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Re: Chateaubriand, Vicomte François René de

Posted by Masakim on November 21, 2001

In Reply to: Chateaubriand, Vicomte François René de posted by Bruce Kahl on November 21, 2001

: : : : : I'm trying to find the name of a thick steak, cut from a beef fillet, which ( depending which story you believe! ) derived its name from the noble title of a French aristocrat or from the name of the restaurant where the dish was invented by the resident chef.

: : : : : Any thoughts?
: : : : :
: : : : : Thanks for any offers :-)

: : : :
: : : : Could it be 'Chateaubriand'? (I think that's the way it's spelt!)

: : : Beef Wellington
: : : Beef Stroganoff
: : : White Castle?

: : It's probably Chateaubriand. Quoting from Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., 1975, p. 454,

: : "ABOUT FILLET OF BEEF- ...There is some dissension about classic fillet cuts for steaks. Perhaps the drawing above will help clarify the situation. Beginning and extending not quite halfway through the heavy end of an entire fillet is the head, or tenderloin butt. In the second half of the heavy end lies the Chaateaubriand section, usually cut thick enough for a double or triple portion... The cuts vary from 2 to 3 inches in thickness for Chateaubriand," etc...

: Chateaubriand, Vicomte François René de

: 1768_1848
: French political leader, diplomat, and writer considered a forerunner of romanticism. His works include Atala , The Genius of Christianity , and Memoirs from beyond the Tomb, published posthumously.

: I could not find any info at all as to why Mr. Chateaubriand has a steak named after him.

One old story tells us that Brillat-Savarin dined in Paris with the vicomte Francois Rene Chateaubriand on th night that an anonymous restaurant proprietor invented steak Chateaubriand in his honor. The occasion, according to this version, was the publication of the French romantic's _la Genie du christianisme_, and the succulent tenderloin was encased between two flank steaks, symbolizing Christ and the thieves. The outer steaks, seared black, were discarded, leaving tenderloin rare and juicy. More likely, steak Chateaubriand was invented and named by the novelist's chef, Montmirel, and served for the first time at the French embassy in London.
From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson