Monday, January 9, 2012

Tournedos Rossini

(Fillet Mignon with Foie Gras and Truffles)

Luxurious yes, but New Year’s Eve comes but once a year. And what a way for a small group of people to celebrate! Quick and easy to prepare, but as impressive as it gets.
Tournedos are exactly 2¼ inches in diameter and exactly one inch thick and weigh 3½ to 4 oz each.
Ask your butcher to prepare them or buy a filet from the end or tail of a small filet (or the slices will be too) and do it your self by following these instructions:
Remove the band of meat that runs along the fillet (reserve for some other use.) Slide a sharp knife blade under the fine nerve membrane covering the meat and remove layer by layer. Trim the bottom of the fillet.  Divide into one inch slices. Tie butcher’s thread around the one inch sides to keep them in compacted rounds. 
(This recipe is one of the ones I have followed from the book described below: La Bonne Cuisine de Madam Saint Ange).

6 tournedos each one inch thick.
2 tablespoons of oil (not olive)
4 tablespoons of butter
6 croutons (slices of stale bread, just slightly bigger than the steaks – cut with a cookie cutter or a glass).
6 slices of fresh foie gras dredged in flour
1 can of truffles cut into slices you want between 1 and 4 slices per person) and the juice reserved for the sauce
7 tablespoons of Madeira
3 tablespoons of white wine
½ of veal stock
1 tablespoon of meat glaze dissolves in a tablespoon of boiling water
1 teaspoon of arrowroot

Sauté the tournedos by heating the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter until a light smoke comes off of it. Lightly season each tournedo with salt and pepper and place in the hot pan. Maintain a strong heat to brown the meat. Turn after 4 minutes and allow to brown on the second side for an additional four minutes. A total of eight minutes for rare, 9 for medium and 10 for well done. Immediately take them out of the sauté pan and keep them between two plates while you quickly prepare the rest. In another sauté pan heat 2 tablespoons of butter and brown the foie gras. Fry the croutons in butter and then arrange them on the serving platter. Brush with meat glaze – which forms a barrier that prevents the toast from becoming soggy. Remove the string from the tournedos and place on the croutons. Keep warm (in a very low oven (150F). Drain the grease from the pan in which you cooked the tournedos. Pour in the Madeira to dissolve the juice that is caramelized. Allow to reduce and add the veal stock and any juice from the truffles. Boil rapidly. Thicken with arrowroot mixed with a tablespoon of the a\sauce. Off the heat add the remaining butter. Take the platter from the oven. Place foie gras on each tournedo, top with truffles and a spoon full of sauce. Serve on hot plates with extra sauce on the side.

Wine Suggestions

Présidial, Bordeaux 2009 – 100% Merlot, blackberry with some mineral and floral character. Medium-bodied, with fine tannins and a clean, fresh finish. $18.99 @ Pine Plains Fine Wines – discount on quantity
Chateau Lilian Ladouys St. Estephe – Very, very pure with plum, currant and light spices. Full-bodied, with racy, refined tannins and a long, caressing finish. $14.99 @ Arlington Wine & Liquor
Bourgogne Pinot Noir Laforet 2009, Joseph Drouhin – « the hue has usually a brilliant ruby-garnet color. The nose offers effusive aromas of crushed berries. On the palate, the wine is full of charm and very pleasant to drink : fresh and fruity - $14.99@ Arlington Wine & Liquor.
Henri Gouges Nuits St. Georges Porrets  – The red fruit flavors show an almost jammy character, but this rich, lush wine boasts more density and structure.  Exceptionally priced for the holidays at $49.99 instead of $69.99 @ Arlington Wine & Liquor

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