French Chef Eric Masson, who is chef-owner of the Saratoga Lake Inn in Saratoga Springs, New York, prefers to use a bleu d’Auvergne, a mild cow’s milk blue from the Auvergne region of France, for the sauce for these special cuts of beef. Masson notes that not every blue can be made into a sauce; this specific one melts evenly and lends a robust but not overpowering flavor.
The smoky, herbal complexity and prominent acidity of an old-World Syrah will help cut the richness of this Old World dish; recommended wines include Paul Jaboulet Aîné’s Crozes-Hermitage, M. Chapoutier’s and E. Guigal’s Hermitage, and Tenuta Rapitala from Sicily.
For the potatoes
4 Idaho potatoes, peeled and sliced 1/8 inch thick
¼ cup milk
¼ cup heavy cream
Pinch of salt
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
For the beef
4 (8-ounce) tournedos of center-cut beef tenderloin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the green beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ pound haricots verts (green beans)
For the sauce
½ cup heavy cream
¼ pound bleu d’Auvergne, Roquefort, or other blue cheese, cut into cubes
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
To make the potatoes: Layer the sliced potatoes in a shallow 9-inch square baking dish. Pour the milk and cream over them and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the surface. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles and is golden. Remove from the oven and keep warm until ready to serve.
To cook the beef: Preheat the broiler or a gas grill to high. Season each tournedo with salt and pepper and place on a broiler pan or directly on the grill rack. Broil or grill TK inches from the heat for 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium, or until desired doneness. Remove the meat from the heat to a platter and let rest, loosely covered, for 5 to 8 minutes.
While the meat is resting, prepare the green beans: Heat the olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium-high heat until it ripples. Add the garlic and cook, shaking the pan, for about 30 seconds, until slightly softened. Add the beans and toss until coated with the oil. Cook, stirring and shaking the pan, for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the beans are tender and crisp. Remove from the heat and keep warm until ready to serve.
To make the sauce: In a small saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer, being careful not to let it scorch. Add the blue cheese and whisk until melted and thoroughly combined. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
To serve, divide the beans and potatoes evenly among 4 dinner plates. Add a tournedo to each serving, then spoon a generous amount of the sauce over the top. Serve at once, with any sauce remaining in a sauceboat to serve at the table.