How to: buy and cook beef

We’re launching a new series of ‘how to’ guides so we can share our best culinary tips with you all.

Bruno Le Gac

Bruno Le Gac

If there’s anything you want to know to make your cooking more enjoyable, send us your comments and ideas.

You can contact us via Twitter, Facebook or the comments section below.

This week, our Corporate Chef Bruno Le Gac shares his expertise on what to look for when you’re buying beef. He’s also got plenty of tips on how to cook the meat you’ve chosen.

Find a good butcher

Before going to your butcher to buy beef there are a few basic questions to ask yourself:

  • How do I want to cook the meat?
  • How much do I want to spend?
  • How much time do I have?

What you want to prepare will determine the cut you need to buy. The most important thing to me is to find the right butcher. Meat in general is a very specific produce, and you need to trust the person who is selling it to you.

Roast beef

Roast beef

A good butcher knows where his meat is coming from, how long it has been resting in the cold room, what he should serve you according to the circumstances and the answers to your three questions listed above.

Summer BBQ

Looking for something to serve at a summer BBQ with friends? Go for a nice, thick prime rib. Nicely marbled with thin layers of white fat and aged to perfection. Important: once cooked, the meat has to rest for at least 10 minutes before being sliced and served.

Children helping cook in the kitchen

Children love helping to cook

Cooking for the kids

Preparing a quick lunch with the kids at home? Flank steak is a great option. Thin and easy to prepare – use a cast iron grill-pan - it’s a delicious and juicy cut. Great with sliced shallots just sautéed in butter and sprinkled with freshly ground pepper.

Romantic dinner for two

Planning a romantic dinner with a nice bottle of Bordeaux? A thick cut of a good quality tenderloin is your best bet. Real meat lovers will prefer rib-eye, a slightly less tender but more tasty cut, although arguably less romantic). It doesn’t come cheap but it’s pleasure guaranteed.

Portion sizes – 180g per portion is nice. 200g is for big appetites. 250g is for rugby players…

Prime category red meat is always best served medium rare. If you prefer your tenderloin well done, I would recommend you open it ‘butterfly’ style for a quicker cooking time.

Le Creuset casserole pot

Le Creuset casserole pot

Family gathering

Got a family gathering to cook for? A nicely roasted sirloin, sliced in the dining room with a beautiful professional knife is an elegant dish that will please everyone. It cooks ‘by itself’ which gives you time to take care of your guests.

For a less costly option, but not less pleasurable, go for gelatinous cuts such as cheeks or even shortribs.

They are at their best when braised in the oven in a rich sauce with red wine, baby onions and mushrooms. It takes time to make, and it’s more of a winter dish, but the reward is worth it. Serve it with your homemade mashed potato, and sprinkle with fresh thinly chopped chives.

More recipes…

Want to create some more of our chefs’ amazing dishes yourself at home? Every Friday, we post some of the most amazing, delicious and popular recipes in our culinary section.

Sushi in the Seychelles

The sushi bar at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles has been incredibly successful since it first opened.

Chef Federico Casupanan, Sushi chef at Constance Ephelia Resort

Chef Federico Casupanan, sushi chef at Constance Ephelia Resort

Chef Federico Casupanan, a young and talented Filipino sushi chef trained by Japanese masters, didn’t want to do things the way you’d expect.

Along with Chef Denis Jean-Jacques, the brilliant chef of Cyann restaurant in the luxurious North Beachside of the resort, he created a Seychellois version of what he believes tropical sushi should be.

This selection has become a best-seller at Ephelia. 

The sushi varies according to the fresh produce we receive, and the ideas of the chef.

Here are a few examples of what’s on the menu:

Tropical Seychellois sushi

Tropical Seychellois sushi

  • White capitaine fish sushi with coconut milk and lemongrass, a dash of sweet curry sauce.
  • Yellowfin tuna nigiri with a spicy mango relish.
  • Poached prawn with vindaye spice mix.
  • Chef Federico’s crazy rolls with Creole crab salad, local avocado and homemade tangy tomato ketchup.
  • The beautiful Seychellois bourgeois fish, as a nigiri with rougail reduction and grated green papaya.

Fresh, tasty and very colourful.

