Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Porcini Port Sauce

Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Porcini Port Sauce

beef tenderloin tf

This recipe is worth celebrating. Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin has been selected as a winner  in this week’s Food52 contest for Your Best Holiday Roast. And that’s not the only reason it’s worthy of a party. Dried porcini mushrooms blitzed with fresh rosemary sprigs and black peppercorns create an umami-rich rub for the beef, forming a crust that melts into the meat while roasting. It’s stand alone delicious, yet when napped with a luxurious port wine reduction infused with more porcini and rosemary, this dish becomes an elegant dinner worthy of any holiday celebration. So go on, name a holiday – or just call it the weekend. This is a treat that your family and friends will be sure to enjoy. And that’s worth celebrating, too.

Porcini and Rosemary Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Porcini Port Sauce

Salting the  meat in advance ensures juicy results and a crispy crust. A combination of port and red wine is used in this recipe. Red wine may be substituted with additional port. Serves 6 to 8.

For the beef tenderloin:
1 center cut beef tenderloin, about 3 pounds
Salt
1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Olive oil

For the Porcini Port Wine Sauce:
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 3/4 cup hot water
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 cup port wine
1 cup heavy-bodied red wine
2 rosemary sprigs
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste

1. Season the tenderloin all over with salt. Refrigerate 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Thirty minutes before roasting remove beef from the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the mushrooms, rosemary, and peppercorns in a spice grinder. Grind to a coarse powder. Rub the beef with olive oil, then coat all over with the rosemary porcini rub.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes, turning as necessary. Transfer the beef to a roasting pan, and set the skillet aside without rinsing for the sauce.
4. Roast beef in the oven until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads 125*F, about 30 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes.
5. While the beef is roasting, prepare the sauce. Strain the porcini water through an un-bleached paper towel into a small bowl. Reserve the strained liquid. Coarsely chop the porcini.
6. Add 1 tablespoon butter, the shallots, and porcini to the reserved skillet. Sauté over medium heat until the shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the port, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Add the red wine, mushroom stock, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until the sauce is reduced by about half to approximately 1 1/2 cups. Add the salt and taste for seasoning. Strain through a fine-meshed seive into a small saucepan, pressing firmly on the solids; discard solids. Heat the sauce over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep warm until serving.
7. To serve, carve the meat in slices. Serve on warm plates with the porcini port sauce.

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce


~  Marinated Skirt Steak, Chimichurri Sauce and a Grill ~

I swore I was going to try to eat a little less meat. Well, I guess I shouldn’t swear. And I certainly couldn’t plan on a last minute summer trip to visit friends in the wild west earlier this month. As they say, never look a gift horse in the mouth, and when the gift is a generous invitation to visit not one family but two families at their respective homes in Wyoming and Idaho, you must seize the moment, thank the lucky stars for your friendships, and buy lots of wine as hostess gifts. And make that red wine, because, in the west, you will be eating copious quantities of delicious red meat.

~ Grand Teton National Park ~

I am convinced that the Rocky Mountains’ high altitude, dry air, and vast landscape will make anyone a carnivore. Bison, buffalo, elk and beef have a place on all menus. Prefer a whiter meat? There’s plenty of pork, chicken and turkey, too. (And no worries if you are not a meat eater. This is the land where the Snake River does it’s snaking – winding and looping its way along the border of Wyoming and Idaho, stocked full of bass and trout.). But this post is about the meat.  One day, we prepared this skirt steak recipe for our dinner. It was submerged in a marinade before we headed out for an afternoon of hiking and mountain biking. When we returned with a big appetite, sore muscles and a few bumps and bruises, all that we needed was a hot shower, a glass of some of that red wine, and to fire up the grill. Ingredients for a fresh, green chimichurri sauce were quickly blitzed in a food processor as a bright accompaniment to the meat. Then we sat and sipped our wine as we watched the sun set behind the mountains. This is living in the wild west.


