Cured Beef & Pomegranate

This recipe has everything you want from a dish this Valentines Day as it’s so simple to make and can be prepared in no time at all, perfect for a last minute Valentines meal. Sweet freshness from the pomegranate, a cheesy caramelised crunch from the potatoes, peppery watercress & savoury, salty cured beef. If you can’t find Kefelotyri cheese you can use Parmesan instead. Great served as a starter with a glass of bubbles.

Vegetarians please don’t write off this recipe just yet as beetroot is a fantastic alternative to the beef, in fact for me it is equally as good! Instead just use very thinly sliced, cooked beetroot. If you cook it yourself be sure to cook them with a good dose of salt, otherwise buy pre cooked and sprinkle with salt before serving.

Ingredients

(Serves 2 - 3 as a starter)

1 medium floury Potato, like Maris Piper
1tsp Rosemary
25g Kefelotyri Cheese or Parmesan
½tsp Paprika
120-150g Cured Beef, such as Bresaola, Cecina or Pastirma
1 good handful Watercress
½ Pomegranate
3tbsp Vinegar
5tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1tbsp Pomegranate Molasses (optional)

Preheat the oven to 220ºC
Peel the potato and cut into small cubes, approximately 1cm. Put onto a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, rosemary, pinch of salt and mix. Then grate the Kefeloyri cheese over the potatoes and sprinkle with the rosemary and paprika. Place in the oven and roast for 15-20 minutes until crisp and golden.

After the potatoes have been in the oven for 10 minutes you start to assemble the salad. Take a serving plate or platter and drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil. Now take your cured beef and lay evenly on the plate ensuring you cover the whole surface. Put the watercress in the middle of the plate in a mound. Get your pomegranate, hold it over the watercress and hit it with the back of a spoon until all the arils have been extracted. If there is any of the white pith has come out onto the plate just pick it off and discard.

When the potatoes are ready, remove from the oven; loosen them from the baking tray and scatter over the watercress. In a jar or a cup mix together the vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, pomegranate molasses (if using) and a pinch of salt. Drizzle the dressing over the watercress and a little on the beef, followed by a twist of black pepper, and serve.

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