Where’s the Beef? Chateaubriand Steak
Quote for Today: Waiter: How would you like your steaks cooked? Pepper: Oh, just knock its horns off, wipe its nasty ass, and chunk it right here on this plate. Woody Harrelson “The Cowboy Way” (1994)
Barrel Cut of Filet Mignon
Today in Food History…
Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand
On September 4th, 1768 Francois-Rene de Chateaubriand was born. Living in a very volatile time in the history of France, especially for an aristocrat, Francois-Rene had his share of ups and downs including two terms of exile, one in America which inspired his first writings and the other in England living in extreme poverty. As a young man he was torn between the military and becoming a priest. How ironic it is that he became the founder of romanticism in French literature.
HOME OF CHATEAUBRIAND – LA VALLÉE-AUX-LOUPS
During one of his prosperous periods his household Chef Montmireil created a beef dish in his honor. Even though it is not a mainstay on menus anymore, Chateaubriand is not that difficult to make at home. Here is the recipe that I prefer, but if you asked ten different chefs their recipe, you are likely to get ten different answers.
1-Center cut beef Tenderloin (approximately 1-1/4 lb)
2+1 tbsp Butter
2 tbsp Olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1 Shallot, finely chopped
½ cup White wine
1 sprig Thyme
½ cup Beef broth
1 Bay leaf
1 tbsp Tarragon, fresh chopped
1 tbsp Corn starch
2 tbsp Water
1) Preheat oven to 375°
2) Melt 2 tbsp butter and oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
3) Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper and brown well on all sides.
4) Place tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan and pop it in the oven.
5) Roast approximately 15 minutes for medium rare, 20 minutes for medium.
6) Transfer Tenderloin to a serving platter and cover loosely with aluminum foil and allow resting for 15 minutes.
7) While beef is resting sauté shallots until softened in the beef dripping over medium high heat.
8) Add white wine, bay leaf, and thyme sprig, bring to a boil and reduce by half while scraping up the brown bits on the bottom of the pan with a spatula.
9) Add beef stock and continue to boil, reducing slightly.
10) Combine corn starch and water and add to sauce.
11) Bring back to a boil, stirring frequently.
12) When sauce reaches desired consistency remove from heat and discard bay leaf and thyme sprig.
13) Add Tarragon, then whisk in remaining butter.
To Serve: After beef has rested, place on cutting board and slice against the grain into desired slices. Fan beef out, slightly overlapping, onto two serving plates. To complete dish, top beef with white wine and shallot sauce. A traditional accompaniment is Chateau Potatoes. However, everything from Potatoes Anna to simple baked potatoes works well. Chef TJ
Chef TJ & CJ
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