Thursday, January 29, 2009


yields six servings

8 and 1/4 cups beef broth (low-salt if using canned)
1 bottle Merlot (or other red wine with mellow tannins)
1/2 cup canola oil
4 ounces sliced double-smoked bacon, cut in half lengthwise and julienned
5 shallots, finely diced
8 to 10 portobello-mushroom caps, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon finely chopped thyme
3 tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 to 4 and 1/2 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed (with the thin tail end folded to equalize the thickness) and tied at 1 and 1/2-inch intervals

Portobello-bacon sauce: Place 8 cups of the broth in a saucepan over medium heat and reduce to about 2 cups. Reduce the red wine to about 1 cup in a separate saucepan.

Heat 1/4 cup oil in a large pan, then add the bacon and cook until it's crisp but not burned; remove and set aside. Add the shallots to the pan, cook till translucent, and stir in the diced mushrooms. When the mushrooms have released all their liquid, return the bacon to the pan, add the reduced wine, and bring to a simmer. Add the reduced beef broth and thyme and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix the cornstarch or arrowroot with the remaining 1/4 cup beef broth and add to the sauce after the first 15 minutes of cooking. When ready to serve, whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper. If the sauce becomes too thick, thin it out with a little water.

Chateaubriand: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in a large ovenproof sauté pan, and when the oil begins to smoke, add the tenderloin and sear on all sides. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 20 to 30 minutes, to desired doneness (115 to 118 degrees for rare, 120 degrees for medium rare). Remove from oven, cover loosely with foil, and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Cut into 2-inch-thick slices and serve 2 per person with the portobello-bacon sauce. Hearts of celery, organic carrots, leeks, and Bintje potatoes—all braised—make great accompaniments.

courtesy of: Chef Rick Laakkonen, Ilo, The Bryant Park Hotel, 40 West 40th Street, New York, New York 10018 | New York Magazine, 2002

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