Tournedos Henri IV

"New from the Kitchen"
Recipe of the Month - February 2009

Entrees: Tournedos Henri IV
Serves: 4

This is a classic French dish of filet of beef with bearnaise sauce known as "Tournedos Henri IV". It was first prepared at the La Pavillon Henri IV near Paris in the 1830s in honor of the beloved king of France who ruled from 1589-1610 and was a noted gourmet. The most time consuming part of the recipe is the preparation of the bearnaise sauce which can take 20 to 25 minutes.

Serve with fresh green vegetable (asparagus) and potatoes, typically a stack of thick french fries called Pommes de Pont Nuef (the bridge where Henri's statue is in Paris).

Ingredients for the bearnaise sauce
1/2 cup tarragon vinegar
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
3 egg yolks
8 tablespoons butter

In a small sauce pan, combine vinegar, wine, shallots and tarragon leaves. Over medium heat, bring to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered until the liquid reduces to 1/3 cup, about 8-10 minutes.

Strain the mixture into top of a double boiler, discarding shallots and tarragon leaves. With a wire wisk, beat egg yolks into the liquid. Cook over hot not boiling water, beating constantly until the mixture becomes as thick as mayonnaise. Beat in butter 1 tablespoon at at time, beating well after each addition to melt.

Ingredients for the tournedos
4 1 & 1/2 inch quality filets of beef
4 artichoke bottoms
2 tablespoons butter salt and pepper to taste

Pat dry the filets, brush with melted butter and lightly salt and pepper both sides.
Cook on medium hot grill for 7 minutes on one side and 8 minutes on the other for medium rare.
Meanwhile, saute artichoke bottoms in a tablespoon butter until lightly browned on edges and warmed through.
Place an artichoke bottom on each filet and fill the cup of the artichoke with bearnaise sauce.