Chateaubriand sauce sometimes referred to as “crapaudine sauce” is a culinary sauce prepared in a series of reductions, and is typically served with red meat dishes such as chateaubriand steak. Other dishes, such as tournedos villaret and villemer tournedos, also incorporate the sauce in their preparation.
The origin of chateaubriand sauce is subject to debate. Some credit its creation to a chef named Monmireil, who prepared it for François-René de Chateaubriand. Others speculate that it originated at the Champeaux restaurant following the publication of de Chateaubriand’s book, Itinéraire de Paris à Jérusalem (Itinerary from Paris to Jerusalem).
The sauce is prepared with shallots, mushroom, thyme, bay leaf, tarragon, white wine, brown veal stock and beurre maître d’hôtel (sweet butter infused with parsley). Additional ingredients may include meat glaze, demi-glace, pan drippings, onion, lemon juice, cayenne pepper, peppercorn and salt. The preparation involves cooking all of the ingredients together except for the brown veal stock and beurre maître d’hôtel, until it is reduced by two-thirds of the original content. After this, the veal stock is added in proportions equal to the amount of wine that was originally used before the reduction, and this mixture is then reduced to half its size. The final step is for the mixture to be strained and then topped with chopped tarragon and beurre maître d’hôtel.
A common dish is chateaubriand steak prepared with the sauce and served with potatoes.
A dish that incorporates chateaubriand sauce is tournedos villaret, in which mushroom caps are filled with the sauce and placed atop tournedos, all of which are placed atop tartlets filled with kidney bean purée. The sauce is sometimes served in a separate side dish, rather than atop meats, such as with the dish villemer tournedos, which is prepared with fried tournedos placed atop fried chicken croquettes, along with tongue, mushroom and truffle.
- 2¼ tablespoons butter, divided
- ⅓ cup minced shallots
- 225 g sliced mushrooms
- ¾ tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1¾ cups salt-reduced beef stock
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves
- Melt ¾ tablespoon butter in 30 cm nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Add shallots; cook and stir 2 minutes until golden brown. Add mushrooms and garlic; cook for 3 to 4 minutes until mushrooms are tender, stirring often.
- Add wine; simmer 7 - 8 minutes. Stir in broth; bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 - 20 minutes until liquid is reduced by half. (The reduction can be strained if desired at this stage)
- Whisk in remaining butter until melted. Stir in tarragon leaves. Season with salt and pepper, as desired.