Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I have been outsmarted by a tenderloin.

So here's the whats what.  We went to the store and I was all, "I want to make surf and turf for new years dinner, but if we buy it now we'll have to freeze it."  Except that there was this gorgeous 6 pound beef tenderloin just laughing at me.  He was saying "You have never had a cow like this.  Yea, you should just wait and miss out on this hot piece of tenderloin."  So I was like
"Listen here, Adult cow who is no longer able to frolick. you are coming home with me and I'm going to cook you six times to sunday."

Yep.  I had that conversation with a piece of meat, that was laying in the meat fridge at Dominick's. So now, I have six pounds of excellent beef for 2 people who rarely eat beef.

I have been outsmarted by a tenderloin.  Remind me again how this kind of shit happens to me?
Beef Wellington

Mushroom filling:
3 pints white button mushrooms
2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oiL
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Beef, man:

1 (3-pound) center cut beef tenderloin (filet mignon)
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 slices turkey bacon
6 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
flour for dusting
1 pound puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt

To make the mushroom filling: Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic, and thyme to a food processor and chop until fine. Add butter and olive oil to a large saute pan and set over medium heat. Add the  mixture and saute for 8 to 10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool.

To prepare the beef: TRIM THE FAT.

If you get a big ass tenderloin like I did, you are going to have some fat to trim.  The best method is to lift the fat while running the knife under it.  Tie the tenderloin in 3 places so it holds its cylindrical shape while cooking. Coat with olive oil, then season with salt and pepper and sear all over, including the ends, in a hot, heavy-based skillet lightly coated with olive oil - about 2 to 3 minutes. 

Meanwhile set out your turkey bacon on a sheet of plastic wrap (plastic needs to be about a foot and a half in length so you can wrap and tie the roast up in it) on top of your cutting board. Shingle the turkey bacon so it forms a rectangle that is big enough to encompass the entire filet. Using a rubber spatula cover evenly with a thin layer of mushrooms. 

Season the surface of the mushrooms with salt and pepper and sprinkle with fresh thyme leaves. When the beef is seared, remove from heat, cut off twine and smear lightly all over with a grainy dijon mustard. 

Allow to cool slightly, then roll up in the mushroom covered turkey bacon using the plastic wrap to tie it up nice and tight. Tuck in the ends of the bacon as you roll to completely encompass the beef. Roll it up tightly in plastic wrap and twist the ends to seal it completely and hold it in a nice log shape. Set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to ensure it maintains its shape.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to about a 1/4-inch thickness. Depending on the size of your sheets you may have to overlap 2 sheets and press them together. Remove beef from refrigerator and cut off plastic. Set the beef in the center of the pastry and fold over the longer sides, brushing with egg wash to seal. 

Trim ends if necessary then brush with egg wash and fold over to completely seal the beef.  Top with coarse salt. Place the beef seam side down on a baking sheet.

Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash then make a couple of slits in the top of the pastry using the tip of a paring knife. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until pastry is golden brown and beef registers 130 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer. Remove from oven and rest before cutting into thick slices. 

Mustard Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1 cup brandy
1 box beef stock
2 cups cream
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
Add olive oil to pan after removing beef. Add shallots, garlic, and thyme; saute for 1 to 2 minutes, then, off heat, add brandy and flambe using a long kitchen match. 
UGH I could NOT get the flame in the photo to save my life, just know this is on fire.

After flame dies down, return to the heat, add stock and reduce by about half. Strain out solids, then add 2 cups cream and mustard.

Reduce by half again and serve over the beef wellington.

Here's the thing, don't be all afraid you're meat is going to be too bloody at 130.   Just take the damn thing out.  I overcooked mine slightly, don't you let me catch you doing the same thing!

Now, off to find other ways to use up the rest of this damn meat!



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