~
Grilled Skirt Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4-5

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
2 pounds skirt steak

Combine all of the marinade ingredients in a bowl and whisk together. Place skirt steak in a large container with lid or ziploc bag. Pour marinade over. Cover container or seal bag and refrigerate. Marinate for at least 3 hours or overnight. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling to bring to room temperature.
Prepare grill for high heat (or preheat oven broiler). Remove meat from marinade; discard marinade. Grill over direct high heat, turning once, 3-4 minutes each side for medium-rare. (If using the oven, arrange meat on in one layer on a broiler pan. Broil, turning once, 4 minutes per side). Transfer meat to cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest 10 minutes. To serve, slice skirt steak against the grain on the diagonal in 3″ strips. Serve with Chimichurri Sauce.

Chimichurri Sauce:

Chimichurri is a traditional condiment from Argentina. It’s a great accompaniment to grilled meats and fish. There are many variations of chimichurri, but the common ingredient is parsley.  The flavors will develop when allowed to sit for an hour at room temperature.

1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley
1/2 cup cilantro
3 large garlic cloves
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon or lime juice
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Combine parsley, cilantro and garlic in a bowl of a food processor. Pulse to chop. Add remaining ingredients and pulse briefly to combine.

Grilled Flank Steak Skewers with Spicy Green Chile Sauce

Grilled Flank Steak Skewers with Spicy Green Chile Sauce

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~ Flank Steak, Spicy Green Chiles, Beer and a Grill ~

If the weather is so hot that it feels like it’s shouting at you, then why not shout back with this spicy, peppery recipe for grilled flank steak? There is nothing soft-spoken about steak marinated in a fiery beer bath or its 3-chile dipping sauce. Sharp, fragrant and heady with stout, lime and sriracha, the marinade tenderizes the beef as it soaks overnight and soaks up the flavors and just enough spice without overwhelming. The sauce is inspired by Zhoug, a Yemeni condiment that’s a cross between chimichurri and harissa, which is a match made in heaven. Serve on skewers for fun party food and be sure to pass the beer and tequila for a bold and jazzy meal to beat the heat.

Grilled Flank Steak Skewers with Spicy Green Chile Sauce
Serves 4-6 as a main course

3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dark beer or stout
1/4 cup lime juice
2 tablespoons sriracha or hot sauce
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle chili powder
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 pounds flank steak, cut against the grain in 1 inch strips

Whisk all of the marinade ingredients together in a small bowl. Place flank steak strips in a resealable plastic bag or glass container with a lid. Pour marinade over and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove steak from marinade 30 minutes before grilling. Discard the marinade. Prepare grill for high heat. Thread strips on pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Grill over direct heat, turning once, 5-6 minutes each side for medium-rare. Serve with Spicy Green Chile Sauce (recipe below).

~
Spicy Green Chile Sauce (Zhoug)

Makes about 2 cups

1 poblano pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped
1 green serrano pepper, stemmed, coarsely chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 cup cilantro sprigs
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
Extra-virgin olive oil

Place peppers and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cilantro, cumin and salt. Briefly pulse to combine. Transfer to a glass jar. Pour olive oil over to cover. Store in refrigerator for up to 5 days. (The flavors and heat will diminish with time).

Note: When you make the zhoug, be sure to take a tiny taste of your peppers. If a pepper is too fiery for your taste, then carefully remove some or all of its membranes and seeds without coming in contact with your skin.

Beer-Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with Jicama Slaw

Beer-Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with Jicama Slaw

Don’t be daunted when I tell you that you should begin this beef short rib recipe two days in advance of serving. The key ingredient in this recipe is time, and the most important technique you will be asked to master is patience. Waiting will be the hardest part, but I assure you the results are well worth it.

The first 24 hours requires making a knock-your-socks-off chipotle spice paste which is rubbed all over the short ribs. The meat is then tucked away in the refrigerator overnight where it will mingle and mull with the spices, and you, the cook, will exercise your patience.

The second day invites a little hands on kitchen work to satisfy your inner-cook. The meat will be seared in a hot pan and then smothered in an intoxicating stock of beer, tomato and onion. If you haven’t yet mastered the patience technique, you will have another opportunity to practice, when the pot of meat, soup and spice is banished to the oven where it will slow cook over several hours. As the meat braises, a heady aroma of spice and meat will fill your kitchen causing your stomach to rumble, your mouth to water and your nose to tingle, leading you to question whether you have the cojones to wait another day to consume this concoction.

