In one of my favorite scenes from the 1985 film Fletch, Chevy Chase as, well, Fletch, pays a visit to Gail Stanwyck at the tennis club and orders lunch: “I’ll have a Bloody Mary, a steak sandwich…and a steak sandwich, please.” If it was this truffled filet of beef sandwich? Heck I’d put two of ’em on Mr. Underhill’s bill too!
This is truly the magnum opus of steak sandwiches. A crunchy baguette slathered with truffle butter, then layered with medium-rare prime tenderloin slices, shaved parmesan and peppery baby arugula (followed by a Lipitor chaser!). There’s never a crumb left by my hearty carnivores when I make it.
Ina’s formula for cooking tenderloin is foolproof, and if I can emphasize anything about cooking any type of beef, it’s the importance of letting it rest after it comes off the heat source, so it finishes cooking and re-absorbs the juices. As tempting as it is to immediately cut into a sizzling steak, fight the urge. Patience pays off in a moist, perfectly-cooked piece of meat.
Of course, if you spread truffle butter on a truck tire I’d probably eat it…
Truffled Filet of Beef Sandwiches
Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, Ina Garten
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds fillet of beef, trimmed and tied
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 French baguettes, 18 to 20 inches long
- 3 ounces black truffle butter, at room temperature
- 1 (2-ounce) chunk good Parmesan cheese
- Fresh baby arugula
1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. (Be sure your oven is very clean!)
2. Place the beef on a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Spread the butter all over the beef with your hands. Sprinkle the beef evenly with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper. Roast for exactly 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare.
3. Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 15 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the fillet about 1/4-inch thick.
4. Open the baguettes lengthwise but not all the way through. Spread the bottom halves generously with the truffle butter. Top with a layer of sliced beef and sprinkle it with salt and pepper.
5. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the Parmesan into thin shards and scatter the shards over the sliced beef on each sandwich. Finish with a sprinkling of arugula leaves. Fold the tops of the sandwiches over, cut each baguette diagonally in 3 or 4 sandwiches, and serve right away.