Recipes Chapter IV

Chateaubriand Steak

Chateaubriand steak is a recipe of a particular thick cut from the tenderloin, which, according to Larousse Gastronomique, was created by personal chef, Montmireil, for Vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, the author and diplomat who served Napoleon as an ambassador and Louis XVIII as Secretary of State for two years. When prepared properly, it can be among the most flavourful and tender cuts.

At the time of the Vicomte, the steak was cut from the more flavourful but less tender sirloin and served with a reduced sauce made from white wine and shallots moistened with demi-glace and mixed with butter, tarragon, and lemon juice. An alternative spelling of the statesman-author’s name is “Châteaubriant“, and some maintain that the term refers to the quality of the cattle bred around the town of Châteaubriant in the Loire-Atlantique, France.



1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. In an ovenproof, heavy-bottomed frying pan, heat the olive oil over high heat until hot but not smoking.

3. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then brown it in the pan on all sides.

4. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 130°F (for rare), 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven.

5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and tent it with foil.

6. Pour all but a thin film of fat from the pan.

7. Add the shallot and saut it over medium-low heat until golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

8. Add the wine and raise the heat to high, scraping up any brown bits from the pan.

9. When the sauce is syrupy (about 5 minutes), turn off the heat and whisk in the butter.

10. Carve the meat in thick slices and drizzle with the pan sauce.

The story goes that back in the days of Napoleon, Chef Montmireil created a special dish for author and statesman, Francois Chateaubriand. He took a cut of beef from the tenderloin, just down from the filet mignon, coated it in butter, seasoned it with black pepper and grilled it. This cut, now synonymous with the recipe, is a thick steak, large enough to serve at least two people.

To finish off this dish, the meat is sliced into thin strips, topped with a melted butter and parsley mixture and served with Bearnaise sauce. The traditional side dish is chateau potatoes. These small potatoes are roasted in a heavy pan, covered in butter. Not a recipe for the dieter, but well worth the extra calories.

Of course the beef tenderloin steak is one of the more expensive cuts, but if you want to make a meal that is sure to impress, this is a good one to choose. Remember that I said that Chateaubriand is a recipe and not a cut of meat. This recipe has been adapted by a great number of cooks to use almost anything from fish to artichokes. A quick search of the Internet will find you dozens of variations.

Béarnaise Sauce

Béarnaise sauce (French: Sauce béarnaise) [be.aʁnɛz] is a sauce made of clarified butter emulsified in egg yolks and flavored with herbs. It is considered to be a ‘child’ of the mother Hollandaise sauce, one of the five sauces in the French haute cuisine mother sauce repertoire. The difference is only in their flavoring: Béarnaise uses shallot, chervil, peppercorn, and tarragon, while Hollandaise uses lemon juice. Its name is related to the province of Béarn, France.

In appearance it is light yellow and opaque, smooth and creamy.

Béarnaise is a traditional sauce for steak Chateaubriand .

The sauce was likely first created by the chef Collinet, the inventor of puffed potatoes (pommes de terre soufflées), and served at the 1836 opening of Le Pavillon Henri IV, a restaurant at Saint-Germain-en-Laye, not far from Paris. Evidence for this is reinforced by the fact that the restaurant was named for Henry IV of France, a gourmet himself, who was born in the former province of Béarn.

Like Hollandaise sauce, there are several methods for the preparation of Béarnaise sauce. The most common preparation is a bain-marie method where a reduction of vinegar is used to acidify the yolks. Escoffier calls for a reduction of wine, vinegar, shallots, fresh chervil, fresh tarragon and crushed peppercorns (later strained out), with fresh tarragon and chervil to finish instead of lemon juice. Others are similar. Alternatively, the flavorings may be added to a finished Hollandaise (sans lemon juice). Joy of Cooking describes a blender preparation with the same ingredients. A faux Béarnaise can be produced by adding capers and tarragon to a Hollandaise.

A Béarnaise sauce is simply clarified butter, an egg yolk, a shallot, a little tarragon vinegar. It takes years of practice for the result to be perfect.

Derivatives of Béarnaise Sauce

  • Sauce Choron is a variation of béarnaise without tarragon or chervil, plus added tomato purée. It is named after Alexandre Étienne Choron.
  • Sauce Foyot (a.k.a. Valois) is béarnaise with meat glaze (Glace de Viande) added
  • Sauce Colbert is Sauce Foyot with the addition of reduced white wine.
  • Sauce Paloise is a version of béarnaise with mint substituted for tarragon.

Bordelaise Sauce

Bordelaise sauce is a classic French sauce named after the Bordeaux region of France, which is famous for its wine. The sauce is made with dry red wine, bone marrow, butter, shallots and sauce demi-glace. Sauce marchand de vins (“wine-merchant’s sauce”) is a similar designation. Traditionally, bordelaise sauce is served with grilled beef or steak, though it can also be served with other meats that pair well with red wine demi-glace based sauces.

The sauce has appeared on US restaurant menus since 1882, if not earlier.

A Bordelaise sauce in traditional New Orleans cooking is different from the French classical version, although both are available in the city. The basic flavor is garlic rather than red wine and bone marrow. Another sauce called Bordelaise in New Orleans consists of butter, olive oil, chopped shallots, parsley and garlic. This combination is the foundation of the classic escargots bordelaises, a dish that was available in New Orleans restaurants early in the twentieth century. The association of Bordelaise with garlic may have begun with this dish and then shifted to the demi-glace version. A 1904 Creolé recipe calls for garlic and parsley in addition to green onions, red wine, beef marrow and “Spanish sauce“.

Ingrediants :

2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. shallots, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, shredded
2 c. beef broth
1/2 c. sherry
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 lb. fresh button mushrooms, sliced
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1 glass of red wine ( Burgundy )
This classic French sauce is named for the great wine area of Bordeaux and is made with red wine, bone marrow, shallots, pepper and demi-glace. Culinary schools have been teaching their students to make classic sauces like this for years. Now you can prepare your own restaurant quality sauces at home in your own kitchen.


Published on October 19, 2011 at 08:23  Leave a Comment  

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