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Posts tagged ‘filet mignon’

Saucy Series, Part VII: Sauce Béarnaise

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Béarnaise

One of the most ostentatious parties of the 19th century was the Bradley-Martin Ball. It was noted that some the costumes cost more than a worker made in their lives (although Mrs. Martin noted that she arranged the party on short notice, so costumes would be made in New York and not Europe so as to employ out-of-work garment workers). Clergy gave sermons about the excesses causing some guests to bow out.

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The menu was elegant and had Filet de Boeuf Jardinière as one of its show-stopping dishes. It was a huge favorite during the gilded age and meant to impress. Aside from beef and vegetables, it always had a sauce Béarnaise to spoon over the delicious beef.

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Ah Béarnaise sauce –– as part of my sauce series, Béarnaise is one of Escoffier’s mother sauces (that I wrote about HERE). History says the sauce was probably invented by Chef Collinet, for his restaurant Le Pavillon Henri IV (opened in 1836). Henri IV was from Béarn. It is essentially a hollandaise with shallots and tarragon that uses wine vinegar instead of lemon. It is fabulous with both beef and vegetables… if you add a bit of meat glaze to the sauce it becomes Sauce Foyot, very delicious with your beef. It’s also a breeze to make.

Although you can make the whole tenderloin, I decided that I would do little filets in the style and make cabbage cups of Béarnaise with the vegetables strewn about under the sauce. You can do an old style garnish if you wish ––cauliflower encased in gelée. It’s fun and delicious.

It doesn’t get better than this. Honestly, it can be ready in ½ an hour (if you don’t get fancy with the gelée).

19th century beef was much leaner than ours, so had to be larded. Not a problem today. I used D’Artagnan’s pasture-raised filet mignon –– a magnificent piece of meat. It has a buttery, cut-with-a-spoon texture and rich, deep flavor. Party like a plutocrat, you won’t be disappointed.

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Filet Mignon a la Jardiniére

serves 4

4 D’Artagnan’s pasture-raised filet mignon (6-8 oz each)
salt and course ground pepper to taste
2 T butter (or a bit of lard or bacon fat for the flavor of the original larding)
4 T demi-glace
4 t madeira
1 c cooked peas
1 c cooked green beans
2 cooked carrots, sliced into thin sticks
1 cup cooked cauliflower (plus another cup if you want to make the gelée)
4 small cooked onions
4 – 8 leaves of cooked cabbage cut to make small cups
*cauliflower in gelée garnish (optional)

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After cooking them, keep the vegetables warm.

Put the butter (or lard) in a hot pan (preferably cast iron). Salt and pepper the meat. Brown on top and bottom and on the sides, if the meat is very thick. It will be rare when you are done with this. Cook a few minutes longer if you want it medium-rare. Tent and let rest for 5 minutes. Warm the demi-glace and madeira and pour over the meat.

Place the vegetables on the plate and put the cabbage leaf like a cup. Add some Béarnaise to the cup, place the cauliflower gelée and the meat.

Béarnaise Sauce

8 T butter
2 egg yolks
1 shallot, minced
pinch of nutmeg
1 – 2 t chopped fresh tarragon
1/4 c white wine vinegar (tarragon vinegar if you have it) plus 1-2 T
salt and pepper

Put the shallots in a heavy pan if you have it with 1/4 c vinegar and a pinch of pepper and reduce till nearly dry. Let cool.

Add the egg yolks, stirring to blend and put on low heat. Add a few tablespoons of butter and stir to dissolve, removing from the heat from time to time and continue adding butter till all of it is used up. Never let it get too hot or it will separate. Just enough to melt the butter. Add the remaining vinegar to taste and salt and pepper and the chopped tarragon.

You can add a bit of the meat glaze from the beef when you have finished cooking it if you would like. Keep warm. If you need to reheat it, do it gently, it will separate if it gets too hot.

