Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom, Cabernet & Toasted Garlic Sauce and Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes

First of all, thank you Lisa Murphy for giving me this book! This is the first recipe I have chosen to make from it and it was possibly the best thing David & I  have tasted this year, let alone made in our own kitchen. Where do I begin? Every now and then you have a meal that inspires utter silence it is so good. That’s how this dinner was for us. From the first bite we did not even have a conversation, we were so utterly involved in the beautiful tastes at the end of our forks. If you have a special occasion coming up, do yourselves a favor and make this. It is far better than what you can get at most steakhouses and much more affordable when you make it yourself. The amount of cracked black pepper may alarm you but when you slice the tenderloins after grilling, what is left on the edge is the perfect amount when paired with the glorious mushroom sauce. Speaking of the sauce, all I can say is “wow”. Yep, I said it, the best thing I’ve made this year. What a way to have ended 2012!

adapted from: The Bryant Family Vineyard Cookbook

Beef Tenderloin
2 (8-10 oz) center-cut beef tenderloins
extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper

Mushroom Sauce
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ pound shiitake, or morel mushrooms, or any combo of fresh mushrooms (I used baby bellas)
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons Cabernet Sauvignon (choose a rich, full-bodied one)
6 tablespoons brown veal or beef stock
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
kosher salt
cracked black peppercorns

Whipped Yukon Gold Potatoes
1 pound Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
½ cup heavy cream
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
kosher salt
ground white pepper

Prepare the beef: 30 minutes before grilling remove the steak from the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature. Preheat the grill to high. Massage the beef fillets with the olive oil. Combine the salt and cracked pepper on a flat plate and roll the fillets to coat. Sear the tenderloins on the grill (over medium-high, to high heat) and cook with the lid down for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the steak. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. 130-135 for medium-rare and 140-145 for medium. We take ours out at 137. Let rest uncovered on the counter for at least 5-10 minutes, to let the juices redistribute. If you cut into the steak right away, the juices will leak out leaving you a dry steak.

Make the mushroom sauce: Meanwhile, place a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the mushrooms and saute until they give up their juices and then reabsorb them. Add the garlic and allow to brown slightly. Add the wine and stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the wine is reduced to one-quarter its original volume. Add the stock and reduce by one-half. Add the thyme, butter, salt and cracked pepper to taste. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Make the potatoes: Place the potatoes in a pot with water to cover, and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and skim the foam off of the top. Cook until fork-tender. Meanwhile, combine the cream and butter in a small saucepan, and heat just until the butter is melted and the cream is steaming; do not boil.

Drain the cooked potatoes. Press them through a ricer or food-mill into a large bowl. Add the warm butter and cream mixture. Season with kosher salt and white (or black) pepper. Whisk the potatoes vigorously with a potato masher, or use a handheld mixer on the low setting, being careful not to beat too long.

To serve, slice the tenderloins against the grain and place on a plate next to a scoop of whipped potatoes. Top the fillets with the mushroom sauce.

*Choose a high quality, full-bodied Cabernet to use in the recipe as well as for pairing.

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