Where’s the beef?
Hopefully, you’ll be preparing it so it’s ready to be on your plate by the time you’ve finished reading today’s article!
Beef has long been a beloved ingredient in Italian cooking. Its rich flavours complement many red Italian wines perfectly. So, we could think of no better meat to feature in this week’s recipe.
But you’re not going to prepare your beef on its own.
We’re also going to show you how to create a gorgeous creamy mushroom sauce that perfectly accents the flavours. Plus, we’re going to make a few Italian wine recommendations that will really make the dish pop!
This is a fairly involved recipe that requires about 40 minutes of preparation and cooking time. The end result is an amazing meal that serves two people. And before we forget, credit must go to the wonderful people at food.com who provided this recipe.
Now, let’s take a look at what you need to create it.
- A 6-ounce beef tenderloin
- One cup of assorted mushrooms
- A clove of garlic
- A three-quarter cup of 35% cream
- One sprig of thyme
- A teaspoon of butter
- A dash of olive oil
- A quarter-cup of chicken broth
- Some salt, pepper, and chopped parsley for seasoning
You’ll be active during the entire time that you’re preparing this dish, which means good organizational skills are paramount. Here are the steps you need to follow.
Place a frying pan over a medium-high flame and allow it to heat up. Add your butter and olive oil to create a good sizzle.
Throw a pinch of salt and vinegar onto your beef to season it. Add it to the pan and listen to that wonderful sound of meat sizzling. Then, add your garlic and thyme into the mix.
Spend about 12 minutes frying the beef tenderloin to cook it to medium. Turn the beef every two or three minutes to ensure you’re cooking it evenly on both sides. If you prefer medium-rare, cook for 6-8 minutes. Those who prefer beef well-done should cook for about 15 minutes.
Once the beef is cooked, remove it from the pan and place it to one side somewhere that it will stay warm. Then, remove the garlic and thyme before returning the pan to the heat. At this point, you may want to add a dash of Italian red wine and flame it so the alcohol burns off. However, this is an optional step.
Add your chicken stock to the pan and cook it until you’ve reduced it by about two-thirds. Then, add your 35% cream and leave to simmer gently until the cream thickens and reduces to about half of its original amount.
Use a little more salt and pepper to season the sauce and place it to the side somewhere that it will stay warm.
Grab a fresh frying pan because you’re about to prepare your mushrooms! Place the pan over a high flame and cut your mushrooms into hazelnut-sized pieces while you wait. When the mushrooms are cut and the pan is hot, throw the mushrooms in and sauté them. Throw in some dashes of butter and olive oil with the mushrooms.
Cook the mushrooms for about four minutes, seasoning them with salt and pepper as you go. You should notice that the mushrooms soften and start releasing juices as you cook.
Place your beef tenderloin on a plate and arrange your mushrooms around it. Then, drizzle the sauce over the mushrooms, with a little bit being reserved for the beef.
Add a little bit of chopped parsley, if that’s your thing, and you’re ready to serve!
The Italian Wines to Serve with the Dish
This is an interesting dish to come up with wine combinations for, as almost anything goes when you throw mushrooms into the mix. They pair just as easily with white wines as they do with reds, meaning your main concern is going to be ensuring the richness of the beef doesn’t overpower your drinking experience.
Older vintages that have mellowed somewhat, especially in their tannic strength, tend to offer the best combination for beef tenderloin. You’re also looking to avoid wines that have a rigid structure, as well as wines that are very young, as both will tend to be so sweet that they overpower the beef.
A number of French wines combine well with this dish, including aged Malbec, Merlot, and Bordeaux wines. All off the mellow tannins that you’re looking for, as well as having full enough bodies to match the richness of the beef without being so structured that they are too sweet.
For a more general grape that is found in many Italian wines, look for a Cabernet Sauvignon that has a medium acidity level. As these wines are usually aged in oak, they tend to offer several interesting notes that make for some interesting combinations with both the beef and the mushroom cream sauce.
Speaking of interesting note combinations, Barolo is our final recommendation. These wines tend to offer interesting combinations of cherry, blueberries, leather, and tobacco. The latter two notes temper the first two notes when the wine is aged, creating the more mellow experience you’re looking for when it comes to this delectable dish.
The Final Word
Beef tenderloin, as the name suggests, is the most tender beef that you will find. It’s also lean, meaning you’ll be enjoying some of the healthiest beef around. And when combined with a tasty mushroom sauce, it is truly a taste sensation.
That sensation is something that you don’t want to cut through with a wine that is too sweet or that has such a rigid structure that the beef’s flavours can’t compete.
The wines we’ve suggested ensure that doesn’t happen. And you can find plenty of examples of all of these wines in the Xtrawine store.
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