This has to be my favourite way of enjoying beef fillet, where the beef is poached, dangling on a string (à la ficelle), in excellent stock. The meat is tender and rare, the broth is restorative and delicious, there are plenty of vegetables and the condiments make each bite exciting. It is really a speedy version of pot-au-feu, with the beef fillet taking the place of slow-cooked brisket or shin. For ease of eating, provide each diner with a small side plate on which they can put a little of each condiment.
Fish, potato, fennel, tomato
Every cook has a favourite fish pie recipe. Mine has wafer-thin slices of potato and fennel a touch of saffron and high heat at the end of the bake to crisp the top.
Lamb cutlets are a favourite choice for a speedy evening meal. Often I do little more than grill them and assemble a green salad, but I am prepared to go to a bit more trouble when it is early spring and the cutlets are particularly sweet. The anchovies in this sauce should be good-quality ones. Do not use remnants at the bottom of a jar of nameless oil that you have had for months.
The initial cooking of the piece of pork is long and slow and can be done a day in advance of your dinner. Then it is just a few minutes on a hot barbecue with a bit of basting.