Monday March 22, 2010
savory beef tenderloin with white peppercorn sauce
Beef Tenderloin with White Peppercorn Sauce
Serves 4, so cut recipe in half for an intimate dinner for 2
This recipe can be found in the Dean & DeLuca Cookbook
- 2 lbs beef tenderloin of even thickness
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper plus more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 10 cups dark beef stock
- 1 1/2 lbs leeks, split, washed, and cut into coarse chunks
- 1/2 lb carrots, cut into coarse chunks
- 1 lb onions, cut into coarse chunks
- 1/2 lb white turnips, peeled and cut into coarse chunks
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 1/4 cup brandy
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
- 11/2 cups dry white wine
- 1/2cup coarsely chopped shallots
- 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon whole white peppercorns
- 2/3 cup crème fraiche
- 1 egg yolk
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Fresh chives for garnish
1. Prepare the beef: Trim the tenderloin of all fat and sinew; then tie it with a string at 1 inch intervals to keep the round shape. (or ask your butcher to do this for you). Coat the meat with freshly ground white pepper and salt. Refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours
2. Prepare the poaching liquid: Place the beef stock in an oval Dutch oven (one that will hold the tenderloin snugly). Add the leeks, carrots, onions, turnips, black peppercorns, brandy, and cloves. Bring to a boil; then, simmer gently for 2 hours.
3. When ready to cook, make sure that the poaching liquid is at a very gentle simmer. Lower the tenderloin into it, and picking up the poaching vegetables from the liquid with a slotted spoon, strew them over the beef. Cook until very rare, about 20 minutes. Remove tenderloin from the liquid, returning any vegetables to the pot. (This very flavorful liquid can now be used for other soups, stews, or sauces.) Let stand for 5 minutes before carving.
4. While the beef is poaching, prepare the sauce. In a small, heavy saucepan, cook the white wine, shallots, and a tablespoon of whole white peppercorns over moderately high heat until the wine is reduced to about 4 teaspoons. Place the crème fraiche and egg yolk in a bowl, whisk together, and slowly strain in the white wine reduction. Pour crème fraiche mixture into the saucepan, and cook over very gentle heat until the egg yolk thickens the sauce slightly. Add the grated nutmeg, and season to taste with salt and ground white pepper.
5. When ready to serve, slice the beef and plate it. Pour the sauce over and around the beef. Crack coarsely the remaining ½ teaspoon of whole white peppercorns and sprinkle over the beef. Garnish with chives. Serve immediately.