I love old-school recipes like this. Sure, they might have fallen out of favor, in today’s cooking landscape more often obsessed with kale and whether or not something might contain wheat gluten.
But there’s a certain American optimism to this kind of over-the-top stacking of luxurious ingredients that I really enjoy, evocative of a restaurant meal you might have eaten at a vacation resort in the Catskills in the 1960s, where you might glimpse a watermelon-carrying girl’s voyage of self-discovery following a series of dalliances with the hotel’s working-class hotel entertainment staff.
After all, if an almost fork-tender, perfectly medium-rare chateaubriand (which is essentially a roast-sized filet mignon) is good, then stuffing it with steamed Maine lobster tails and bacon must be even better. And if a lobster-stuffed gigantic filet mignon is good, then covering it in a sauce made from butter and egg yolks must be even better than that.
When our friends at Omaha Steaks sent us this gorgeous two-pound Chateaubriand to experiment with, we knew that such a decadent cut deserved the royal treatment. It makes the perfect cap for a season of overindulgence, and virtually guarantees a restful late-afternoon New Year’s Day nap. Enjoy, and welcome to 2014!
For the roast:
- 1 1-1/4 pound Maine lobster, steamed and picked, with meat left whole
- 3 strips bacon, chopped
- 1/2 a medium-sized shallot, chopped
- 1/2 rib of celery, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 green onion, sliced
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 center-cut beef tenderloin, about 2 pounds, trimmed
For the Bearnaise sauce:
- 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
- 1/3 cup dry white wine
- 1 medium shallot, sliced
- 5 fresh tarragon sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped (about 1 tablespoon), stems reserved
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces, at room temperature
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the roast:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook bacon, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to paper towels to drain using a slotted spoon. Add the shallots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms and a pinch each of salt and pepper, and cook until the mushrooms give off their liquid, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the green onions and stir. Add the wine, increase the heat, and cook until it has nearly all evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the parsley and stir. Remove from the heat, stir in the cooked bacon, and let cool.
- Butterfly the beef roast by slicing about 3/4 of the way through, taking car not to slice all the way through the roast. Spread the butterflied beef, cut side up, flat on a surface.
- Spread the bacon-vegetable mixture in a line across the meat. Lay the cooked lobster meat on top of the mixture. Roll the roast up like a giant jelly roll, and tie with kitchen twine every inch.
- Rub the roast all over with olive oil, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in a heavy cast iron skillet or roasting pan and sear on all sides, about six minutes total. Place in the oven and roast to desired temperature, about 20 minutes for medium-rare.
- Transfer to a cutting board. Tent and let rest for 10 minutes before carving. Remove the kitchen twine and slice thickly. Place on a platter, and drizzle with the Bearnaise Sauce. Serve immediately with asparagus and roasted fingerling potatoes.
For the Bearnaise sauce:
- In a small saucepan, bring two inches of water to a simmer. Reduce heat to keep from boiling.
- In a small skillet over medium heat, combine vinegar, wine, shallots, tarragon stems, and peppercorns. Bring to a simmer and cook until almost all liqiud has evaporated, leaving about two tablespoons. Pour through a strainer (or just pour carefully) into a heatproof bowl large enough to cover the mouth of the saucepan, as in a double boiler.
- Add the egg yolks to the vinegar mixture and whisk to combine. Set the vinegar-yolk mixture over the simmering water and cook, whisking constantly, until the yolks thicken, about 3 minutes. Check the water often; if it boils, it will get too hot and cook the egg yolks.
- Whisk in the butter pieces one at a time, making sure each piece is melted before adding the next, until all of the butter has been added, about 2 minutes total. Remove the sauce from heat. Whisk in the chopped tarragon leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Disclosure: Omaha Steaks provided the product for this recipe, but is not otherwise responsible for the content. All opinions are our own.