ROSSINI’S TOURNEDOS (beef fillet with foie gras and truffle)


This recipe is like the person whose name it bears, Gioacchino Rossini, the famous composer: exuberant, robust and extremely vital.
Rossini had a real passion for good food and this famous dish became part of the greatest recipe books of French cuisine such as those of Escoffier or Pellapart. Its name “tournedos” means “to turn one’s face” because it seems that Rossini’s butler always prepared it from behind, with his back to the guests, so that no one could discover the finish of the dish.
I am personally fond of this recipe because Stefano’s mother made it, with some variations, but it is she who made me discover it. And I dedicate this recipe to Paola, a wonderful person.
The recipe requires some care but is not in itself particularly complicated. The result is so amazing and tasty that you won’t believe it either… The doses indicated below are for 4 people


  • 450g approximately 4 slices of good quality beef fillet, cut quite thick
  • 300 g of baby spinach (fresh baby spinach)
  • 150 g/4 slices of foie gras
  • 100g of Marsala
  • 70 g of water
  • 2 g of corn starch (maizena)
  • truffle flakes (also found in jars in oil)
  • Butter (in total about 30 g)
  • 4 slices of homemade bread
  • oil, salt and pepper, garlic and chilli pepper to taste.

Cut the foie gras into slices and place them in the freezer for 15-20 minutes or in the fridge for at least half an hour to compact them. Then brown them in a hot non-stick pan (use a pan large enough to contain the fillets) for about half a minute on each side. Finally, set them aside and keep them warm in the oven at 50°C until ready to serve.

Tie the fillets with kitchen string to compact them and make them take on a rounded shape, this will help ensure uniform cooking and not lose their shape.

Clean the pan by removing the residual fat with a paper towel and put 20 g of butter in the pan and cook the fillets for about 3 and a half minutes, then turn them over and finish cooking for another three minutes (they should remain pink/red inside).

Salt and pepper the fillets on both sides and place them on a wire rack to let the meat drain a little and cover them with aluminum foil for 5 minutes.

Remove the fat from the pan again with paper towels, leaving only traces of the cooking/browning of the meat. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with corn starch and toast it on the heat for 1 minute,

Finally add 10 g of butter and mix well. Still keeping it on a low heat, add the Marsala and the water, mix for a minute and then turn off the heat. Filter the sauce obtained and keep it warm.

Take the slices of bread and remove the crust with the knife, toast them lightly in the pan or in the toaster. Finally, sauté the spinach in a pan with a little oil, garlic and chilli pepper for a few minutes and add salt at the end.

Assembly: place a spoonful of spinach on the bottom of the plates, place on top the slice of toasted bread, the fillet from which you have removed the string, the slice of foie gras and a few flakes of truffle. Complete with the sauce and serve immediately.


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