Filet of Beef Lucien Tendret

Pair with Estate Cabernet Sauvignon

"In my early days as Ridge’s winemaker and board member, I suggested to the founders that we should start a tradition of taking ourselves to the admired Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley for an annual directors’ dinner. Chez Panisse founder Alice Waters later published some of these Ridge dinners in a book of her favorite menus. In celebration of Ridge’s 60th Anniversary, we are revisiting dishes from these storied Chez Panisse dinners for this year’s Holiday Pairing Feast." -Paul Draper, Chairman of the Board

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Yield: 8


Ingredients:

  • 8-pound filet of beef, untrimmed (5 ½ to 6 pounds trimmed)
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • A few sprigs of parsley and thyme
  • ½ cup pistachio nuts, roasted and salted, shelled and skinned
  • ½ cup pitted Niçoise olives
  • 2 or 3 large chanterelles, about 1 ½ cups sliced or 2 ounces dried morel or boletus mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • Optional: 1 or 2 small black truffles
  • About ¾ pound pork fatback, cut into sheets 1/8-inch thick

Directions:

To prepare the meat, have the butcher trim the fat completely from an 8-pound filet of beef. The filet should stand a few hours at room temperature in a marinade of about ½ cup olive oil, 2 cups dry white wine, a few sprigs of parsley, and a few sprigs of thyme. Butterfly the meat lengthwise, cutting just to the center, and spread it flat with the cut part facing up. With the tip of a paring knife, make small incisions and stud the meat liberally with ½ cup pistachios and ½ cup pitted Niçoise olives.

Slice 2 or 3 chanterelles about 1/8 inch thick and sauté them gently for 2 or 3 minutes in 3 tablespoons butter with ½ teaspoon minced garlic. If dried mushrooms are used, soak 2 ounces morels or boletus mushrooms in 1 cup very warm water for about 30 minutes. Strain the liquid through cheesecloth in a fine sieve and discard any tough or sandy parts of the mushrooms. Rinse the mushrooms lightly and pat dry, slice them, and sauté gently in 3 tablespoons butter with ½ teaspoon garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Add about ¼ cup mushroom liquid to the mushrooms. (Add 1 or 2 thinly sliced black truffles if available.)

Spread the mixture over the filet and close the meat together. Fold the thin tail of the filet toward the center of the meat to ensure even cooking, and cover completely with thin sheets of pork fatback. Tie the meat securely.

To cook the meat, prepare a hot mesquite charcoal fire. Spit the meat and roast it in the front of or over the fire with a pan to collect the juices. Baste frequently with the juices. It will take about 25 minutes to cook, or until the internal temperature is about 128°F. When the filet is done, remove it from the spit and let stand for 10 minutes. Skim all the fat but 1 tablespoon from the basting juices. Mix the basting juices with the juices which have collected around the filet. Slice the meat in ½-inch pieces and spoon a little juice over the slices.

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