Friday, February 07, 2014

boeuf à la ficelle AKA Beef on a String

Have you ever found a recipe that you are so excited to try and then you get to the grocery store and discover it is going to cost a whole lot more than you anticipated? Welcome to this week's French Fridays with Dorie! I love a good beef recipe. I tend to lean on the anemic side so red meat is good for me. I know, I know I could eat tofu, prune juice, and spinach to get extra iron but I actually like red meat. I knew this was going to be a spendy recipe because there was the bouillon to make that included oxtail and marrow bones along with extra veggies and spices. Then there was the meat. I asked the guy at the meat counter what cut I should get for a beef tenderloin....that would be filet mignon. Which, at our grocery was on sale for $18.79 a pound. I kind of panicked and got on my phone (isn't it neat that we carry tiny computers with us everywhere?) to check the P's and Q's on the French Fridays site. Cher mentioned using a good stock instead of making the bouillon and as soon as I read that I was less panicked. For the entire meal I spent $30. That is still far more that I would normally pay for a meal at home, however, this meal would have cost several times more in a restaurant.


This recipe called for poaching the meat in the bullion. Once done it was quite rare, which was to be expected. Of course, my hubster is not a fan of rare meat. I am more of a medium girl myself so I poached it longer than the recipe called for. Once we cut it into slices Bobby and Little Man threw their pieces back in the pot to cook even longer. Munchkin loved it though!

Another new part of this was the use of celery root and turnips. I am not sure I have ever actually made turnips before. The grocery clerk checking me out had to ask me what it was so I guess it is not something people make often. The celery root had a very distinctive taste to it that I kind of liked. It was definitely different and one that we all had to get used to.


The string that was wrapped around the meat had a tail that stayed out of the pot. This way you could grab the tail and pull the meat out of the pot once it was done poaching.

I personally liked this a lot! Munchkin liked it as well. I think my hubs and Little Man would be happy for me to not make this again. Of course if we butterflied the tenderloin and threw it on the grill that might be another story! :)

I know there are other cooks out there that loved this as well. Make sure to check out the LYL to see how other cooks around the world did with this recipe this week. If you want to make it it is on page 248 of Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.

15 comments:

  1. Amazing pictures! Love that first! I do think that this dish will be much appreciated by person who is sick but do not want chicken soup! Its very soothing!

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  2. Your photos are so much better than mine! But glad you all enjoyed this, too. I was really surprised how flavorful it was.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

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  3. Oh I didn't make my own bouillon either and yes, this was quite expensive but you are right that in a restaurant it would have been so much more! Glad you enjoyed!

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  4. Wow, you got a beautiful cut of meat! I can't wait to try this.

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  5. This was tasty, I especially liked the veggies cooked
    in the broth. The meat turned out a little too rare for
    us, but it was good and very tender. Your photos
    are really great.

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  6. Great job, Karen. And I think you justify this one the right way. I do the same thing. Even if it's spendy, making it at home is way less than eating the same thing out. Plus you can be proud that you were the one to create all that deliciousness. Glad this was worth it to you. I enjoyed it too.

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  7. I liked this one too, although it was rather exxy. I justify making these dishes the same way - that it would cost me that much for just one serve in a restaurant.

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  8. the poor gal I checked out with was pretty new to produce and kept asking me what things were and she was really befuddled when she saw the celery root - once I identified it, she admitted to ringing it up as a potato all week cuz she was too embarrassed to ask, but apparently I looked non-judgmental? :) ahhh... LOL at least your kiddos enjoyed it! It was nice that you could just put the meat in the broth for longer to enjoy it to your liking!

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  9. This was a very, very good Post, Karen. I think we sometimes forget that, with food being so expensive, a cheaper alternative might get the job done almost as well. Don't get me wrong. I think buying the best available everything is the way to go but food in America now is very, very pricey. It's not going to get better. You young gals on family budgets (like Melissa, my daughter) need to take some shortcuts and I hope you will share those with us. Using your mobile to check the P&Q's, even tho it didn't help, was smart. Also, Dorie has some tasty celery root recipes in AMFT. Introduce your family to those. Bet you'll have some converts. My mom always used turnips in her cooking so I'm a fan. xoxox

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  10. I actually enjoyed this weeks pick…and the meat eaters in my family really loved it! I paid 19.99 a pound…I thought my hubby would have a heart attack on the spot! Nice post, Karen!

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  11. Yeah, I can't remember if I've ever made turnips, either. I think we'd prefer grilled tenderloin as well :)

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  12. Yours looks terrific. Glad you liked it, but sorry your husband and little guy didn't! It was a bit of a pricey dinner- but I have a whole tenderloin so we just cut a few steaks to have in the freezer- makes it seem less painful that way.

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  13. I am also loving your photos- they are gorgeous. And yes, this was a budget buster. I also cut corners on the broth but that was mostly due to time issues.My hubby loves rare meat so he was in his glory since I actually didn't overcook the meat for once. Glad your family enjoyed it and good way to look at it- that it would have cost a fortune in a restaurant. Agreed !!

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  14. Yes, this was a bit pricier than anything we normally make at home - but definitely less than you would pay in a restaurant.

    It looks good! Glad you all enjoyed

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  15. Great photos! Wish I had used a good box stock and saved myself a lot of time and money. This was lovely, and less expensive than in a restaurant, but definitely a special occasion meal!

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