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Grilled Tenderloin with Sauce Robert (Espagnole) and Crab Cakes
Brief description: This sauce is a really great addition to any steak. It is a fairly basic tasting brown sauce but a few of the key ingredients give it a really great flavor that compliments the steak very well. I usually prefer to grill either filet or ribeye steaks, but you can certainly use it with your favorite cut. It takes a little time and patience but is well worth it in the end. Depending on the size of your filets, you may find it necessary to make another side or appetizer with it (maybe that is just me loving to eat!). I decided to make this in to a surf and turf, so I also made crab cakes with a chipotle mayo sauce to go with it.
What are some good sides to go with it?: I decided to make spinach and mushrooms and a Parmesan pasta to go with it. I normally saute the mushrooms in about 1 TBS of butter, some fresh chopped garlic, salt and pepper for about 10-15 minutes. Once they are all done, I add the spinach and a bit of lemon juice to them and continue to saute for a couple minutes until the spinach is cooked. As always, I would suggest a nice bottle of red to go with it as well. It may not be the best match for the crab cakes but I almost always go with red wine over white. We enjoyed a bottle of Boulder Creek VIP reserve that we picked up on a trip to Colorado a couple of months ago. It is a 2006 mix of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Merlot. It was great with the filet!
Test Your Patience (Tolerable, Crazy, or Get a Shrink?): This is definitely not a recipe that you want to make if you are trying to whip up a quick dinner, but after making once or twice it comes pretty easily. I would rate it as “Crazy” just because of the time that it takes, but I don't think it is overly difficult.
Ingredients and Directions:
4 – 4 oz. Beef tenderloins (filet)
8 TBS clarified butter
1 carrot, cut in to 1/8 inch dice
8 TBS flour
5 cups brown veal stock
1 TBS shallots, finely chopped
1 TBS Dijon mustard
½ cup white wine
1 bouquet garni (parsley stem, sprig of thyme, bay leaf)
1 TBS tomato paste
How to prepare the sauce:
Heat the butter in a sauce pan. When the foam subsides, add the carrot and onion and saute until translucent. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly until the roux is amber, about 30 minutes. Dissolve tomato paste in 4 cups of veal stock. Slowly add the 4 cups of veal stock and simmer, skimming any impurities that come to the surface. Add the bouquet garni. Reduce the sauce until it coats the back of a spoon. Add the remaining cup of stock and simmer slowly. Meanwhile, place the shallot, mustard and wine in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and reduce the mixture by half. When the espagnole sauce is reduced to about ¾ cup, slowly whisk in the wine reduction and allow the sauce to simmer gently for an additional 5 minutes. Strain. Taste and correct the seasoning.
How to cook the tenderloin:
Preheat gas grill on high, lower heat to medium. Lightly oil grill. Lightly coat the tenderloin with a little oil. Place the loin on the hot grill and cook, undisturbed for 2-3 minutes. Rotate the meat a quarter of a turn and cook an additional 2-3 minutes to impart even grill marks. Flip the beef and repeat. Serve hot with the sauce Robert.
Crab Cakes (makes 8):
1 1/8 cups 4C Panko bread crumbs
½ cup mayo
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup finely chopped onion
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
1 lb. Crab meat
How to make the crab cakes:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix together well. Form in to 8 even sized portions. Broil on high for 7 minutes per side or until golden brown.
Chinese Mustard Sauce: Combine ½ cup mayo, ¼ cup Chinese-style mustard and ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions with tops Chipotle Mayo Sauce: Combine ½ cup mayo with chipotle spice to taste
For the bouquet garni in the Sauce Robert, I normally take the three ingredients, wrap them all together and tie them with a small string. This makes it very easy to pull them out of the sauce when it is done and keeps them from adding chunks of spice to your sauce. I didn't have any celery when I was making the crab cakes but I have found that you can add many other ingredients to give it a little crunch that are just as good. This time I used red bell peppers and have also used green pepper in the past. Chinese-style mustard is sometimes hard to find. Keep that in mind next time you order Chinese food and keep the extra in the fridge!