The Daley Question

Timing a tenderloin

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 Wolfgang Puck's Tenderloin with mushroom gravy

Wolfgang Puck's Tenderloin with mushroom gravy (Tribune file photo / November 4, 2004)

2 ribs celery, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup Madeira

2 cups homemade chicken stock or 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) canned chicken broth

1/2 pound button mushrooms, quartered

2 each, minced: shallots, garlic cloves

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, cut into pieces

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 teaspoons each: Dijon-style mustard, bottled sweet barbecue sauce

2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves or chives

1. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Tie kitchen string around the tenderloin at 1-inch intervals to give it a uniform shape. Season with salt and pepper. Heat a small, heavy roasting pan over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sear the tenderloin until uniformly well browned, 2 minutes per side. Remove the tenderloin; set aside.

2. Add onion, celery and carrots to the pan; reduce the heat slightly. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 minutes. Place the tenderloin on top; transfer the pan to the oven. Roast the tenderloin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into its center reads 135 degrees for medium rare, about 22 minutes. Place the tenderloin on a carving board; cover with foil. Set aside.

3. Place the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add Madeira; stir and scrape bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Heat to boil; cook until the Madeira reduces to about 1/4 cup, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock; cook until reduced by half, about 12 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, heat a medium skillet over high heat. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add mushrooms, shallots, garlic and half of the butter. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are light golden, about 7 minutes. Place a fine-meshed strainer over the pan of mushrooms; carefully pour the Madeira mixture into the strainer. Discard the onion, celery and carrots.

5. Pour the whipping cream into the skillet. Cook, stirring often, over high heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in mustard, barbecue sauce and remaining butter until well blended. Pour in any meat juices that have collected from the tenderloin; stir. Season with salt and pepper.

6. Cut off the strings from the roast. Cut the meat across the grain into slices 1/4- to 1/2-inch thick. Arrange on a platter or serving plates. Garnish with parsley. Pour the sauce into a sauceboat; pass at the table.

Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.

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