Beef Tenderloin With Porcini Mushroom Sauce
Whole beef tenderloins are a real flavor treat and usually rather expensive. I get the sense that there may be an excess of beef in the market place because prices for whole tenderloins have dropped noticeably in our area. It may be more meat than you need for one meal so cut it into roasts and freeze what you don’t use for this recipe.
Woody’s notes: Look for dried porcini mushrooms in the produce department of large supermarkets; other dried mushrooms can be substituted. Have your instant-read thermometer on hand so you don’t overcook the roast.
Porcini mushroom sauce:
1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
14 oz. beef broth
2 thick slices peppered or smoked bacon, cut into thin matchsticks
2 cups each: dry red wine, chicken broth
2 large shallots, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
8 oz. assorted, trimmed fresh mushrooms, such as a combination of baby portabellas, shiitake mushroom caps, oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, roughly chopped (about 4 cups)
2 Tlbs chopped fresh parsley
2 Tlbs chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as a combination of thyme, tarragon, rosemary and sage, plus assorted herb sprigs
1 Tlbs kosher salt
1 Tlbs coarsely ground fresh pepper, if possible a mix of black pepper, white pepper and pink peppercorns
4 to 5 pounds trimmed beef tenderloin, tied into a compact roast
3 Tlbs butter, at room temperature
1 Tlb flour
Here’s What To Do:
For mushroom sauce, put porcini and beef broth into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high until boiling, about 2 minutes. Let stand until porcini are soft, about 20 minutes. Strain, saving the broth, chop the porcini; set aside.
Meanwhile, cook bacon in large saucepan until golden. Add shallots; cook until tender, 3 minutes. Stir in garlic; cook 1 minute. Add wine; boil uncovered over medium-high heat until reduced by half, 10 minutes. Strain porcini soaking liquid into sauce. Add chicken broth; simmer, uncovered, over low heat 30 minutes.
Stir chopped porcini and other mushrooms into the sauce. Simmer uncovered, 20-30 minutes. (Sauce can be made to this point up to 1 week in advance, refrigerate covered.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. For the tenderloin, combine parsley, mixed herbs, salt and pepper in small bowl. Set aside about 1/2 tsp of this mixture to season the sauce. Rub tenderloin with softened butter; press remaining herb mixture onto all sides of tenderloin. Put into a roasting pan; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.
Roast the tenderloin until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest portion registers 125 degrees for rare or 135 degrees for medium-rare, 25-35 minutes. (Temperature will rise about 10 degrees after resting.) While the tenderloin roasts, reheat the sauce in a small saucepan. Dissolve the flour in 2 Tlbs of water; whisk into the sauce. Boil until thickened. Taste; adjust seasonings with the reserved herb mixture.
Let the tenderloin rest on a cutting board 15 minutes before carving. Cut tenderloin into thin slices. Arrange on a heated platter. Serve with the mushroom sauce. Garnish with herb sprigs.
Woody’s Notes: Some of the savings in buying whole tenderloins is that you will have to trim it up. Use a very sharp boning knife if you have one to carefully remove any excess fat and all the tough silvery membrane that runs along the surface of the meat. If there is a thin strip of fat-covered meat running along one side of the tenderloin, remove it (this can be saved and used later). Check again to be sure all the sliver membrane is gone. If the piece of meat is tapered in length fold over the thin end and tie it and the entire roast with kitchen string at 1-inch intervals to create a uniform size roast that will cook more evenly.
Timing the rest of the dinner around the relatively quick-cooking tenderloin is essential. Finish warming all the side dishes and serving the salad after you put the roast into the oven.
What Goes With What Wines Selections
Canoe Ridge ‘05 Estate Merlot, Washington (Merlot)
The estate merlot is typical of Washington State fruit, a refined and elegant with plenty of concentration. It has aromas of black cherries and spice with dusty tannins. This is a medium-bodied versatile wine that will not overwhelm the meal or your palate. R92 $22
Château Les Cruzelles ‘05 Lalande-de-Pomerol, France (Bordeaux)
Here’s where knowing a little geography allows you to enjoy Pomerol flesh without Pomerol prices. The Chateau shares the same gravel beds that one finds in Pomerol, but with less of their famous clay (and their famous costs). The wines have wonderfully rounded fruit and a bit less structure than those of Pomerol which make them perfect for nearer term drinking! R90 $17.99