South African Christmas recipe: Crayfish and beef fillet

Posted by Meg de Jong on 3 December 2012

If you love the tradition of a roast for your Christmas meal, but also like to mix it up in the kitchen a little, consider trying a festive surf and turf variation of beef and crayfish fillet. It can be done on the braai or in the oven, and is delicious both hot and cold. My pops came up with this recipe, and I definitely consider it one of his best.

Serves 4


  • 1kg thick beef fillet
  • 2 small crayfish tails
  • 5 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons of Ina Paarman’s lemon and black pepper seasoning
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 100g butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • toothpicks

Steam or parboil crayfish tails for three minutes, until half cooked. De-shell them by cracking hard carapace down the middle with a heavy knife. Cut tails in half and de-vein (remove black ‘worm’ in centre). Butterfly (slice through the middle) fillet.

Melt butter and mix with olive oil and seasoning. Mix in crushed garlic. Add tablespoon lemon juice, or to taste.

Place crayfish halves along centre of butterflied fillet, and baste generously with butter and olive oil mixture. Fold fillet over crayfish, and seal with toothpicks.

Put fillet on braai over high heat to seal outside. Turn frequently. Stoke coals and cook over slightly lower heat for a further 20 minutes or so, until medium rare.

For extra opulence, serve with carpetbagger sauce, which is made with oysters.


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