I'm looking to make boeuf a la ficelle as part of Christmas dinner this year, but am struggling to find a consensus on the execution.
In the Les Halles Cookbook the recipe says to add the beef to water (alongside vegetables and bouquet garni). Other recipes online appear to add a bouillon cube to the water, or make up bouillon and add the vegetables and beef directly.
Is there any consensus on the right/best method? Anthony Bourdain says on pretty much every other recipe in the book to use a good homemade stock, so if it is bouillon the beef and vegetables need to go into it seems a pretty glaring omission...
I also have some guests that prefer well done beef to rare - recipes online say that the cooking liquid can be ladled over rarer slices to cook through - how effective is this?
Finally - is it worth blasting the exterior of the beef after it has been in the cooking liquid and before resting to establish a darker crust?