Friday, April 22, 2011

Tenderloin with red wine sauce

On Sunday Nancy and I were both feeling like rack of lamb with fresh mint and maybe some mohitos.  Unfortunately IGA did not share our dream, there was no fresh mint anywhere in Madeira Park, so visions had to be changed.  We found two very nice tenderloin steaks and tried to put our disappointment behind us.

A little research was required and I found versions of this recipe in several different places, all assuring me that they were wonderful.  It requires a full bottle of wine! This makes way more sauce than we needed, but we had a disappointing bottle of red wine from Friday night that we did not know what to do with it.  "Life is too short to drink bad wine" is one of my favourite sayings, this bottle was sacrificed to make a very good sauce.


1 bottle of red wine
2 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of beef stock
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped.
Beurre Manier
2 tablespoons of butter and  tablespoons of flour mixed together to make a soft paste

Pour the wine and two stocks in to a pot, and put them to simmer for about an hour.  Though you do not have to watch it all the time you want to stay close by to ensure it does not boil away.

Wine and stock waiting to be concentrated down
After around an hour it should have concentrated down to about 2 cups.  If you are using homemade stock do not add salt until the end, and if you are using bought stock try to use one that is low salt.  As you can imagine this could get very salty if you use high salt stock and then concentrate down this much.

After an hour
The most important thing on deciding when it has concentrated down enough is taste.  When it is getting close keep taking a little taste when it tastes great that is when it is ready.

In a small frying pan cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until they are just going golden but not brown.

When the onion is soft and golden add to the sauce.  Some recipes that I found had you do this first in the pot before you add the wine and stock and next time I would probably do that as it makes more sense to me.  But I had already poured the wine in before I thought about it.

Mix the butter and flour together with your fingers in a small bowl.

Beurre Manie
This is a traditional french way of thickening sauces which not only thickens without lumps but it also enriches the sauce slightly.

Drop the beurre manie into the simmering sauce in small lumps whisking or stirring constantly. The butter melts releasing the flour to thicken the sauce with out lumps.  You must simmer the sauce for a minute or so to make sure that the uncooked floury flavour is cooked out.

Grill the steaks to desired doneness, our desired doneness was medium rare, our actual doneness was medium. Oh well look at the view from the barbecue no wonder I was distracted.

View from barbecue
 Before grilling the steaks I added a good amount of fresh ground black pepper but no salt as the sauce was a little on the salty side and I hoped that this would counteract it.

Pour the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with a little chopped parsley if desired to brighten the dish up a little.

This was a very good sauce, I would really like to make it with homemade stocks with no salt in it so that I could control the salt content.  I think you could freeze the unthickend sauce in small containers, because, if you are sacrificing that much wine it would be good to use it all.  And can you imagine coming home from work grilling a couple of steaks and pulling this sauce out of the freezer heating up and pouring on. Wouldn't you be a hero.

We enjoyed our steaks and will keep the vision of rack of lamb for another day.

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