Contributed by Chef Michel Nischan
Beef has tremendous culinary significance and there are numerous ways to prepare it healthfully . Poaching is one of these, as in the classic French dish boeuf au fisselle. Beef tenderloin is exceptionally tender meat and nothing maintains its lovely texture better than poaching. Poached meat is missing the characteristic browned crust we have come to expect with beef, so we make a reduced sauce to serve with the meat. We have also developed a satisfying and rich alternative to sour cream called Sour Buttermilk Cream.
8 cups Rich Beef Stock
8 cups Rich Mushroom Stock
8 home-dried heirloom tomatoes, rehydrated in the reduced beef and mushroom stock 1 hour
8 small to medium organic Yukon Gold or other heirloom potatoes
Grapeseed oil for coating, plus 1 teaspoon
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
12 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced
4 roasted garlic cloves, plus 3 roasted garlic bulbs, split
4 shallots, sliced very thin
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives
4 fillets naturally fed beef tenderloin (6 to 7 ounces each), tied along their length.
1/2 cup Buttermilk Sour Cream
1. Put the beef stock in a large pan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 25 to 35 minutes or until reduced to 3 cups. Repeat with the mushroom stock. Refrigerate until needed.
2. Put the sun-dried tomatoes in a bowl and add enough stock to cover by an inch or two. Put the tomatoes and stock in the refrigerator and let the tomatoes soak for 1 hour. Drain, reserving the stock. Chop the tomatoes and set aside. Return the stock to the container holding the rest of it.
3. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
4. Scrub the potatoes, and pierce them in several places with a small, sharp knife. Coat them with grapeseed oil and lay in a roasting pan in a single layer. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for about 1 hour, or until tender. Wrap in aluminum foil and set aside.
5. Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon grapeseed oil and then the mushrooms. Sauté for about 2 minutes, or until soft.
6. Pour 1 cup beef stock and 1 cup mushroom stock into the saucepan. Add the garlic cloves, tomatoes, and sliced shallots and bring to a rapid simmer. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until reduced to 1 cup. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of the parsley, 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of the chives. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover to keep warm.
7. Pour the remaining beef stock and mushroom stock into a saucepan large enough to hold the fillets without crowding. Add the fillets, which should be submerged in the stock. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the garlic heads and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until fragrant.
8. Reduce the heat to medium-low, add the fillets, and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes for rare meat, 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare, and 9 to 11 minutes for medium. Lift the fillets from the poaching liquid and set aside to rest for about 5 minutes. Cut each fillet into 3 slices.
9. Pierce the top of each potato with a paring knife. Use your fingers to squeeze each potato gently so that it splits and fluffs. Fill each with 1 tablespoon of buttermilk sour cream. Arrange 2 potatoes side by side in the center of each of 4 warmed plates. Lean 3 slices of beef against each potato. Spoon some sauce over each plate and garnish with the remaining herbs.