Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Roast beef tenderloin with port sauce

Nervewracking but worth it. I very rarely cook beef, so I wasn't feeling super-confident about turning a rather expensive piece of meat into a perfectly cooked main course, especially since the thermometer we had stopped providing accurate readings after we left it to monitor a piece of meat in the closed grill last summer. (As it turns out, you're not really supposed to do that. I know that now.) But, armed with a new thermometer and the promise of a delicious reduced port sauce, I attempted this roast beef tenderloin with port sauce anyway, and it was a smashing success.

In the photo, you can also see the mashed potato-and-celery-root quenelles I devised as a cunning way to do most of the prep work in advance but still end with warm food. Using the Cook's Illustrated mashed potato and root vegetable recipe from a few months ago, I cut out most of the cream (which would have made it too soft) and formed them into quenelles, which Alexis (of course) and I put on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brushed lightly with olive oil. Then, once the beef came out of the oven and was resting, I just popped the waiting quenelles in, and they were hot by the time we plated the main course.

And finally, I made haricots verts with herb butter from this Gourmet via Epi recipe. Monterey Market had some perfect beans for the job, and the herb butter was delicious (though the recipe made waaay too much and now I'm looking for other ways to use up the herby butter).
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