Tournedos Rossini

by Doc-G on July 16, 2007

First and foremost, let me please apologise for my recent lack of posts. Work, study and family life have all kept me rather busy of late. If there is indeed anyone still reading this blog, I thank you and thank you again!

This dish, I feel is the perfect way to celebrate the most tender part of beef, the fillet. We had some friends over for lunch recently and it was decided that we would do a ‘French’ meal. This was the perfect opportunity to try something I had wanted to try ‘forever’, Tournedos Rossini. Rossini was an Italian composer, incredibly talented and who had a great love for food. Rumour has it that he only ever cried three times, once upon the reception of his first opera, once when he saw the violinist Paganini play and finally once when on a boat, he saw a truffled turkey fall overboard! During his later years, he spent much of his time in Paris where he befriended culinary supremeo Marie Antoine (Antonin) Carême whose architecturally magnificent culinary feats have put him in the ‘all time culinary hall of fame’.

Tournedos Rossini

As a dish, it brings together some of the most exquisite ingredients known to man: Beef Fillet, Fois Gras and Truffle not to mention that it is served with a sauce made with a beef reduction with Madeira. Whilst each ingredient on its own is justifiably ‘gourmet’, their combination into one dish represents culinary hedonism at its very finest and also stands as testament to the great French cooking establishment of old whose legacy influences all food in Western society as we currently know it.

Recipe: Tournedos Rossini
Serves 4


4 x 150g Beef Fillet steak
4 x 40g slices of Fois Gras
2 Black Truffles finely chopped
1L High Quality Beef or preferably Veal Stock
1/2 cup Madeira
4 x slices bread from a round white loaf about the same size as the steak
Butter for frying bread


1. Put Beef or Veal stock in a saucepan and reduce until sticky and of a thin ‘sauce’ consistency (demi-glace).
3. Fry bread in butter until golden brown
4. Fry Steak in a frying pan until done to you liking (I prefer mine medium-rare)
5. Remove steaks from frying pan to rest in a warm place.
6. In the same pan, sear Fois Gras slices for 40seconds on each side. You will notice as soon as it hits the pan it will start leaking fat. You want to retain as much of this as possible so DO NOT cook for too long!
7. Deglaze pan with Madeira. If you must light it, do so with caution (Foodologist takes no responsibility!). Combine with reduced stock.
8. To serve place fried bread on plate with steak on top. Place slice of Fois Gras on top of steak and spoon over a little chopped truffle and finally a little sauce.

Interestingly, the Escoffier recipe is even more vague than mine and is not listed with great gusto but merely as recipe number 2380:

Season the Tournedos and shallow fry in butter.
Arrange each on a round Crouton of bread fried in clarified butter and coated with a little melted meat glaze. Place a nice slice of foie gras lightly fried in butter on each Tournedos and on this place a nice slice of truffle.
Deglaze the pan with Madeira, add sufficient Sauce Demi-glace finished with truffle essence, pass through a fine strainer and pour over the prepared Tournedos.


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