You will dig deep within and find the inner strength to muster more patience. The braised meat will cool, while the soup is reduced to a viscous sauce – teasing and testing your will-power as you taste it for seasoning. Then, once again, the pot of beef will be stowed away in the refrigerator overnight, where the newly shredded meat will continue to absorb the flavors of the sauce. The following day, the congealed fat will have risen to form a tidy lid over the stew. It will be swiftly and eagerly removed, like the wrapping of a gift, to reveal a burnished red, intensely flavored stew. As you taste it your senses will light up, because these short ribs will be crazy good. You will feel happy, warm and sated, as though you are trying on a new fluffy pullover on a gray day. You will be content, knowing that you succeeded in making this dish, while the mouths you are feeding are humming with delight at the table – a deserving reward for your time and patience.

Beer Braised Chipotle Short Ribs with Jicama Slaw

This recipe is best made 2 days before serving. Feel free to double the portion for a crowd. Serves 4.

Part 1:
3 garlic cloves, smashed
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 short ribs, 3-4 inches in length, about 3.5 pounds

Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl. Smear over the short ribs. Refrigerate at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.

Part 2:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, sliced
1 bottle dark beer
1 – 16 ounce can Italian plum tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 heaping tablespoon brown sugar
Salt to taste

Flour or corn tortillas
Jicama Slaw (recipe below)
Chopped avocado
Cilantro leaves
Lime wedges

Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the short ribs in one layer in batches. Brown on all sides, then transfer to a plate. Repeat with remaining short ribs.  Reduce heat to medium. Add onion to the pot and sauté, 2 minutes. Carefully add the beer, scraping up any brown bits and cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes with juices and bay leaves. Return ribs and any juices to the pot, submerging the meat in the stock. Cover and transfer to oven. Bake until meat is tender, 3 hours.
Remove pot from the oven. Transfer the meat to a bowl and discard the bones.
Bring the stock to a boil and cook until reduced by half, skimming fat with a spoon. Add sugar and any accumulated juices from the meat to the stock. Taste for salt.
While the stock is cooking, and when the meat is cool enough to handle, shred the meat.  Add along with any juices to the stock and heat through. (May be prepared up to 1 day in advance. Refrigerate, covered. Skim solidified fat from the top before reheating.)

To serve, arrange a tortilla on a plate. Spoon Jicama Slaw down the center of the tortilla. Spoon meat over the slaw, and drizzle with some of the juices. Sprinkle with chopped avocado, cilantro leaves and juice from a lime wedge. Roll up and enjoy.

Jicama Slaw
Makes 4-5 cups

3 cups shredded red cabbage
3 cups shredded jicama
3 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 small sweet red pepper thinly sliced
1 jalapano pepper, finely chopped
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-2 teaspoons salt, to taste
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley leaves

Combine the cabbage, jicama, green onions and peppers together in a large bowl. Whisk the lime juice, oil, Tabasco, cumin, salt and pepper together in a small bowl. Pour over the cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate at least one hour and up to 6 hours. Before serving, stir in the cilantro and parsley.

Cuban-Inspired Braised Beef with Oranges

Cuban-Inspired Braised Beef with Oranges


Cuban Inspired Braised Beef with Oranges 

If you have a teenage boy in the family, you may understand the following. If not, please enjoy this researched, significantly adapted and tested recipe of Hispanic origin.

Son: I have an assignment due tomorrow in Spanish. I have to bring in a prepared recipe of hispanic origin.
Me: When are you making it?
Son: I have 2 finals I have to study for tonight after presenting a research project to the sophomore class and faculty before sailing practice after school.
Me: When are you helping me make it?
Son: After my homework and before bed, probably not before 11 pm – if I haven’t fallen asleep.
Me: What am I making?
Son: I found this recipe on the internet for Cuban Carne Asada with Oranges that sounds good.
Me: Yes it sounds good. In fact what makes it so good is that it requires at least 3 hours to marinate and another 3 hours to slow-cook.
Son: Is there a quick version?
Me: That is the quick version. It tastes better if it marinates overnight.
Son: I will help you as much as I can. I promise. This recipe sounds really good.
Me: (Saying) Please learn to manage your time more efficiently – you are lucky that cooking is part of my job description. (Thinking) I am so happy you can spot a great recipe worth making.
Epilogue: A double batch was prepared with a healthy dose of adaptation and improvisation. My son chopped the garnishes and washed the dishes. Everyone in the class loved the recipe, and we enjoyed it for dinner.

