Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Beef tenderloin in mushroom wine gravy

Oh I love you.  I admit, she's my chef crush.  I really love to watch her show, she cooks with gusto, and she's gorgeous.  A few weeks before Christmas I was watching Food Network with Paulo and saw her cook a stay at home fancy dinner for her husband and two friends which immediately made me think....CHRISTMAS!  You see, my family had decided we would spread Christmas out this year, we spent the Eve with my husbands family and we spent the 26th with mine leaving my little family completely free and clear on Christmas Day.  Rene and I talked about taking Paulo out to a fancy dinner downtown but by then I'd already been thinking about this beef recipe I saw and frankly didn't want to drop, easily, $100 on dinner out.  So we stayed in.  And I cooked this.  Oh yeah....I cooked that.....

The recipe is fairly simple to follow, which I always appreciate.  My grocer was low on beef by the time I made it in, they didn't have filet mignon steaks so I opted for two 1/2 pound cuts of beef tenderloin.  Frankly, I'm not even sure what the difference is between those. 

For the steaks you will need:
  • Vegetable oil cooking spray
  • 2 (8-ounce) steaks 
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
Put an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat it to 400 degrees F. Spray a small baking sheet with vegetable oil cooking spray. Set aside. Season the steaks with salt and pepper, to taste. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the steaks and brown on all sides, about 4 minutes. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes for medium-rare doneness, I went about 12 minutes. Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes on a cutting board. (very important, let the steaks rest!)

For the gravy:
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large or 4 small shallots, minced
  • 2 cups (about 5 ounces) assorted mushrooms,  coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry Marsala wine, I used the Cab we were drinking 
  • 1 1/2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (I used brown rice to keep it gluten free)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Earth Balance to keep it dairy free)
In the same skillet used for the steak, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the beef broth and rosemary.  Whisk in the flour until smooth., I actually saved some of the beef broth to premix the flour into and then poured it into the pan to prevent lumps.  Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until half of the liquid has evaporated and the sauce has thickened slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Cut the steak across the grain (what does that mean anyway?!) and serve with the gravy. 

Now, I no longer eat much meat, but this was really, really good.  The gravy was awesome, salty-but not too much-and flavorful.  The meat was really tender.  I highly recommend it for a fancy dinner at home!


  1. Krista! This is Nichole, you just posted on my bento lunch (pink bunny) we are in the same area! We are farther west than you but my husband works downtown! Crazy! Great blog!I am now following, a follow back would be great!
    Nichole @

  2. How funny! Yes, I live in Tigard and work in SW Portland. It's a great area to be in when you want good food isn't it?

  3. I personally love Nigella a whole lot more but Giada's recipes are usually good...and easy. And who doesn't like beef swimming in gravy?

  4. I haven't used any Nigella recipes, you'll have to email me your favorites so I can try them out!

  5. Her books are soooo good!!! One of the best is Nigella Express. Can Paulo eat soba noodles? If so I have a recipe I will pass along but you will have to look for gluten free soy sauce. Target has it in their Asian section. Get thee to Nigella! She rocks.


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