Kate Heyhoe

Kate's Global Kitchen

by Kate Heyhoe


Chateaubriand Clarified

I recently received this email from a reader in New Malden Surrey, England:

Please could you email me a recipe for Chateaubriand. I have been unable to find this anywhere. I have eaten it a few times in restaurants, and would like to cook it myself.


Dear Ann,

You may have trouble finding it because Chateaubriand is sometimes considered a cut of meat, specifically a thick steak cut from the center of the tenderloin. Steak But in fact, Chateaubriand is a real recipe, named after Francois Chateaubriand, a 19th century French statesman, created by his chef, Montmireil. Some folks claim that the name also reflects the quality of cattle raised in the town of Chateaubriand in the Loire-Atlantique.

In the Chateaubriand recipe, the steak, about 1-1/4-inches thick, is simply brushed with oil, sprinkled with pepper, then grilled or broiled until seared on the outside but rare in the interior. It is typically served topped with a Bearnaise Sauce, and sometimes accompanied by roasted potatoes. It's a classic dish, full of flavor, and yet very easy to make. I've included my version of the classic Bearnaise sauce (you'll need to provide the steaks!). Hope you enjoy it.

Kate Heyhoe


Bearnaise Sauce for Chateaubriand

1 tablespoon chopped shallots
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chervil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
3 tablespoons wine vinegar
dash salt
dash pepper
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Place the shallots, chervil, tarragon, wine vinegar, salt and pepper in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until reduced by two-thirds. Let the mixture cool slightly, then place the pan over, not in hot water (a double boiler works well for this). Whisk in the egg yolks and water, making sure the yolks don't curdle. When the sauce begins to thicken, whisk in the butter, a piece at a time, until thick and smooth. Stir in the lemon juice and adjust the seasonings. Adding a bit more chervil and tarragon right before serving refreshes the flavors. The sauce should be kept warm until serving as it does not reheat well.

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This page originally published as a Global Gourmet Today column in 1998.

Copyright © 2007, Kate Heyhoe. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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