Cuban Inspired Braised Beef with Oranges
Serves 6-8

For the beef marinade:
3 pounds beef chuck, cut in 3 inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, grated with juices
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
Juice and zest of one orange

For the braise:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup dry white wine
Juice of 2 oranges

Soft tortillas, warmed
Garnishes:  salsa, sliced avocado, sliced jalapeno peppers, black beans, chopped fresh cilantro, lime wedges

Marinate the beef:
Cut beef chuck in 3 inch pieces. Salt and pepper on all sides. Place in a bowl or container. Add garlic, onion, olive oil, cumin, orange juice and zest. Turn the beef to coat with marinade ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or preferably overnight.

Prepare the braise:
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a deep skillet or pot. Add beef in batches in one layer without overcrowding. Brown on all sides. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining beef. Pour wine into the pan to deglaze. Return beef. Add orange juice. Cover and simmer, occasionally basting with juices, until beef is very tender and easily falls apart, about 3 hours.
Transfer beef to a plate. Boil pan juices over medium-high heat until reduced and thickened, about 20 minutes. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Shred beef and return to pot; keep warm.
To serve, spoon some of the beef over a warmed tortilla. Top with optional garnishes, such as salsa, fresh avocado, jalapeno peppers, black beans, cilantro and freshly squeezed lime juice.

Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups

Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups

There is something primally satisfying about eating with your hands, and with Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups you will enjoy that pleasure and more: satisfying, juicy and seriously good finger food with the extra kick of spice.  This is fun food to make and eat – perfect for a casual, interactive dinner party. Line the table with bowls of condiments and rice and platters of beef and lettuce leaves. Then let everyone assemble their own cups. Pile the meat on fresh lettuce leaves along with rice and a sprinkle of condiments. Drizzle some of the reduced meat sauce over the rice and serve with a squirt of sriracha.

Korean-Style Beef Lettuce Cups

A key to the flavor of this recipe is the beef marinade. Strips of beef soak in a rich, umami-ish sauce fortified with stout, and are pan-fried until browned and slightly caramelized. The sauce is then reduced to an intense salty, sweet, hot sauce for drizzling. Serves 6-8.

For the meat:
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup dark beer
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons sriracha
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 pounds New York strip or rib-eye steak, cut cross-wise in very thin slices

For the condiments:
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 bunch scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1 cup fresh mint leaves
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup sesame seeds, lightly toasted
Sriracha
2 cups basmati or sushi rice, cooked
1-2 heads green leaf lettuce, leaves separated, washed and dried

Prepare the marinade:
Whisk together soy sauce, stout,  garlic, sugar, lime juice, sriracha and sesame oil in a large bowl. Add meat and toss to thoroughly coat the meat. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate covered up to 24 hours.

Prepare condiments:
Toss carrot with lime juice in a small bowl. Place scallions, mint, cilantro, sesame seeds, sriracha and rice in individual serving bowls. Arrange lettuce on a platter.

Prepare Meat:
Heat 1 tablespoon peanut or vegetable oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium high heat. Add beef strips in batches in one layer without overcrowding. Brown on both sides. Transfer to a platter; keep warm. Once all the beef has been cooked, pour the remaining marinade and any collected meat juices into the skillet. Bring to a boil and reduce until somewhat thickened. Pour into a small bowl.

To serve, top a lettuce leaf with a few spoonfuls of rice, 1-2 meat strips and a spoonful of the marinade reduction. Sprinkle with the other condiments and drizzle with sriracha. Roll up and eat.

A French Country Menu: Beef Bourguignon

 

Beef Bourguignon

During the winter season I like to prepare rustic peasant-style food from the French countryside. These hearty dishes are made with staples from the land such as potatoes, root vegetables, bitter winter greens, cured meats and cheese.  My favorite is Beef Bourguignon, a stew consisting of a tough cut of beef slow-cooked in Burgundy wine until falling-apart tender, mingling with carrots, onions and mushrooms in a rich, savory stock.  It’s a delicious one-pot meal perfect for a cold night.  Try to make it one day in advance, so the flavors can develop overnight, and then enjoy the meal before a roaring fire.

