October 22, 2010
What I wanted was a ham. I should have ordered one in the mail, because in this not quite holiday season, a great ham is hard to find. And so, because I’m lazy and a lot of people were coming to dinner, I settled for a filet of beef. (Actually, 3 of them.)
It is (next to ham, which needs nothing more than an oven to warm it up in), the easiest way to feed a crowd. But how to make it special?
I made this sauce – which really adds a wonderful zing of flavor. But I wanted something more. Pawing around in my spice cupboard I found an overlooked jar of truffle salt, and although it was old, I opened it anyway. The flavor literally leaped out of the jar and filled up the kitchen – it was that intense – and so I patted my filet dry (this is important) and sprinkled it liberally all over the filet before browned the meat in the pan. Even two days later I could still detect that wonderful truffle scent in my hair.
You brown a 3 to 3 1/2 pound filet in a pan until all sides have turned a nice brown, then cook it in a 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes (it should be at 120 degrees). Let it rest for at least 15 minutes (you can serve it at room temperature if you like), so it gets to 130 degrees for rare. Slice, inhaling the fine truffle perfume, and serve the rosy beef with this sauce.
Cook ¾ cups of minced shallots in 2 ½ cups of white wine until the wine is reduced to about ½ cup.
Mix a stick of soft, sweet butter with a third cup of mustard. Add to the cooled shallot-wine mixture with a couple tablespoons of cream and a half cup of cornichon pickles that have been thinly sliced into julienne strips.
This will generously feed 6 people
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