Chef Otto Bismarck had a knack for assembling dishes that were both traditional and modern—familiar, and yet exotic.
From the pages of United States Lines' 1967 recipe book, The Captain's Table, here are the instructions for his Roast Filet Beef du Barry, along with its signature sauce, called Sauce Mornay.
"Wipe a filet of beef with a damp cloth. Trim it neatly, remove all the connective tissue, and have it larded with narrow strips of larding pork. Roast the filet in a very hot oven (450° F) for 8 minutes to the pound, basting it frequently with hot beef stock for the first 15 minutes and then with pan juices, until it is done. Remove the filet to a heatproof platter. Surround the meat with bouquets of cooked cauliflowerets. Coat the flowerets with Sauce Mornay (see recipe) and sprinkle the sauce with grated cheese. Put the platter in a very hot oven (450° F) until the sauce is browned and bubbling. A 5-pound filet serves 10 to 12.
Sauté 2 tablespoons finely minced onion in 4 tablespoons butter until it is golden. Stir in 4 tablespoons flour and gradually add 3 cups milk, heated just to the boiling point. Cook the sauce, stirring constantly, until it is smooth.
Sauté 1/4 pound (1/2 cup) finely chopped or ground veal in 2 tablespoons butter over very ground veal in 2 tablespoons butter over very low heat. Season the veal with 1/4 teaspoon salt, a sprig of thyme or a tiny pinch of thyme leaves (powered thyme will discolor the sauce) and a pinch each of white pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Cook the veal for 5 minutes, stirring it to prevent browning. Stir the veal into the sauce.
Cook the sauce in the top of a double boiler over hot water for 1 hour, stirring it from time to time. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve. There should be 2 cups. Mix 3 egg yolks, lightly beaten, with 1/2 cup hot light cream and combine with the 2 cups sauce. Cook the sauce, stirring constantly, until it just comes to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons each of butter and grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese. Makes 2 1/2 cups sauce.
A scanned page from The Captain's Table, donated by Kingston Winget.
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