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Recipe Review: Ernest Hemingway's Tournedos with Sauce Bearnaise
Hello blog readers! Today we will look at my own cooking as I review a recipe. I believe it is important to learn how to cook properly - sort of like being able to dress oneself or ride a bicycle. The choice is a great lunch item - when one feels like a hamburger but wants something better. The recipe is from ‘The Hemingway Cookbook’ by Chris Boreth (Chicago Review Press,1998) - a cookbook based on the likes of Papa himself - novelist Ernest Hemingway (a friend of Gatsby creator F. Scott Fitzgerald in the 1920s).
So, I will cut to the chase and show you my photograph of the finished meal before I ate it. I cooked this myself in my own kitchen following the recipe I will list here for you. It was great! Very enjoyable indeed!
In the photo the plate is being held in the gloved hand of Spotsworth, my lifelike Madam Tussard-style butler statue - I bought him in Palm Beach at an antique store off Worth Avenue. After seeing a Victoria College ‘Bob’ comedy skit called ‘Spotsworth’ (about a never seen butler who is constantly being summoned) I knew, in between fits of laughter, that I needed my own Spotsworth at home decorating my front hall.
So, without further ado, here is the lunchtime ‘Tournedos with Sauce Bernaise’:
The above photos show one serving. The recipe makes four servings.
For the Beef:
2 Tablespoons butter
4 slices fillet of beef, 3/4 inch thick
4 slices white French bread
For the Béarnaise Sauce
3 egg yolks
1 tablespoon heavy cream
½ teaspoon salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
4 tablespoons butter, in small pieces
1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
1 teaspoon chopped chervil
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a small skillet. Brown the beef slices well on both sides, with the meat rare in the middle (this dish caters to Ernest’s taste for rarely cooked meat; it should never be cooked well done). Cut the bread into large croutons the same size as the tournedos. In a clean pan, sauté the croutons in the remaining tablespoon of butter until they are golden brown. Place one tournedo on each crouton and serve with the béarnaise sauce.
To make the sauce: Bring two inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. Combine the egg yolks, cream, salt, cayenne pepper, and vinegar in the top of the double boiler and whisk together. Place over the bottom half of the double boiler. Whisking constantly, add the butter, a little at a time. Whisk until the butter is melted and the sauce is thickened. Add the herbs. Pour sauce over the tournedos.
Enjoy! Oh, one piece of advice - be careful not to heat the yolks too much during the whisking or they will curdle - easy does it heat-wise.
I hope you enjoy this lunch as much as I did!