Let's start this off with a bang - the most decadent entree ever created. Tournedos Rossini, filet of beef with seared foie gras and truffle demi glacé. Named for the composer, Gioachino Rossini (Barber of Seville, Otello, William Tell Overture), this gastronomic opera harmonizes perfectly with with Flambeaux Cabernets. The nose of the wine picks up the melody of the truffles. The silky tannins accompany the texture of the foie gras. The acidity of the wine plays a perfect contralto to the luscious fat of the dish.
Four 4-6 oz. filets
Four 2 oz. foie gras lobes, refrigerated
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup brandy
1/2 cup red wine
1 teaspoon herbs du Provence
1/2 cup demi glacé (available frozen or fresh made at specialty food stores)
1 shallot, diced
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
4 black truffles minced (If you are fortunate enough to be able to afford fresh truffles, congratulations Mr. Gates. The rest of us make do with preserved truffles from a jar, available at most specialty food stores for $30-$40)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine wine, Worcestershire sauce and shallots and reduce by half. Add the demi glacé and truffles and herbs du Provence, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally. Continue to simmer over low heat until sauce reaches desired thickness. (Note: thickness of sauce is a matter of personal taste. I like it about the thickness of a cream soup, but it can be as thin as a consommé or as thick as ketchup).
Salt and pepper filets on both sides. Roast the filets to medium rare in a 400 degree oven, usually 15-20 minutes, but for God's sake don't take my word for it. Use a meat thermometer.
While filets are cooking, melt butter in a frying pan over medium high heat. Remove foie gras from the refrigerator. Sear foie gras on both sides. Add brandy and flambé.
Remove foie gras and place on a paper towel. Drain the liquid from the frying pan into the sauce.
Plate the filets with foie gras on top, then generously top with truffle sauce.
Serve with mashed potatoes, haricot vert, and copious amounts of Flambeaux Cabernet.
Timing is crucial. The dish is best if all three elements are warm when plated. If you put the filets in when the sauce is about half way to desired thickness, and sear your foie gras when the filets have five minutes left, you should nail it.
Be careful not to overcook the foie gras. With foie gras, it's better to undercook than overcook. Keeping the foie gras in the fridge until you sear it will allow you to get a full sear on the outside without over cooking the inside.
I like to put a serving spoon of mashed potatoes and the plate underneath the tournedos and place a half dozen haricot vert on either side of the tournedos.
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