Restaurant Arzak, San Sebastián (Spanien)
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Following the gala concert you are invited to an exquisite gala dinner, perfectly in keeping with the gourmet – and indeed also the gourmand – Rossini. The Basque restaurant Arzak, considered one of the 10 best culinary establishments in the world and equipped with 3 Michelin stars, will render justice to the bodily demands of the great Maestro. It will be cooked by Elena Arzak, recently voted “best female chef of the year”. For all those who cannot wait, here are some of the ingredients of a Tournedos Rossini: 2 fillet steaks of beef (tournedos) about 4 cm thick, a few rashers of bacon, 1 fresh artichoke, 3 shallots, ½ clove of garlic, 2 slices of foie gras, 30 g of sweet cream butter, 10 g white Alba truffles, a sprig of rosemary and a bay leaf, olive oil, 1 cup of Madeira, 1 dessertspoonful of cornflour, 6 flakes of ice-cold sweet cream butter, salt and pepper.
It’s said that the greatest honour that can be awarded to a piece of beef is to transform it into a Tournedos Rossini – the most renowned dish of all those with the attribute “à la Rossini”. Rossini lived in Paris from 1829, where many anecdotes about the description of this popular kind of steak with truffles and foie gras come from. One of them, allegedly invented by Rossini himself, relates that he asked the chef to prepare the dish for his friends directly in front of them on the table. When the chef refused to cook in public, Rossini apparently told him simply to turn his back on them, “tournez le dos”.
Recipe for 4 persons: bring 2 dessertspoonfuls of truffle juice and ⅛ litre of Madeira to the boil in a little pan until the quantity has reduced to 4 dessertspoonfuls. Add ¼ litre of veal stock and stir for 2–3 minutes on a medium heat. Remove the pan from the stove and keep it warm. Fry four slices of white bread in 3 dessertspoonfuls of clarified butter. Season the beef fillet steaks with salt and pepper, place them with 3 dessertspoonfuls of clarified butter in a pan over a high heat and fry them on each side for about 3–4 minutes. In the classic form they should remain tender in the middle. Place the steaks on the fried white bread and garnish with a slice of foie gras and grated truffle. Pour the fat out of the pan, add 4 dessertspoonfuls of Madeira, stir in the meat juices and warm everything up briefly. Pour the sauce through a fine sieve, fold in little flakes of butter, taste to check the seasoning, pour over the Tournedos and serve immediately. But don‘t forget the artichoke!
Detail from the illustration Rossinissimo, © Jens Rassmus
After doing nothing, I know of no more delightful occupation than eating, to eat properly that is. Appetite is for the stomach what love is for the heart.
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