Sunday, February 7, 2010

New Years Eve - Beef Tenderloin

Sorry I've been so quiet lately!  Work has been extremely busy - lots of big projects, and my coworker is on maternity leave, so its a little hectic.  I think I'm finally getting into a groove and will do my best to begin posting more frequently.  I will appease you with my New Years dinner.  It was ahhhhmazing.

I can't believe we're already more than a month into the new year!  I feel like this meal wasn't that long ago - or maybe it was so good its just lingering in my memory?

For New Year's Eve 2008 Rafe and I had stayed in rather than attend a party or head to a bar.  I made shortribs, we rented a movie, and drank wine and champagne.
It was the best New Years ever!  So we decided to do it again for New Year's Eve 2009.  Instead of shortribs however, I wanted to make something I've never done before.

A trip over to epicurious and the solution was clear. A beef tenderloin. It was fancy (and expensive!) enough for a special occasion, it would have the flavor of a good filet, with the ease of cooking of a roast. I decided I wanted to do a play on Rafe's favorite steak, steak au poivre, and serve a peppercorn crusted roast with a brandy cream sauce for accompaniment.

I was at home in Western MA when I came to the conclusion about the main course, so my father kindly accompanied me over to the best meat shop in the area - Arnold's in Chicopee MA. This place services a bunch of restaurants in the area, and the butcher shop is great. The folks are helpful, and the prices are usually better than a grocery store. I had the butcher cut my roast into 2 pieces. Since it would just be Rafe and I for dinner, I figured we could get two meals for our investment....The other piece went into the freezer for a later date.

Last year's dinner of shortribs was much more of a time committment than this recipe. Around 5pm, I pulled the meat out of the fridge to take the chill off of it while Rafe and I chopped up the veggies and herbs. I love fresh rosemary with a roast, so we chopped up about a tablespoon of the stuff.
Rafe mashed up the garlic with some salt.

I patted the roast dry, then rubbed it with the garlic/salt mixture. Then rubbed the meat with 2 tablespoons of cracked peppercorns and sprinkled the surface with the rosemary. (I can't seem to find a picture of it!) Then I put the meat on a rack in a roasting pan, and shoved it into the oven at 400.

I chopped some carrots and potatoes, drizzled them with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt, pepper and rosemary and put them in the oven to join the beef.

Then we cracked a bottle of wine. This was from our trip to Sonoma in June. I think this was the last of the CA wine.
While we sipped, Rafe toasted pecans for the salad.
And I measured all the ingredients for the brandy cream sauce. It comes together pretty quickly, so I decided to start the sauce when the meat came out to rest.
In about 50 minutes, the tenderloin was medium rare in the middle. We took it out of the oven and tented it with foil, and I got started on the brandy cream sauce. I started by sweating some onions in melted butter.

I then deglazed the pan with brandy, and cooked stirring until the alcohol had cooked off. Then I added the cream and some salt and pepper.

Oh baby, just looking at the pictures is bringing me back there! So yummy!

I can't seem to get this picture to flip!

The potatoes and carrots were perfectly roasted.

And the meat was tender and flavorful....Even though I had the butcher cut use two smaller roasts, we still has a ton of leftovers. I've never craved leftovers like this. Even a day or two later, and after a quick blast in the microwave, the meat was still tender and full of flavor. I honestly think that you have to work pretty hard to screw this roast up!

I can't wait to cook up the other half!

1 comment:

  1. That meat looks perfectly cooked!

    P.S. You won my giveaway, so email me your address!