Monday, February 27, 2012

Valentine's Day

Everyone loves to go out to eat on holidays, which is great.  But restaurants jack up the prices and rush you through dinner to get in as many customers as possible.  Real romantic.  My boyfriend Brandon and I started a tradition of cooking Valentine's Day dinner for each other.  Last year we made tenderloin medallions in a Cabernet reduction with mashed potatoes and asparagus.  It was so good that we decided to make it again this year.

Step one: Smother the meat with olive oil and then coat with a simple spice combination of garlic, salt, and pepper.


Step two: Sear the steaks on the stove in a hot skillet.  Only cook for a minute per side. Searing seals in the moisture so that the meat does not dry out in the next phase of cooking.

Step three: Add a little beef broth and a sprig of rosemary to the pan. Place the entire skillet (make sure it is oven-proof and will fit first) into a nice hot oven, preheated to 500 degrees.  Cook the steaks until they are one step below your preferred level of doneness.  For example, if you like your steak medium-rare like I do, cook it in the oven until it is rare.

Step four: Take the skillet out of the oven.  Remove the steaks and cover them in foil while you make the reduction.  The trick is to make the reduction in the same pan as the steak cooked in.  This allows all of the flavor from the "bits" and grease in the pan to come through in the sauce.  To create the reduction, add chopped shallot and more beef broth to the pan.  Once the shallot is tender, add Cabernet, or your choice of red wine, to the pan and bring it to a boil.  Boil the sauce until the liquid is reduced by half. 

Step five: Once you have acquired your desired reduction consistency, add some butter to it.  Then, add the steak back in very briefly to finish cooking. 


Step six: Plate your steak and pour the sauce over top.  Enjoy....I promise you will.

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