Tournedos with Polenta and Salsa Verde

Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

Keep it Simple

By Alastair Little and Richard Whittington

Published 1993

  • About

If one must talk about restaurants having signature dishes, then this has to be one of mine. It remains on the menu by popular demand. The combination of textures and flavours works so well: the fillet is beef at its best, moist and succulent, offset by the crisp polenta croûte which also absorbs the juices. The clean, sharp taste of the green sauce provides the perfect complement making a dish that has depth and balance.


  • four 140g/5 oz tournedos (trimmed beef fillet cut from the centre)
  • half packet (225g/8 oz) instant polenta
  • 115g/4 oz Parmesan cheese
  • 115g/4 oz unsalted butter
  • 150ml/¼pt beef stock
  • 5 tbsp dry sherry or Madeira salt and pepper
  • mignonette pepper
  • sunflower oil, for frying and greasing


    Mise en Place

    Remove the steaks from the fridge well ahead of time to allow them to come to room temperature • Make the polenta at least 1 hour before you cook the steaks, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Grate the Parmesan cheese and lightly oil the baking tray. Then stir the cheese and half the butter into the polenta and season liberally with salt and pepper. Pour out on to the baking tray. You should have a sheet of polenta about 1 cm/1/2in thick. Leave to cool and then refrigerate. When cool and set firm, using a pastry cutter of a size slightly larger than the tournedos, cut 4 rounds from the sheet of polenta. Brush these with sunflower oil and lightly oil the pan. Also lightly oil the second baking sheet.

    To make the Salsa Verde: finely chop the garlic and then put it in a food processor with all the other ingredients except the olive oil. Process until evenly chopped and then add the oil, continuing to process until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

    Preheat the oven to its highest setting.