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Fillet of Beef in Puff Pastry with Sauce Béarnaise
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Top each tournedos with mushroom purée.
Brush edges of the pastry with eggwash.
Fold the pastry around the tournedos, shaping it to the contours of the meat.
Trim away excess pastry.
The completed tournedos ready for glazing with eggwash.

Fillet of Beef in Puff Pastry with Sauce Béarnaise

Serves 6

A classic, elegant entrée for a formal dinner party, this is a variation on Beef Wellington. There’s something very adventurous about giving each guest their own package which remains a mystery until they open it right on their plate. Because most of the preparation can be done early in the day, you will be able to spend more time with your guests and less in the kitchen.

Ingredients
  • 6 tournedos, 6 ounces each (fillet steaks, 1-1/2 inches thick)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 pound mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds Puff Pastry
  • 1 egg with 1 tablespoon of water, lightly beaten, for egg wash
  • 1 recipe sauce béarnaise

Sauce Béarnaise:

  • 2 medium shallots, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 pound unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh tarragon
Method
  1. In a large skillet, over high heat, sauté tournedos in 3 tablespoons butter for 30 seconds on each side. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. In the same skillet, with the remaining 3 tablespoons butter, cook shallots and mushrooms until all liquid evaporates. Add cream, salt, and pepper. Reduce over moderate heat to a thick purée. Cool.
  3. Preheat oven to 450° F.
  4. Divide pastry into 6 portions. On a lightly floured board, roll out each portion to a rectangle approximately 6 x 12-inches and 1/4-inch thick. Place each tournedos on one side of a pastry rectangle, leaving enough room to fold over.
  5. Top each tournedos with mushroom purée. Brush edges of the pastry with egg wash and then fold it over and shape it to the contours of the meat. Cut away excess pastry and decorate as desired. The recipe can be prepared ahead to this point.
  6. Glaze the tops of the pastry with egg wash.
  7. Bake the tournedos 15 to 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.
While tournedos are baking, make the sauce béarnaise:
  1. In a small saucepan, combine the shallots, pepper, white wine, and vinegar. Reduce over medium heat until 2 tablespoon liquid remains.
  2. In a heat-resistant mixing bowl, combine the egg yolks, water, salt, and shallot mixture. Whip over hot, but not boiling, water until thick and creamy.
  3. Slowly whisk in the melted butter, a few drops at a time, until the sauce begins to emulsify. In a slow stream, whisk in the remaining butter until it is completely incorporated.
  4. Whisk in the tarragon. Correct seasoning to taste.
Presentation

Arrange each tournedo on a heated plate and garnish with watercress. Nap the sauce béarnaise around the tournedo.

Wine Recommendation:

A Gevrey-Chambertin, Chambolle-Musigny, or Vosne Romanee all offer the great depth and flavor of Burgundy, essential qualities to partner a classic dish like this beef. If you would like a less expensive wine, then a Californian Pinot Noir, like Chalone or Etude would be a good choice.
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