Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Ragout

We love to cook for our friends and family and over the years have learned some lessons on how to throw a dinner party where we’re not in the kitchen the whole time. The most important tip is to plan a menu where most of it can be prepared in advance, preferably over the course of several days, so you’re not exhausted by the time your guests arrive!

We served this beef tenderloin dish during the holiday season and without exception our friends said this was the best dinners we’d ever made. The beef and rich mushroom ragout are served over crispy Potatoes Anna and drizzled with a tangy blue cheese sauce. It makes my mouth water to remember the fabulous flavors of this special-occasion meal. To find the recipes for the complete dinner party including appetizers and salad, click here.

Beef Tenderloin Wrapped in Prosciutto
Serves 8
4.5 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed of fat and ½ lb of trimmings for mushroom ragout
8 slices Prosciutto, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Wrap beef tenderloin with the Prosciutto slices and tie in 6 places to keep slices on beef. Place on foil lined baking sheets and cook for 20-30 minutes (155 degrees) for medium rare. Cover and let rest for 5 minutes.

To plate the dish, put a 4-inch square of the potatoes on the plate, top with a slice of the beef, spoon the mushroom ragout on top of the beef and then drizzle the blue cheese sauce across the top.

Mushroom Ragout
Serves 8
6 cups mixed mushrooms (brown, white, wild), cleaned, stems removed and roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 leek, white part only, chopped
6 shallots, chopped
½ lb. ground beef fillet trimmings
4 tbls. butter
3 tbls. chile sauce
3 tbls. bottled steak sauce
1 ½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup red wine
½ cup beef stock reduction (reduced from 1 cup of beef broth/stock)
¾ tsp. thyme
3 tbls. flat-leaf parsley chopped
1 ½ tsp. flour
3 tbls. heavy cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter in a large skillet and sauté mushrooms for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, leek, and shallots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the ground fillet and brown. Add the chile sauce, steak sauce, Worcestershire, wine, thyme, vegetable stock reduction, and flour and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring several times. Mix in the cream, parsley, salt and pepper when the mushrooms are cooked down.

Tips and Tidbits
You can make the mushroom ragout two days ahead and the potatoes the day before. The blue cheese sauce can be made up to a week in advance. The beef takes about a half an hour to trim and wrap and put on the baking sheet. Reheat the mushroom ragout before serving and re-bake the potatoes to make them extra crispy.

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