Thursday, May 10, 2007
Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce & Roasted Truffled Fingerling Potatoes
I cannot believe I haven't posted this recipe ever. I actually had to go back and search through my archives just to be sure. But no, this is it's first appearance.
This recipe is simple, very good and impressive. I have made it at least a half dozen times. It's also the first dinner I ever made for Brian. He thought I was some silly, blond PR girl who couldn't even make toast. He had no idea.
Since then I have made this many more times, so I'll point out a few key items.
1. Buy good steak. This one was grass-fed and non-confined beef and was tender, full of flavor and not full of fat. Before cooking it I let it come to room temperature, key to avoiding a raw center and burnt outsides.
2. Have a great bottle of red wine ready to drink! Pulling the dish together is fast, but the garlic roasting can take a while.
3. This is now my official potato preparation method for any meal and it takes a LOT to get me to stray from this recipe. It's that good.
One other note regarding the potatoes. I got a question from a loyal reader about what the heck is this Truffle Oil I keep obsessing about and putting in everything.
Well...truffles are in the most simple terms a fungus that grows in the topsoil near the base of certain trees. They can be black or white and are very pungent. The flavor could be overwhelming alone (not unlike garlic, or fish sauce or onions or certain cheeses) but when prepared with or atop certain foods, truffles can add such a depth and complexity to the flavor it can make food irresistible to smell and eat.
For the poor (me, as truffles are VERY expensive), truffle oil can be an inexpensive way to infuse foods with the essence of truffles with minimal cost. Look at Trader Joe's near the olive oil.
Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Brandy Cream Sauce & Roasted Truffled Fingerling Potatoes:
2 4-8 oz filet mignon (beef tenderloin) steaks (I used 4 oz steaks)
Sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper
White truffle oil
10-12 fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
1/2 c half and half
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced thin
1/3 c brandy
1 head garlic, whole
Fresh parsley, chopped
Chop off top of garlic clove, place on piece of aluminum foil. Drizzle with olive oil and salt, wrap into a package and roast in a 450 degree oven for 45-60 minutes, or until garlic is soft enough to squeeze like butter.
Meanwhile, cut potatoes in half, drizzle with olive oil and truffle oil then add salt and pepper and parsley. Lay cut side down on a baking sheet (lined with foil) and cook for 30-40 minutes at 450, or until golden brown and crisp.
While this is happening, salt and pepper the steaks on every side thoroughly (more than it seems like you should). Let stand at room temperature. Once potatoes are nearly done, turn oven down to 350 and sear steaks over medium-high heat with some olive oil until brown and crisp on all sides. If you prefer a more well-done steak, turn down the heat and cook more slowly to achieve desired doneness. Once steak is seared, remove from pan. Don't overcook - it will ruin a tenderloin steak!
Add mushrooms to the same pan the steak was seared in and then squeeze roasted garlic into the pan. Saute and then add brandy, allowing to boil rapidly and flame. Reduce until almost all liquid is gone.
Add half and half, simmer to reduce.
To plate, top a mound of mushrooms with the steak, then pour remaining sauce and mushrooms over the steaks. Stack potatoes on the side of the plate to balance the dish. Garnish with parsley. Enjoy!