combine, then season to taste.
  • To serve, arrange 3 slices of the air-dried beef in a slightly overlapping layer on each plate. Place the roasted beetroot to the side and drizzle some of the beetroot cooking juices on top, then dribble the mustard cream over some of the beef. Dress the watercress with rapeseed oil and lemon juice and scatter alongside the beef. Finish with the Parmesan shavings and toasted walnut pieces.
  • Cook Ahead: The dressing and beetroot can be made 24 hours in advance and kept covered in the fridge until needed.
  • Wine: The earthy flavours of a Burgundy Pinot Noir would be a good match, as would a Rioja Reserve.


This recipe and many more are available in Neven Maguire's The MacNean Restaurant Cookbook, published by Gill & MacMillan Books and available to buy here.