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Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce

Beef Tenderloin

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Serves 2, increase proportions to feed more.
By Dennis W. Viau; modified from a Bon Appétit recipe.

I don’t cook cuts of beef often, preferring lamb when I want red meat. A rebate check from my credit card was my excuse to spend more than $50 on a package of four beef tenderloin steaks (for two recipes). For this recipe I modified the mushroom sauce to make it better.

Ingredients:

5 ounces (140g) shiitake mushrooms
4 tablespoons clarified butter, divided (or safflower oil if using a cast iron stove top grill)
2 green onions (about 1 ounce/28g); chopped
½ cup (120ml) beef broth
¼ cup (60ml) dry red wine
¼ teaspoon (good pinch) herbes de Provence
1/3 cup (80ml) heavy cream
4 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
1 tablespoon dry Marsala
2 beef tenderloin steaks, 6 to 8 ounces (170 to 230g) each (or larger)

Directions:

Prepare the sauce first, as the steaks will take less time to cook. Remove the stems from the shiitake mushrooms, but reserve them. Slice the mushrooms or cut into slivers. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet and sauté the mushrooms and green onions until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Add the broth and wine to the skillet with the reserved mushroom stems and the herbes de Provence. Bring to a boil over medium heat and simmer until ½ to ¾ of the liquid has evaporated. Use a slotted spoon to remove and discard the mushroom stems.

Add the heavy cream and fresh chopped tarragon to the reduction and blend well. Return the sautéed mushrooms and green onions to the pan. Finish by adding the dry Marsala. Adjust for salt.

Season the tenderloin steaks with salt and pepper on both sides and grill (or pan fry) to the desired tenderness and doneness. For medium rare, cook to 130 to 135°F (54 to 57°C). Allowing the steaks to rest a few minutes after cooking will bring the temperature up another 5 degrees as the heat at the surface will continue to migrate toward the center of the meat. I prefer my steaks at about 135°F (57°C) and some prefer them cooked a little less. Although the USDA recommends cooking all cuts of meat to 145°F (63°C), many cooks prefer to cook some meat less for a better flavor and texture.

Plate the steaks and spoon plenty of the mushroom sauce on top. Serve with green vegetables on the side.