Prep. time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 16-18 minutes
Tournedos are steaks cut from the tenderloin, also known as filet mignon.
haven’t been able to take this dish off my menu since I served it at age nineteen in my first restaurant, in Bariloche. That place was called Nahuel Malal, “The Pelt of the Mountain Lion,” in honor of our rare Andean pumas. Some years ago, near my mountain cabin in Patagonia, my children Alexia and Francisco and I saw a pair of them at first light. Each night for the rest of our stay, we left food for them, and each morning it was gone.
- Place the bacon in a saucepan with 4 cups cold water, bring to a simmer, and blanch for 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels.
- Pat the tournedos dry. Wrap a strip of bacon around the circumference of each, evenly spacing 4 sage leaves in each bundle. Tie with kitchen string.
- Heat a chapa or large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it starts to smoke and a drop of water sizzles on the surface.
- Sprinkle the tournedos with salt and pepper and stand them on their sides on the hot surface, so that the bacon is in contact with the hot pan. Cook, without moving them, for 11⁄2 to 2 minutes, until the bacon is well charred.
- Rotate the tournedos a quarter turn and cook until the bacon is crisped, then repeat two more times so the bacon is nicely crisped all around.
- Turn the tournedos to their flat sides and cook for 2 to 3 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
- Transfer to a platter and let rest for 3 minutes.
- Remove the string, and serve the steak.
Adapted from Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way, with the authorization of the chef Francis Mallmann; Artisan, 2009
Photo by Santiago Solo Monllor.
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