My little brother Sam turned 30 a couple of weeks ago and finally negotiated footy, work and life to make it down for dinner - I had to do something special. He's a meat man so I decided on a Chateau Briand with béarnaise Sauce with tarragon flavoured roast veggies. The Briand is a pan fried and roasted eye fillet which, as long as you get it right, is so tender it melts in your mouth. A very tired Connor (sleepover sans sleep anyone?) suggested that the meat and sauce was so good that we should have had it for dessert (he took that back when dessert was served though). Anyway.. here it is. Delicious and really quite simple.
2 tbsp tarragon vinegar (I couldn't find any so I used white wine vineagar)
50ml white wine
1 tsp peppercorns
1 small banana shallot - finely diced
4 eggs - yolks only
the juice of ¼ lemon
200g/7oz butter - melted
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tbsp chopped tarragon leaves (I used a little more because of the vineagar situation)
2 x 700g chateau briand (eye fillets) - fully trimmed
1 tbsp olive oil
I started by preheating the oven to 200C and crushing some tarragon leaves, salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil in a mortar and pestle until it turned into a fine paste. I rubbed this over the potatoes and carrots and popped into the oven to roast.
Then I started on the béarnaise, I'd heard it was dificult, but I was pleasantly surprised. Put the vinegar, white wine, peppercorns and shallot into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the liquid has reduced by half (this doesn't take long! I almost had a disaster here...). Remove the peppercorns (I did it by hand - there must be a better way...then pour into a medium bowl. Add the egg yolks and whisk well, then add the lemon juice.
Place over a pan of simmering water and whisk together until thickened and light in colour, this takes longer than you might imagine. Once it's light in colour gradually add in the melted butter, whisking constantly.
Season with salt and black pepper and add the chopped tarragon leaves. Turn off the heat and leave the bowl over the pan until ready to use. I left it sitting there for at least half an hour and it was fine.
Season the chateau briand with salt and freshly ground black pepper (I did this while I was doing the veggies for convenience). Heat a large frying pan until hot, add the oil and half the butter then add the beef and seal on each side until browned, adding the rest of the butter as you go, basting the beef with it.
Transfer into a roasting dish and put in the oven and roast for 12 - 15 minutes, (depending how you like your beef).
Remove from the oven, turn over and allow to rest wrapped in foil for at least 15 minutes.
Serve with warm béarnaise, roasted vegetables and lightly steamed green beens. Voila you are in Paris!