Tuesday, December 27

Porcini & Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

Santa came and went, the presents have all been opened, but that doesn't mean that I can't keep cooking and eating delicious food. The star of our Christmas table was this porcini-and-rosemary-crusted beef tenderloin (accompanied by this, this, this, and more), but it's a dish I could whip out anytime I want to throw a fancy dinner party for a crowd. The tenderloin, which is the same cut that filet mignon comes from, is super tender and the porcini mushroom crust adds a deep, rich burst of flavor and pairs nicely with the port reduction sauce. It's the perfect way to indulge all year round... After all, New Year's Eve is less than a week away and 2011 deserves a delicious send-off before the resolution diets kick in.

Porcini & Rosemary Beef Tenderloin with Port Wine Sauce:

For Beef
  • Generously salt two 4 lb. beef tenderloin roasts and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
  • Combine 2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms*, 4 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary, and 2 tsp. black peppercorns in a food processor until ground into a fine powder. Set rub aside.
  • Remove beef from fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for an hour.**
  • Rub each tenderloin with 1-2 tbsp. olive oil, then pat in the mushroom powder.
  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet until very hot. Sear the beef for 4-5 minutes a side, or until a dark brown crust forms.
  • Move the meat into a roasting pan and place in a 400°F oven.
  • Cook the beef for 25-30 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reaches 135°F in the thickest part of the beef.***
  • Let the beef rest for 15-20 minutes, then slice and serve with port wine reduction.
For Sauce
  • Place 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms in 1 1/2 c. water and let sit for 20-30 minutes.
  • Strain the mushrooms from the liquid and chop them, set the liquid aside.****
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in the skillet the beef was seared in.
  • Add in 2 minced shallots and the chopped mushrooms and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  • Pour in 2 c. port wine, 2 c. red wine, and the mushroom liquid and bring to a boil.
  • Cook until the liquid has reduced to 3 c., about 10 minutes.
  • Strain the sauce and discard the solids. Immediately whisk in 2 tbsp. cold butter.
  • Add salt and pepper as needed, then pour over beef.

Serves fifteen -twenty
*Mushrooms must be dry and brittle for this to work. If necessary, place them in a 200°F oven for 10 minutes to dry them out.
**This step is crucial, as it ensures that the meat cooks at the same temperature throughout.
***This will cook the beef to medium rare - medium.
****Can be done ahead.