Fillet of Beef with Mille-Feuille of Snails and Red Wine Sauce


  • 100 g (4 oz) puff pastry
  • 50 g (2 oz) girolles
  • 50 g (2 oz) bone marrow, cut into 5 mm (¼ inch) dice
  • 1 small bulb fennel, cut into fine dice 75 g (3 oz) large, canned snails, halved
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 25 g (1 oz) clarified butter
  • small glass of Pernod
  • 4 tournedos weighing 150 g (5 oz) each
  • salt and pepper
  • a little garlic
  • butter
  • 25 g (1 oz) fresh parsley, chopped
  • chopped chives
  • 3 tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and diced

For the Red Wine Sauce

  • 75 g (3 oz) unsalted butter
  • 225 g (8 oz) shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • sprig of fresh tarragon
  • 175 g (6 oz) button mushrooms, sliced
  • ½ bottle red Burgundy
  • 600 ml (1 pt) chicken stock
  • 65 ml ( fl oz) meat glaze truffle juice, optional

For the Shallot Purée

  • 8 shallots, roughly chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • a little lemon juice
  • 50 ml (2 fl oz) water

For the Shallot Confit

  • 8 shallots, sliced
  • 25 ml (1 fl oz) water
  • 25 g (1 oz) unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • a little lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas Mark 7.

Roll out the puff pastry to make a thin square approximately 10 × 10 cm (4 × 4 inches), place on a lightly greased baking sheet and prick all over. Put aside to relax, in a refrigerator if possible, for 15 minutes, then bake for 10 minutes. Should the pastry start to rise in places it can be lightly pressed with a cloth while cooking. When evenly golden brown, remove from the oven, slide gently on to a wire tray and set aside to cool down.

Meanwhile, prepare the sauce: in a large pan, melt 25 g (1 oz) butter, add the shallots, garlic and the tarragon and allow to soften. Add the mushrooms and increase the heat, stirring all the time, until the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add the Burgundy and reduce until almost dry, pour in the chicken stock and meat glaze, bring to the boil, remove any scum and simmer for 10 minutes. Pass through a fine sieve and reserve.

Clean the girolles by scraping the stalks and gills off and wash thoroughly to remove any traces of dirt. Cut into quarters if they are large and mix with the marrow. Keep cool.

Mix the diced fennel with the snails and the crushed garlic. Heat the clarified butter in a large frying pan, put in the fennel, snails and garlic, and stir rapidly for 1 minute. Pour the Pernod over, let it flame then tip the snails out on to a plate to cool down.

To make the purée, mix the chopped shallots and garlic in a saucepan and add the butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add the water and bring to the boil, then let it gently simmer until very soft. Liquidize and pass through a fine sieve, check seasoning and keep warm. Cover with a butter paper.

To make the confit, place the sliced shallots in a pan with the water, butter, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, covered with a lid, until just cooked but still crunchy. Keep warm.

To serve, cut the puff pastry into 8 small rectangles 5 × 2.5 cm (2 × 1 inches) and gently warm. Bring the red wine sauce to the boil, remove any scum and begin to reduce rapidly by fast boiling to half its volume. Season the tournedos and seal in a hot heavy-based pan. Cook for 3–4 minutes for pink meat, remove from the pan and allow to rest for 4 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the snails in a little garlic butter and add chopped parsley. Heat a heavy-based pan, with no fat, until very hot. Add the diced marrow and the girolles, toss rapidly for 30 seconds, add the chives and turn out on to kitchen paper immediately to drain the fat.

On each large warmed plate place one piece of the puff pastry. Top with the shallot confit, then the hot snails, one spoon of shallot purée and finally a pastry lid. In the middle place the tournedos and pour over the reduced red wine sauce which has been enriched with the remaining 50 g (2 oz) butter and a little truffle juice, if using. Place the girolle and marrow mixture around the tournedos and sprinkle the diced tomato on top. Eat immediately.