Beef Bourguignon
Serves 6-8

5 tablespoons olive oil
3 lbs. beef chuck, cut in 1 1/2″ chunks
Salt and pepper
1/2 cup cognac

4 large carrots
1 large yellow onion, cut in large chunks
4 large garlic cloves, smashed
1 – 750 ml. bottle full-bodied red wine
1 cup beef stock
1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried thyme

10 oz. (300 g.) pearl onions, peeled
1/2 pound white mushrooms, halved
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat in a large oven-proof pan with lid or Dutch-oven. Season beef all over with salt and pepper. Working in batches, add beef to pan in one layer and brown on all sides. Transfer to a bowl. Add cognac to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat, scraping up bits. Allow to reduce by half. Pour cognac over beef and set aside.

Preheat oven to 325 F. (170 C.)  Coarsely chop 2 carrots.  Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan. Add chopped carrots, onion and garlic. Sauté 3 minutes over medium heat. Add beef, wine, stock, tomato paste, and thyme. (Beef should be covered by the wine and stock. If not, add more wine or stock to cover.)  Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and cook 2 minutes.  Cover and place in oven. Bake until meat is very tender 2 1/2 – 3 hours.

About 30 minutes before beef is done, cut remaining carrots in 1/2″ slices.  Steam or blanch carrots until crisp tender; drain. Sauté mushrooms and onions in a skillet with one tablespoon olive oil until light golden brown.

Remove beef from oven.  Strain liquid from stew into a saucepan. Separate meat from vegetables and discard vegetables. Boil liquid until sauce is reduced by 1/2 and has a sauce consistency, skimming fat from surface. Add sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour sauce back over beef.   Add carrots, mushrooms and onions to stock. Simmer 15 minutes. Serve.

Beef bourguignon can be prepared up to 2 days in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Remove solidified fat from surface before reheating. Reheat over medium-low heat on stovetop, or in a 325 F. oven.



Kitchen Table Philosophy

Ribeye Arugula Parmesan

Good friends have arrived from Denmark. We originally met 8 years ago when we lived near Copenhagen and had small children the same age at an international school. The first time we got together as families was for a meal in our home, and, since then, there has been no looking back. For the next 5 years we watched our children grow up while we shared many meals together. Our youngest daughters are still best friends, and I remember trying to first speak with their daughter who spoke no English at the time, and my Danish was very new. Instead, we tried to tickle each other, and we made each other laugh and our laughter was our shared language. My son and their eldest daughter are also the same age, and were young enough when they met that gender and differing language abilities were inconsequential, paling in contrast to their mutual obsessions with rocks, fossils and collecting creatures in tide pools.

It has been nearly 2 years since we last dined together, but I feel as though it was yesterday. As I prepare our dinner tonight – grilled ribeye steak with rosemary, arugula and parmesan – I feel as though a close family member has arrived, and I know exactly what to cook for them. I remember specific meals we shared and our conversations at the kitchen table, weaving around the food, the wine and the laughter, stretching late into the evening. I think how food is a universal language, a unifier and equalizer, creating traditions and strengthening friendships that last a lifetime.

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Rosemary, Arugula and ParmesanMay food

Serves 4-6

4 ribeye steaks
Extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 bunches arugula
Parmesan (parmigiano reggiano) shavings
Balsamic vinegar
Extra rosemary sprigs for garnish

At least 4 hours and up to one day in advance, place steaks in a bowl or container.  Rub with olive oil, garlic, rosemary.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Cover and refrigerate.  Remove from refrigerator one hour before grilling and bring to room temperature.

Arrange steaks on prepared grill.  Grill turning once, approximately 4 minutes per side for medium rare. Place on cutting board, cover with foil and rest for 10 minutes.

Arrange arugula on a large platter.  Cut steaks in 3/4 inch thick slices.  Place steaks over arugula.  Top with parmesan shavings.  Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Garnish with rosemary sprigs.