Saturday, September 22, 2007

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Roast

My friend Amanda wanted to grill something for her husband’s birthday. She decided on doing a nice beef tenderloin (Filet Mignon) roast, so I wrote up this recipe for her. This is a fantastic way to serve grilled filet mignon to a lot of guests without having to spend all your time grilling individual steaks.

With this recipe you’ll only spend about ½ hr at the grill, and you can do the grilling up to 2 or 3 hrs ahead. The roast actually gets better after sitting for a while. Finish grilling just before your guests arrive, then relax and enjoy a glass of wine with them before serving.

You’ll need:

  • 1 Big-ass beef tenderloin (ours was about 5lbs)
  • Crushed Garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea (or Kosher) Salt (do not use Iodized Salt)
  • Pepper
  • Cotton cooking twine
  • Instant-read thermometer
  • 1 daily edition of the San Francisco Chronicle (steal it from a neighbor who hasn't picked theirs up yet if you don't subscribe)
  • 6 - 8 sprigs of rosemary as long as the roast
If you're planning to serve this roast at say, 7pm, proceed as follows:

ASAP: Go buy the roast.

First, cut the silverskin off of the loin. Silverskin is a connective tissue that shrinks when cooked and will turn your roast into a ball if you don't remove it. It looks like fat, only tougher. Slide a knife under the silverskin, then pull up on the skin as you slide the knife down, removing the entire strip of silverskin as close to the meat as possible.

Fold the skinny end of the roast under so that your roast is an even thickness from end to end. Tie it up with cotton twine at 1" intervals (winding it around works fine).

Lay the roast on a sheet of wax paper or cling film. Rub the crushed garlic over the roast, then drizzle with olive oil all over and sprinkle liberally with salt & pepper. Pull the wax paper/cling film around the roast and wrap tightly. Let the roast sit out on the counter--you want it to be at room temp when you start grilling).

Heat up the grill to super hot by leaving all burners on high for about 10 minutes. Your grill will probably reach about 500f degrees.

When the grill is ready, unwrap the roast and bring it out. Place the roast on the grill and turn the heat down to low. Close the lid. After 5 minutes, turn the roast and brown another side. After 10 more minutes, brown the next side. Turn twice again, at 10 minute intervals, until the entire roast is nicely browned.

Insert an instant-read thermometer. You should now be somewhere between 110 - 120f degrees. If you are, then you're done. If you're over, well that's ok, we'll live. If you're under, turn and leave the roast another 5 minutes and check again.

Open up your Chronicle and pull out several full-size sheets of paper (one complete section usually works nicely). Lay your sprigs of rosemary across one corner where you’ll place the roast. When your roast reaches the desired temperature, pull it off of the grill and lay it on the rosemary. Lay additional sprigs on top of the raost. Roll the paper over the roast one complete turn then fold in the ends. Continue rolling TIGHTLY to the end. If you like, you can wrap this in aluminium foil to avoid any drips on your counter. Leave this out on the counter now until you're ready to serve. It'll continue cooking slightly, and will actually keep warm for several hours. Let the roast rest like this for a MINIMUM of 30 minutes.

6:30 or 7pm or whenever you're ready to serve:
Bring out the roast, and remove the string. Slice into 1" thick cuts, and plate. Serve it with some really yummy dijon mustard.

Note: the roast will be nice and pink in color all the way to the edge, but with a consistency and flavor closer to medium rare. If you have a guest who prefers their steak a little more well done you can finish their portion by grilling both sides back on the bbq.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Filet Mignon Roast and Potato-Leek Gratin with a Southern Comfort Mushroom Cream Sauc

For the Potato-Leek Gratin:

  • 1 lb Yukon Gold potatoes, thinly sliced (I used fingerlings, for coin-sized rounds)
  • 2 large leeks, white part & pale green parts, thinly sliced
  • 1/4c flour
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 Tbsp ea butter and EVOO
  • 1c ea white wine and chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup ea heavy cream

For the mushrooms:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/3c Southern Comfort
  • Salt and White Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream, warmed

For the Filet Mingon:

  • 1 1/2 to 3lb Filet Mignon Roast
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tbsp EVOO
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • S&P

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the potatoes, leeks, and olive oil in a mixing bowl and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with flour and gently toss to mix well. Transfer to a 9 by 9-inch baking dish and pat gently to form an even layer. Pour cream over mixture. Melt together the butter and EVOO. Add wine and stock, and bring to a simmer. Reduce by half, and then slowly pour over dish. Do not mix. Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until the potatoes are tender. Let cool completely, cover with plastic wrap, and chill. When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Cut the potatoes into 4 even sections. Using a metal spatula, transfer the squares to a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes or until the tops are browned.

To prepare the mushrooms, melt the butter in a saucepan and sauté the mushrooms over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes or until lightly golden. Add the Southern Comfort, season with salt and white pepper, and stir well. Simmer to reduce liquids by half. Stir in the cream and keep warm.

To prepare the filet, tie with cooking twine, folding the small flap end under to create an even thickness. Combine Worcestershire Sauce, Dijon Mustard, EVOO and crushed garlic, and liberally coat the roast. Sear on all sides in a cast iron skillet, then transfer to a 500f degree oven to finish. Insert thermometer, and remove roast from oven when center reaches 120f degrees. Tightly wrap roast in several layers of newspapers and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

To serve: Unwrap and slice roast into equal sized portions approximately 1 1/2 inches thick. Place a potato and leek square on plate, top with a slice of filet mignon, then drizzle mushroom sauce over meat.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Virgin Cocktails

Ok, yes, I would have thought this would be sacrilege too. But I actually had a lot of fun playing bartender and mixing up these drinks for my daughter's 14th birthday.

Arnold Palmer
Iced tea and lemonade served over ice

Baby Bellini
Peach juice with grenadine and a splash of soda

Bloody Shame
Spicy V8 served over ice with celery stick

Coconut Kiss
Creamy cherry and coconut

Frozen Daiquiri
Strawberries pureed with pineapple juice and ice

Apple, orange, and cranberry juice poured over ice with a splash of grenadine, garnished with an orange slice and a cherry

Gentle Sea Breeze
Cranberry and pineapple juice shaken with ice, poured over crushed ice and served with a sprig of mint

Hannah Montana
Orange juice, lemon juice, lime juice shaken with ice, then poured into a glass with a splash of grenadine, topped up with ginger ale, and garnish with a cherry.

Innocent Passion
Passion fruit, cranberry, lemon soda served over ice with a cherry

Magic Island
Apple and grapefruit juice with coconut cream

Mock Champagne
A blend of fruit juice and ginger ale

Grapefruit juice shaken with lemon, lime and grenadine served over ice

Poco Mojito
Lime and mint masticated with simple syrup, served over ice with soda

Pomme Noir
Apple juice and cola

Safe Sex on the Beach
Cranberry and grapefruit juice with peach nectar, served over ice and garnished with a cherry

Ugly Virgin
Mandarin juice, grapefruit juice and lemonade

Virgin Mary
Tomato and cranberry juice, spiced up with lemon, Worcestershire, Tabasco, salt and pepper, served over ice and garnished with celery

Virgins in Manhattan
Cranberry and orange juice, with a good splash of cherry and lemon served over ice

Orange juice with lemon and grenadine, shaken, poured over ice and topped off with ginger ale

White Sangria
White grape and pink grapefruit juice with a splash of lime and soda, garnished with pink grapefruit slices

More complete recipes for all of the above can be found here