How To Prepare Chateaubriand Sauce
Chateaubriand sauce is a rich and flavorful sauce that is typically served with beef dishes, although it can also be used to complement other meats. It is named after François-René de Chateaubriand, a French diplomat, and author who is credited with creating the sauce in the early 19th century.
We'll delve into the history of Chateaubriand sauce and explore how it has evolved over the years to become a beloved condiment in French cuisine.
Chateaubriand Sauce History
The origins of chateaubriand sauce can be traced back to the early 1800s when Chateaubriand was serving as the French ambassador to the United States.
It is said that Chateaubriand, who was known for his love of fine food and wine, commissioned his personal chef, Marie-Antoine Carême, to create a new sauce to accompany a particularly tender cut of beef that was named in his honor.
The result was a rich, velvety sauce made with a base of reduced beef broth and butter, and seasoned with shallots, tarragon, and white wine.
Over the years, the recipe for chateaubriand sauce has evolved and been modified by various chefs and culinary experts. Today, it is typically made with a base of demi-glace (a rich brown sauce made from beef or veal stock and red wine) and finished with a generous amount of butter and chopped herbs, such as tarragon, parsley, and chives.
Some versions of the sauce also include a splash of white wine or cognac for added depth of flavor.
One of the key elements of chateaubriand sauce is the use of tarragon, a fragrant herb that imparts a distinctive anise-like flavor to the sauce. Tarragon is native to central Asia and has been cultivated in Europe for centuries, where it is often used in French cuisine to add flavor to sauces, dressings, and marinades.
In addition to its use in chateaubriand sauce, tarragon is also a key ingredient in classic French dishes such as chicken tarragon and tarragon-flavored butter.
In addition to its use in the kitchen, chateaubriand sauce has also made its way into popular culture. It has been featured in numerous books and movies, including the James Bond novel "Casino Royale".
Also, it is in the film adaptation of "Julie & Julia," in which the protagonist, Julia Child, prepares a chateaubriand dish for a group of French dignitaries.
Despite its long history and enduring popularity, chateaubriand sauce remains a somewhat elusive condiment in modern times. It is not as widely available in restaurants or supermarkets as other more common sauces, such as ketchup or mustard.
However, it can be found on the menus of many high-end restaurants and can also be easily made at home with a few simple ingredients.
There is a post for Chateaubriand for Two that I encourage you to check out. This Chateaubriand sauce recipe is so you can serve this wonderful sauce with other cuts of beef or veal.
Chateaubriand Sauce Recipe
- Sauté the shallot in 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium high until translucent.
- Add the white wine and reduce to a syrupy consistency.
- Reduce until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
- Add the thyme, tarragon, salt, pepper and finish with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.