Thursday, January 28, 2010

Love me tender, Honey

We eat very little red meat. Having been vegetarian for a number of years, we explored ways of substituting soy, grains, and beans for beef. For the past ten years, we have resumed eating meat, but continue to enjoy a broader palate of options.

Our Christmas celebration involved both families. With a full house for almost an entire week, we had many different types of foods on-hand. My sister was responsible for the Christmas eve meal. This year featured an array of hors d'oeuvres, including small beef tenderloin sandwiches with horseradish sauce on homemade brioche. There were over a dozen dishes on offer, however, so she used only half the tenderloin. The remainder has set in our freezer...until now.

My goal was to prepare the tenderloin in a simple fashion. Often it is cut into fillet portions and wrapped in bacon. Without supplemental fat and careful cooking, it is easy for it to become dry and overdone. Leaving it whole gives you more latitude. I decided to pair this with roasted rutabagas and sweet potatoes.

The Method (Beef tenderloin with porcini mushroom and onion reduction)

  • 1 beef tenderloin (Best if this is room temperature. I used half, but this recipe is not portion dependent)
  • 1-2 large onions, sliced thickly
  • 1 packet dried porcini mushrooms (other varieties, dried or fresh, would be fine)
  • oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 C red wine
  1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile...
  2. Preheat the oven to 350.
  3. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper.
  4. Heat the oil in an oven-ready pot or pan over very high heat. (I used a cast iron skillet.)
  5. Sear the outside of the tenderloin until nicely browned. (Depending upon the thickness and evenness of the cut, you will need to take care not to overcook the meat at this stage.)
  6. Spread the onions around the tenderloin.
  7. Place in the oven. 
  8. Cook until your desired "done-ness." (I used a digital thermometer - set at 140 degrees. This is medium-rare, but the ends will be medium or medium-well for those who prefer it cooked further.)
  9. Remove the beef from the pan.
  10. Place the pan over high heat on the stovetop.
  11. Deglaze the pan with the red wine.
  12. Add the mushrooms and 1 C of the soaking water to the onions.
  13. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by 2/3. 
The Method (Honeyed Rutabagas and Sweet Potatoes)
I have wanted to try this recipe since I saw it in the Victory Garden Cookbook by Marian Morash. It requires  very little effort, but some vigilance at the oven.
  • Several rutabagas, peeling
  • Several sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 3 TBs butter
  • 1/4 C honey
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Slice the rutabagas and sweet potatoes into pieces of equal thickness.
  3. Brush each slice with melted butter. Place on a cookie sheet.
  4. Combine remaining butter with the honey.
  5. Bake slices for 15 minutes.
  6. Flip the slices and brush with the butter-honey mixture.
  7. Bake 15 minutes.
  8. Flip and brush.
  9. Bake 15 minutes.
  10. Repeat once more if you wish.
The Results
This was so delicious. The beef was moist and flavorful - the sauce was a perfect accompaniment. And the honeyed rutabagas and sweet potatoes were pure bliss, little bites of caramelized heaven. We served steamed OPO broccoli and broccoli leaves alongside.

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Anonymous said...

YUM. Elvis, tenderloin and honey. YUM.

Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009