Stuffed Filet with Tomato Basil Aurore
Our last post was an entry for The Royal Foodie Joust hosted by Jenn, the Leftover Queen. We got beaten to the punch by a croquette entry, then just when I figured maybe our stuffed croquettes were maybe a bit more of an arancini, another entry featured that. So, great minds think alike, and I figured I'd regroup.
For Memorial Day weekend here in the States, there were wonderful sales on steak, so my reboot of this month's entry is a filet stuffed with rice, roasted tomatoes, herbs, and bacon, with a similar tomato basil aurore sauce (since it was so good from the last post). Oh, and feta. Can't forget the feta.
I roasted some plum tomatoes, like the last post. Cut in half, coated with olive oil, in a 350 degree oven for about an hour.
While the tomatoes roasted, I fried up some bacon, and made some rice with some veal stock instead of water, for a bit of meatiness.
When the tomatoes were done, the skin peeled right off, and I pulled out the seeds.
For the sauce, I minced a large shallot and started sauteing it in olive oil. I minced two of the tomato halves and added it when the shallots had started to brown, caramelizing the tomato just a little. When the tomato was starting to give off a wonderful aroma -- sweet and complex -- I added a cup of whole milk. I whisked in some roux, and thickened the sauce as it simmered.
I added a couple tablespoons of veal-stock rice to a bowl, along with some chopped bacon, some chopped roasted tomato, some fresh chives, and some fresh oregano. A bit of crumbled feta gave everything a little bite.
Meanwhile, I added some white wine (a pinot grigio) to the sauce because it was getting a little thick -- roux can be pretty aggressive in a béchamel.
Time for the steak! I cut a small slit in the side of each fillet, but cut around the inside a lot to make a nice pocket. Think of a jelly doughnut -- a small hole, but a big cavern inside. I filled each steak with a tablespoon or so of the rice-tomato-bacon-herb mixture.
A generous dusting of kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, and they went on the grill.
While the steak grilled, I strained the shallots and tomato chunks out of the sauce -- I wanted a refined taste and texture without the chunks. Except for herbs of course. Some fresh basil, sliced, added taste and a bit of green. Some kosher salt to enhance the flavor, some lemon juice to brighten everything up a bit, and the sauce was ready and kept warm for plating.
Grilled steakk, mmmmm.
Plating was the steak, with some sauce and some more feta and herbs drizzled over the top. Finished with some veggies and rice with herbs as a side.
Deconstruction: I was a little worried about a tomato basil cream sauce over steak, but it worked really nicely. Tomato and beef go well together, and the feta helped bring in dairy, saltiness, and that acid bite. The filling was nice -- a bit of a mix with every slice of steak. Basic is classic with filet mignon, but instead of wrapping the outside, the little hint on the inside mixed with the rice and herbs and tomato acted almost like a condiment -- it enhanced without overpowering.