With my birthday fast approaching I was perusing the aisles of Waitrose looking for a delicious dinner to enjoy with me and the Significant Other. I happened to notice a selection of fresh meats on top of the butchery counter, apparently reduced and amongst the little bags of Calves Livers and other selected offal I noticed a 255g package of Cahteaubriand priced at £3.22. I knew that Cahteaubriand was almost a type of fillet cut and that was about it so I grabbed it and made my way to the checkouts before anyone realised the low low price of this sought after cut.
What I proceeded to make for dinner on my birthday night was an absolute luxurious joy to eat; Chateubriand with gratin potato Dauphonise, baby Carrots, tenderstem vegetables and sautéed Cavolo Nero.
The gratin potato Dauphinoise recipe was taken from Sophie Grigson’s The First-time Cook and is our favourite recipe for making this creamy rich dish. Our secret is to use the mandolin on the thinnest setting for the potato and onions and be generous on the garlic and seasoning.
For the Cahteaubriand joint I sealed the outside in a hot pan of oil and butter (oil for heat, butter for flavour) and then popped into a hot oven (180 C) for thirty minutes. In the pan juices I gently cooked the carrots while gently sautéing the Cavolo Nero in a wok with some smoked rapeseed oil and plenty of seasoning.
The tenderstem vegetables were steamed for a few minutes before playing.
The trickiest part was making a traditional chateurbiand sauce, usually made with Shallots, Garlic, Mushrooms, Bay Leaf, Thyme and a Demi-glacé. In essence a Chateaubriand sauce is just a combination of reductions, however to speed things up a bit (and because I don’t have a readily available supply of calf and cow bones) I bought an already reduced beef stock and used this as my base. Flash frying the shallots gives a lovely deep and intense flavour combined with the seasoning and then deglazed with white wine and finally glazed with butter. This sauce too an hour to reduce right down to a delicious thick sauce with a rich sheen.
This extravegant dish was washed down with a bottle of Lansons Black Label Brut and finished with a delicious Cheese platter of various cheeses including a matured goats cheese, homemade chutney and Ale biscuits (all received as gifts).