Sunday, March 18, 2012

Filet de Boeuf a la Russe

This is from Boulestin's Recipes of Boulestin, and was probably first published in his Simple French Cooking for English Homes in 1923. An Anglophile, Boulestin (1878-1943) moved in literary and theatrical circles in Paris before heading to London in 1906 where he set up interior-design shops, wrote articles and cookbooks, and opened the Restaurant Francais in 1925 and the Restaurant Boulestin, reputedly the most expensive place in town, in 1927.

I've never made this dish with beef fillet, using rump instead, slicing it into thin strips rather than matchsticks and simmering it gently in the sauce for 30 minutes.

500 g beef fillet
30g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 breakfast cup cream
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tbsp meat stock
lemon juice

Trim the fat from the beef and slice into matchsticks about 5cm long. Heat butter in a pan until foaming, add the pieces of beef and saute them well, and season with salt and pepper. Remove and keep warm.

In a small pan, gently cook the onion in butter until soft but not browned. Add the cream, tomato puree, meat stock, lemon juice, a pinch of paprika, salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes until reduced.

Pour the sauce through a fine strainer over the beef, and bind with a small piece of butter. Serve with saute potatoes.

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