Gelée

3 cups stock
3 envelopes gelatin
2 egg whites and shells, crushed
3 T tomato, chopped
dark green top of 1 leek, chopped
1 sprigs parsley
1/3 c chopped celery leaves
a few slices of carrot
salt and pepper to taste

Put 1 cup of stock in a pot. Add 3 envelopes of gelatin to the stock and let sit for 2 to 3 minutes.

Stir in the rest of the solids and egg whites and shells and add the stock. Bring to a heavy boil then immediately turn down to a low simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through double thickness of WET cheesecloth… DO NOT PRESS ON SOLIDS!!!! Let it drip slowly and you will have perfectly clear, golden stock. You can make it before you need it and refrigerate, just warm it to return it to a liquid state. It freezes beautifully

Put thin slices of cooked cauliflower in a dish of choice and pour the warm gelée over it. refrigerate and serve as a garnish. It is very forgiving. If you don’t like the way it looks in the gelée, just warm and start over.

Tournedos Rossini, A Legendary Recipe

The origins of this dish can be traced back to the relationship between legendary chef Marie-Antoine Carême and the composer Rossini, a known gourmand. Evidently Rossini insisted on the dish being prepared tableside so he could micromanage its creation, and when the chef objected to the interference, Rossini said, “So, turn your back.”  Whether that is true or not, this recipe bears his name, and it is as decadent, rich and satisfying today as it was when Rossini demanded it his way. Though it’s fairly easy to make, the ingredients are luxurious enough to make this a special-occasion meal. tournedos rossini1 INGREDIENTS

 PREPARATION 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter 2 large ramekins. Cover the bottom of each ramekin with potato slices, brush with softened truffle butter and add another layer of potato. Repeat until all potatoes are used. Weigh down each potato cake with a smaller ramekin, then bake in the oven until edges are crisp and the center is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Using an offset spatula, remove potato cakes to paper toweling. 2. In a small bowl, combine the demi-glace, truffle juice and chopped truffles, set aside. 3. Season filets with salt & pepper. In a large skillet over medium heat. Melt the duck fat in a large skillet over medium-high flame. Sear the filets until desired doneness, about 5 minutes each side for medium-rare. Remove to a cutting board to rest, tent with foil to keep warm. 4. Discard all fat from the skillet. While the pan is still hot, add the Madeira, scraping up all the beefy bits on the bottom. Add the demi-glace mixture, cook until reduced, then remove from heat and stir in the truffle butter. Taste for seasoning and add salt & pepper, if necessary. Keep warm. 5. Heat a small, dry skillet over high flame. When hot, sear the foie gras slices until golden brown, about 60 seconds on each side. Remove to paper toweling. 6. On each of two plates, place the potato cake in the center and top with the filet mignon then foie gras. Spoon the sauce over and around. Top with freshly shaved truffle.  

Happy National Filet Mignon Day

Yes, that’s a thing. And August 13 is the day to celebrate the tenderest cut of beef.

Filet Mignon DaySliced from the short end of the tenderloin, this succulent little morsel of beef (filet mignon means “dainty filet” in French) is often the most expensive on restaurant menus.  This cut is commonly used in the classic recipe Steak Tartare, where the buttery texture and delicate flavor of the beef is at its best. With our simple recipes you can enjoy it at home.

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Steak Tartare recipe by Lobel Brothers can be found at dartagnan.com

Another recipe from the old guard is Tournedos Rossini, in which ample amounts of truffle shavings augment the exquisite nature of filet mignon. The slice of seared foie gras doesn’t hurt either. Marie-Antoine Carême is credited with creating this decadent dish for (and under insistent direction of) the composer Rossini, who was one of the great gastronomes in history.

Recipe_Tournedos_Rossini_HomeMedium

Tournedos Rossini recipe at dartagnan.com

If you can find a way to enjoy a filet mignon today, go for it. If that’s not an option, just celebrate with these photos and make a note for next August 13. It’s a great excuse for a little party.

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