Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Recipe 35: Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Dill Sauce

 So one of the things that I have been very hesitant to cook has been steak.  I always have felt like steak was something where timing was important and you had to get it just right or it could mess it up.  And I never like messing up food, so I delayed trying it as long as possible.

At this point in the year (early November when I made this) I figured that I was proficient in cooking that I could at least attempt it.  Of course, then I got talked into trying a rather fancier recipe than I was expecting.  So I was a little nervous in attempting this one.  There are also no pictures of me actually making the steak... which is kind of a shame.  But I totally forgot it.

In addition to the steak I made some roasted fingerling potatoes, which I thought was a nice combination.  This isn't a perfect picture, but here is the final result of the steak.

And here is the recipe that I used for the steak(Link).  In addition I used this recipe (link) for the fingerling potatoes.  They were pretty simple, so I won't focus on them.


  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter   
  • 12 oz. assorted fresh mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed, and sliced 1/4 inch thick  
  • Kosher salt  
  • 1/2 cup minced shallot (about 1 large)  
  • 2 Tbs. Cognac  
  • 3/4 cup lower-salt beef broth  
  • 1 Tbs. vegetable oil  
  • 4 6-oz. beef tenderloin steaks (about 1 inch thick), preferably at room temperature  
  • Freshly ground black pepper  
  • 3 Tbs. sour cream  
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard  
  • 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh dill


Melt the butter in a 12-inch heavy-duty skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, season generously with salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the shallot, and cook until softened, about 3 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat and carefully add the Cognac, stirring to deglaze the pan. Add the broth, bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 3 minutes. Cover the skillet, and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the steaks dry and season generously on both sides with salt and pepper. When the pan is very hot, add the steaks. Sear until a dark crust forms, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn the steaks, and cook to desired doneness, about 5 minutes more for medium rare. Remove the skillet from the heat, transfer the steaks to a platter, tent with foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

With a rubber spatula, scrape the mushroom mixture into the cast-iron skillet. Add the sour cream and mustard, stirring until heated through and well mixed. If necessary, return the skillet to the stove top to heat the sauce. Stir in the dill.

Transfer the steaks to plates, spoon the sauce over, and serve.


I think that the only change that I made in this recipe was that I didn't have cognac.  I didn't actually have any available.  I believe that I used some brandy as a replacement, but you can also use scotch or whiskey if desired. This link is helpful when trying to determine what can replace certain alcohols.

The Process

 Luckily, I was at Katie and Will's and so Katie was available to help with this.  A lot of my timing stuff probably would have been uglier had she not been there.  She helped a lot with the mushroom sauce, while I dealt with the steaks.

Here is the mushrooms after the sour cream was added.

 Here is is after it has been mixed together and heated up.
 And here are the fingerling potatoes.

Since I managed to forget taking pictures of the steak I will just discuss it.  For this recipe you really want to make the pan as hot as possible since you are going to be searing the steak.  So you heat the pan up really hot and then place the steaks on it.  If you have a splatter guard it would be good to put that over the skillet.  You then cook it for maybe 4 minutes, it depends on how hot the pan is I guess.  Then you flip them over and cook them for maybe 4 more minutes.  You really don't want to cook it much more than that, and you want to be pretty careful about not overcooking it.

And here again is the final result.

I thought that this steak was absolutely terrific.  It was really really great.  The steak was just about perfectly cooked and the mushroom sauce was terrific.  I thought the potatoes were fine, but they certainly didn't compare to the steak.  I would highly recommend this recipe to anyone who wants to make steak.

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