There no Truth in it.

Tuesday 15/2/2005

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Diary and Notes

I had a really frightening telephone call earlier in the week, warning me of an impending visit from my Dad.

This to most people, might be just a little irritating, but not frightening. My father is a little strange and is not one to come visiting without some undisclosed motive, which, although it has nothing to do with today's dinner I shall explain (a contemporaneous record, written on my blog, may help with any coming court case I may be dragged into).

My father likes to drive at very fast speeds. For a 70 year old man this is probably inadvisable, especially when you consider he does this on a 1832cc Honda Goldwing.

Last month he had 12 points on his license (that is the absolute maximum, any more and they take your license away for a year or two). Three weeks ago he was caught speeding again and was up to 15 and a ban was in order. A week later, whilst waiting to be summonsed to court he was caught speeding again and is now on 18 points, so what does he do?

Any sane man would take his medicine and be forced to give up driving for two years, but not my father. His plan - buy a very big yacht and leave the country. So that's what he's doing. He sold his farm, (after throwing his girlfriend of ten years out on her arse) and bought a 37 foot yacht. He's off to sail the Mediterranean sea (along with his driving license which he isn't giving back, so that he can drive in Eurpoe) and isn't planning on coming back to Britain.

So he came to see me to ask if I would look after his vehicles whilst he's away. He's signed over two cars and a motorbike (all three of which he's put in storage) as he doesn't want them registered in his name any more so that he convince any judge/magistrate that he is no longer a driver (should he come back for a holiday). And that's why he came for a visit. As you can see, he is a little unusual.

So what did I cook the old giffer for dinner?

A variation on a time old classic that itself is based on a character, not unlike my own, slightly unconventional father - Tournedos Engelbert Rossini.

"Surely you mean Tournedos Rossini." You may say.

"No, it's Engelbert Rossini," I reply, "as there's no truth in it." Which is actually a play on words, as the French word for truffle sounds very much like truth. I shall explain:

My old chum, Ben Costello, comes from a family of slightly odd misfits. For some reason that is beyond explanation, an uncle of his got up one day and said to the world: "I have decided from now on I am Italian." and this he duly did. For the rest of his life, he went around pretending to be an Italian man and changed his name to Engelbert Rossini, after whom today's dish is named.

I first made this dish on holiday in France with my chum Ben some years ago. I think it was here that he told me the story of Engelbert Rossini and I was so impressed I decided to invent a dish in his honour. The dish is essentially a Tournedos Rossini but just like Ben's uncle's claim to be Italian, there is no truffle (pronounced truth remember) in this dish - so instead of Tournedos Rossini we have Tournedos Engelbert Rossini which is exactly the same, but ... There's no truffle in it!

That was easy wasn't it?


As an aside: I really love the name Grey Poupon. I seem to remember it featuring in Wayne's World as a running joke. Today, as everything is a joke in some way, I used some in my sauce.

Cake Blog

Custard Tart: Yes, it's a cake, not a position.


  • Tournedos Engelbert Rossini
  • Julienne Vegetables in Butter
  • Sauteed Potatoes

  • Gorgonzola Cheese


  • Fillet Steak, garlic, bacon, mushrooms, olive oil, duck liver pate, red wine, cream, Grey Poupon (or any other Dijon mustard if you don't have any Grey Poupon), salt, black pepper, bread.
  • Carrots, Courgette, Green Pepper, Garlic, Butter, Salt.


  • Steak: Get the steaks out of the fridge and let them come to room temperature before cooking. Finely dice the bacon and mushrooms and fry them in a little olive oil until the bacon just begins to crisp. Remove from the pan and turn the heat up to high. Lay the steaks on the steaming hot pan and cook for about 1 minute per side, remove from the pan and place on a dish and put in the oven. While the steaks are finishing, put the bacon/mushrooms back in the pan, add some white wine and recuce, add a dollop of mustard and a little pate in small pieces, stir well. Add some cream to form a thick sauce and season. Get the steaks out of the oven (they should have had about another 3 minutes - no more) and let them rest for five minutes before serving. To serve, lay on toasted bread and cover in the sauce.
  • Vegetables: Slice all the vegetables into strips about 3cm long and 1mm thick. Blanch the carrots in a little boiling water (to soften them a little). Melt some butter and add minced garlic, let the garlic cook gently for about 5 minutes then add the vegetables and cover the pan. Sweat the vegetables gently for about 3 minutes, shaking the pan around every now and again. Season with a little salt.