When I buy a slab of pricey beef tenderloin, my thoughts go to roasting or grilling the tender roast. But this week, for our French Fridays featured recipe, Dorie Greenspan has us poaching our meat. Poaching, you say? Poaching on a string??? Yes, Boeuf à la Ficelle translates to beef on a string as our tied tenderloin has a tail of string which makes for easy removal from the veggie and herb infused bouillon in which it’s poached. And this fancy pants beef was what Dorie served as her New Year’s Eve entree each year.
Bill gave this Boeuf à la Ficelle rave reviews, and I must admit the house smelled incredible after the process of making the beef bouillon with marrow and ox-tail bones. The poaching resulted in a gray mass of meat, but quite rare in the center. Dorie suggests pouring hot broth over the meat if it’s too rare for your liking. I took her advice as the hubby likes his beef just short of mooing…and I’m more of a medium rare gal. The veggies were incredibly tasty, but the tenderloin slices were a bit bland despite their flavorful poaching medium. A sprinkle of fleur de sel and a bit of the recommended Dijon mustard and fresh horseradish accompaniments were enough to change my tune…I agreed with Bill. It was marvelous. And he even took a bite of some celery root and proclaimed it “not bad.” But I can’t help thinking how much easier it would be to cover a tenderloin in bacon and pop it in a hot oven for 25 minutes instead.
This recipe can be viewed in full on the Splendid Table website.