Sunday, February 15, 2015

Beef Tenderloin Roast in a Ruby Port Reduction

Over the course of the past few months, I have gone back to the east side of the state to spend some time with my Dad.  Conveniently, there is a wonderful butcher shop called The Village Market.  It is a magical place to shop if you are a cook.

The Market sells trimmed and tied beef tenderloins that will go on sale for $6.99-$7.99/lb.  When I was back in Grosse Pointe a few weeks ago, I picked up three of these beauties.  When I got back to GR, I cut the tenderloins in half, sealed them and put them into our chest freezer.  The past few weekends I have been experimenting with new recipes.  For Valentine's Day, I decided to try a recipe that was a mix of a beef tenderloin and a filet mignon recipe I have made in the past.  Here are the details:

- 1 beef tenderloin, 1.5-2lbs (this is half of a traditional beef tenderloin)
- 1 cup (8 oz.) ruby port
- 1 cup (8 oz.) dry white wine
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 oz. drained capers (about half a bottle of capers)
- olive oil


About an hour before you are going to put the tenderloin into the oven, take it out of the refrigerator and allow it to stand at room temperature.  

While the beef is warming up, our the port and the white wine into a saucepan.  Reduce the mixture until you have between 2/3 and 3/4 of a cup of liquid.  Once the wine mixture is reduced, set aside for use later.

Preheat your oven to 450F.  Place the beef tenderloin into a cast iron skillet and rub the beef with olive oil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Once the oven has reached 450F, place the roast into the oven and cook to desired doneness.  I like to take the roast out when the internal temperature has risen to 125F (medium rare).

When the roast is done, remove it from the oven and place it on a cutting board.  Lightly cover the roast in aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the reduced wine.  Pour this mixture into the iron skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits.  Boil the mixture until it has a sauce consistency, 2-3 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low and add the butter.  Whisk the mixture until the butter is melted. Once the butter is melted, add the capers.  Just before slicing the beef, pour any accumulated juices from the roast into the iron skillet.

Slice the beef into 1 inch thick slices and serve immediately.  Gently spoon the sauce over the beef and enjoy.

Cook's Notes:

I have made a ruby port reduction before, but it was for a filet mignon recipe.  I thought that I could make this reduction and spoon it over the beef.  I was not disappointed.  The results were amazing.  

As for the reduction, the original recipe I had wrote that the wine mixture would be reduced to 2/3 of a cup in "8 minutes."  In reality, it takes between 20-25 minutes.  At the 15 minute mark of reducing, I started to pour the reduction into a Pyrex measuring cup to see how much more I needed to reduce the wine.  

As for knowing the temperature of the tenderloin, your kitchen is not complete without a remote sensing thermometer.  You can pick one up at Bed Bath and Beyond, or just about any specialty kitchen store.  Once you have one, you will wonder how you cooked a roast in the past.  A link to a description of the thermometer I use can be found here.  I swear by this gadget.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Beef Tenderloin with Capers in a Red Wine Reduction

I had a jar of capers that was about half full.  I thought I should out them to good use and I tried this recipe.

- 1 beef tenderloin, 2-3 lbs
- 2 T olive oil
- 2 t fresh chopped thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup full bodied red wine (Syrah or Cabernet)
- 2 T capers, drained
- 3 T unsalted butter

Let the beef tenderloin stand at room temperature for about an hour before cooking.

Preheat an oven to 450F.

Rub the tenderloin all over with the olive oil.  Next, rub the tenderloin with thyme, salt and pepper.

Place the tenderloin into a cast iron skillet (or a roasting pan).  Roast the tenderloin until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the meat registers 125F for medium rare, or 130F for medium.  Remove the roast from the oven, and place the roast on a cutting board and loosely cover it with aluminum foil.  Allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes.

While the roast is resting, place the cast iron skillet on stove at medium heat.  Add a little of the wine to deglaze the pan.  Slowly add more of the wine in small batches.  Using a wooden spoon, stir the wine and reduce it my nearly half (this will take 6-7 minutes).  Once the wine is reduced, add the capers and butter.  Mix the sauce for another minute.

Pour any drippings from the cutting board into the reduction and mix.  Slice the roast and serve immediately.  Spoon the reduction over the meat and enjoy.

Cook's Notes:  This is an incredibly easy recipe to make.  I removed the roast as soon as the internal temperature eas 126F.  If you do not have a remote sensing thermometer, I strongly recommend you get one at a kitchen store.  You will wonder how you ever cooked a roast before.  The wine I used for the reduction was a bottle of 2012 Blackstone Cabernet Sauvignon.

Our dinner guest brought a bottle of wine called E.  It is a Spanish wine made by David Phinney.  Here is a review of the wine.  It was a perfect compliment to the beef tenderloin.