Friday, May 22, 2009

Beef Tenderloin with Creole Brandy Sauce

Let's just cut to the chase and get the food porn out of the way.
Tonight's menu was

Beef Tenderloin with Creole Sauce
Smoky Mountain Cafe's Summer Corn**
Roasted Potatoes with Garlic & Rosemary
Grilled Garlic Bread

**(One of the easiest, best side dishes ever. Katherine is a fellow food blogger who is awesome! Check her blog out.)

Start with a whole beef tenderloin. We got this one for a steal at because it was close dated. Yeah, we paid $45 (basically the cost of 3 people eating at Applebee's) for fillet mignon for 6-7 people. Not to mention I'll get at least a couple of incredible burgers by grinding up the scraps in an 80/20 mix.
So instead of "beef from the discount rack" we were having hand trimmed steaks. Say it out loud. Hand trimmed steaks. It just sounds fancy doesn't it? Like "rich Corinthian leather".

Anyway, I cut the steaks, tied them, and hit them with my Cajun beef rub***. This is my standard batch, you don't have to use it all, just enough to coat the steaks well.

Grove's Cajun Beef Rub
2 T smoked paprika
2 t kosher salt, coarse ground
2 t granulated onion, coarse ground (substitute onion powder but grinding your own rocks)
2 t granulated garlic, coarse ground (same)
2 t cayenne pepper
1.5 t white pepper
1/2 t black pepper
1 t thyme
1 t oregano

Let them sit for about 30-45 minutes to absorb the goodness:)
I couldn't do mine on the Egg tonight since it has a pork butt cooking in it so I did them on the Brinkmann's Professional Charcoal Grill filled with a chimney of Kingsford Briquettes with Hickory. The temp was around 450f. I seared them close to the coals with the grill lid CLOSED for four minutes flipping and rotating every 1 minute to get even cooking and nice grid marks.

Than I moved them to the indirect heat said and when they hit 130 internal, I pulled them to rest.

Creole Brandy Sauce
One of the VERY FEW PERHAPS ONLY ONE DOWNSIDE to grilling versus pan searing steaks is that you miss out one the foundation (the seared beef drippings in the pan) to many great sauces. With beef tenderloin, I found a way around that by using some of the trimmed scraps.
1 T olive oil
2 T beef tenderloin fatty trimmings, diced VERY finely
1/4 c mushrooms, diced very fine (measurement is after dicing)
1/4 c beef broth
1 oz brandy
1 T green onion diced on a bias
2 T Dijon mustard, coarse ground
6 oz heavy cream
1 t smoked paprika
S & P to taste

In a heated saute pan, add olive oil and allow to become warm. Saute beef trimmings and mushrooms stirring frequently until the 1) beef is browned and 2) the mushrooms have given off their liquid. The pan should start to look like it is going to burn. The following action shots are courtesy of my wife.

Deglaze the pan with beef broth and simmer for a minute or two letting the liquid reduce.
MEGA HUGE SAFETY TIP: Take the pan OFF of heat and open flame to add the brandy.
To be safe, ignite the brandy away from the range top with a long stem lighter. Me? Instead, I return the pan to the burner, tilt and ignite the flambe.
Call the salon and cancel the eyebrow waxing appointment you had for tomorrow!Just kidding, the whole flambe part lasts all of 1 second, just keep back:)

Add the cream, green onion, mustard, paprika, salt and pepper and let it thicken.

To serve, ladle one spoonful of the brandy sauce on a plate and place the steak on top of the sauce.

IMHO, the flavor of the brandy sauce and the texture of the mushrooms & mustard seeds ROCKS!

***Yes I KNOW Cajun and Creole are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. But my cajun beef rub IS my basic beef rub whether I'm cooking creole or otherwise.

For printable recipe, click here:
Beef Tenderloin Creole