Salmon Tournedos Poached in Beurre Monté
- 2 pounds fresh salmon fillet
- 6 large whole fresh basil leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced chives
- 1 teaspoon minced dill
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound unsalted butter
- 1/4 cup water
- minced parsley to garnish
Start with the poaching sauce, called beurre monte, which is butter which is melted without breaking the liquid to fat emulsification of solid butter. In a small sauce pan bring 1/4 cup water to a low simmer over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and begin whisking in 1/4 pound of butter tablespoon by tablespoon until emulsified and even. Then add in remaining 3/4 pounds of butter a bit at a time, whisking all along until emulsified. Keep over low heat, being sure not to boil, or the sauce will break. The temperature for poaching should be between 180-190 degrees. The sauce will need to be 2-3 inches deep for poaching; if it is not that depth move it to a smaller sauce pan or add more butter. You can add more butter almost indefinitely and maintain the emulsion.
Now prepare the salmon tournedos. Start by removing the skin from the salmon. Then cut along the length of the filet removing roughly the top 1/3 of the filet from nearer the spine, leaving the thick belly meat. Then butterfly the belly meat, starting from the spine side and being sure not to cut all the way through the belly.
Open the fillet up and flip it so that it is skin side up (where the skin used to be. Salt and pepper the fish and then lay out the basil leaves and sprinkle on the chives and dill. Now roll the whole filet up so that you wind up with a long cigar shaped roll of salmon. Use twine to tie the roll approximately every 2 inches. Be sure not to tie very tightly or you will damage the salmon. Then cut the roll into even segments between the ties, leaving each section wrapped and tied.
Finally poach the salmon in the beurre monte. Simply submerge the salmon in the sauce and leave it for about 6 minutes. The flesh should turn a light pink but stay slightly red on the interior. If you find your salmon isn’t cooking evenly top to bottom flip the salmon over after 3 minutes.
Serve immediately with a bit of the beurre monte as sauce. Garnish with parsley.