Recipe: Curry risotto from Mauritius

L'Archipel restaurant at Le Prince Maurice

L'Archipel restaurant at Le Prince Maurice

This curry risotto comes from the kitchens of Constance Le Prince Maurice. It makes a great mid-week recipe and is easy to prepare.

Take your time stirring the stock into the rice, and enjoy the gentle pace of risotto-making.

Serves 4

Preparation and cooking time: 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 shallot
  • 140g risotto rice (arborio or carnaroli)
  • 15cl dry white wine
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp curry powder
  • 3 curry leaves
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 30cl chicken stock
  • 20g butter + 20g for finishing
  • 1 sprig coriander, chopped
  • 3 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

1. Peel and finely chop the shallots. Sweat them for 2 minutes with the butter in a heavy saucepan. Add the rice, fry it for a few minutes until it whitens.
2. Add the white wine, boil down until dry.
3. Peel and chop the garlic. Add it to the rice with the curry powder, thyme and curry leaves.
4. Gradually add the chicken stock and cook for 18-20 minutes on low heat, stirring constantly. The rice should retain a slight crunch. Add remaining butter, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped coriander. Correct seasoning and serve.

Recipe: Black Qwehli Prawns poached with lemongrass, stuffed chinese chard and papaya chutney

This delicious and surprisingly easy seafood recipe comes from Chef Dominique at Constance Belle Mare Plage. The Black Qwehli prawn is an exceptional organic prawn that comes from Mozambique. If you can’t get these prawns, use the best quality prawns with tails that you can.

Black Qwehli prawns

Black Qwehli prawns

Serves 4

Ingredients

15-20 prawns

For the papaya chutney

  • 150g papaya
  • one piece of lemon
  • green chilli
  • 30g onion
  • 4g garlic, thinly chopped
  • 20g spring onions
  • 2g curry powder

For the stuffed chinese chard

  • 4 pieces of Pak Choi
  • 80g fresh fish, thinly chopped
  • 1 onion
  • 2g corn flour
  • 4g ginger pasta
  • 4 leaves of Pak Choi, chopped
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chilli powder

For the lemon grass foam

  • Shrimp stock infused with a good quantity of crushed lemon grass
  • 100g whipped cream

Decoration to serve 

  • 1 piece of tomato
  • Lemon rind
  • 100g watermelon

1. Crush the lemongrass and infuse in the shrimp stock. Then poach the prawns in the stock, and place in the fridge.
2. Prepare the papaya chutney – dice the papaya into small pieces, chop the onion, chilli and spring onion.
3. Cook this in olive oil, add the curry powder and blend very quickly. Allow the mix to cool down.
4. To prepare the lemongrass foam – whip the cream, reduce the stock and blend.
5. Place the tomato, watermelon and lemon rind onto cocktail sticks. Serve as shown in the photograph above.

Constance Lémuria – villa BBQ experience

Constance Lemuria, villa BBQ

Constance Lemuria, villa BBQ

If you’re heading to one of our beautiful villas at Constance Lémuria, Seychelles, why not plan a delicious in-villa BBQ prepared by us?   

While relaxing in the peaceful and private surroundings of your villa, the villa butler and the kitchen team will set up the BBQ experience in your garden.

At sunset you can enjoy a passionfruit and vanilla Constance Star Martini, shaken just for you.

And we’ll serve you some of the superb local produce of the Seychelles – fresh line-caught snapper, green papaya prepared in tangy chutney, jumbo prawns in lemongrass marinade.

When nature inspires design – Constance Ephelia Resort

Tableware at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles

Tableware at Constance Ephelia

Bruno Le Gac, our Corporate Executive Chef, gives you an insight into the design of the tableware we use at Constance Ephelia Resort, Seychelles. 

When you visit Constance Ephelia, you’ll notice the design of the table tops are inspired by the beautiful nature of the Seychelles.

Plates, bowls and cutlery are gently curved to reflect the sensual curves of the famous Seychellois granite rocks. In Corossol restaurant, table lamps are made out of resin, and shaped like a large pebble. The table linen is light grey, the shade of the rocks under the sun. And the glasses have the color of the incredible Seychellois sunsets.