Tuck the skinny tail end of the beef under the fillet, then secure with kitchen string. Tie the rest of the fillet at 4 cm intervals to create an even shape and width from one end of the fillet to the other. Place in a roasting pan.
Mix pepper, rosemary and thyme and rub all over beef, then top with garlic and bay leaves.
Carefully pour over vino cotto, cover with plastic film and leave in the refrigerator to marinate for a couple of hours or overnight, turning occasionally.
Remove fillet from refrigerator and leave for 1 hour to come to room temperature.
Preheat fan-forced oven to 70°C (158°F).
Remove beef from marinade and pat dry with paper towel, then place in a clean roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 4 hours.
If you wish to sear the beef to give it a caramelised appearance, when you remove the beef from the oven rub it with a little salt, heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over high heat then add beef and seal on all sides quickly until coloured. Remove from pan and leave to rest for 20–30 minutes. The beef will be beautifully pink all the way through.
Cut into thick slices and serve.