Why I Am Not a Vegetarian: Beef Tenderloin with Brandy Cream Sauce, Parsnip-Carrot Mash, and Beet Greens

So, in my last post, I raved about the produce and dairy from the local farm shops in every village on the Isle of Wight off the southern coast of England. I really, really, really love vegetables, and the produce there is a vegetable-lover’s wet dream. But what I didn’t go on about was the local, grass-fed, organic, fresh MEAT.

People, please allow me to introduce the Isle of Wight beef tenderloin. At the farm shop in Shalfleet, we picked up a piece of glorious local beef tenderloin for under $10 that was just big enough to feed two. Barely cooked in a very hot pan (thanks to Heather’s post on perfect steak), then stuck in a warm oven to mellow until the sauce was complete, the texture and flavor of this tenderloin rivaled the filet mignon steaks we picked up at Whole Foods last year for a mere $50 for two (albeit larger) portions.

Plus I got to light a pan of brandy on fire. Fun!

This tender steak, slathered with a creamy, mushroomy, tangy sauce, served with slightly sweet and peppery parsnip-carrot puree and clean-tasting beet greens, will go down in 3MBB annals as one of the best I have cooked yet. My dining companion and sous-chef (whose tattooed arm you can see in a parsnip-mashing action shot) swore it was one of the best “whole meals” I’ve ever made.

Eating this steak also apparently killed of any shred of modesty I previously possessed.

Please enjoy!



Beef Tenderloin with Brandy Cream Sauce, Parsnip-Carrot Mash, and Beet Greens

For beef tenderloin:

  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 small pieces of beef tenderloin

For brandy cream sauce:

  • 6 mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 small yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. butter
  • 1/3 cup brandy
  • matches
  • 7/8 cup cream
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt
  • pepper

Heat oven to 250F. Salt and generously pepper meat with fresh cracked pepper. Heat a heavy pan until very, very hot. Add butter, and when butter is melted, cook steak for 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a baking dish, and place in the oven to stay warm.

In the same pan, melt additional butter. Then cook the mushrooms and onions, adding salt and pepper to taste, over medium-high heat until mushrooms release their juices and onions are well done. Remove from pan and reserve.

Remove pan from heat, and pour in brandy. Light brandy with matches; the flames will burn blue and orange. After a couple of minutes, blow out the flames and return pan to heat.

Add cream, salt, pepper, and return mushrooms and onions to pan. Stir in a dollop of Dijon mustard to taste.

For parsnip-carrot mash:

  • 3 medium parsnips, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped into 1” pieces
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. cream
  • salt
  • pepper

Bring a quart pan of water to a rolling boil. Boil parsnips and carrots until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain, place in a bowl, and mash with a ricer or fork until consistency is soft with few lumps. Add butter, cream, salt and pepper to taste.

For beet greens:

  • greens from 1 bunch of beets, carefully washed

Bring a quart pan of water to a rolling boil. Add salt, then blanch beet greens in the water until the leaves wilt and the stems are softer to the touch. Drain, remove any tough parts of the stems.

Plate all four together, and serve.


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Filed under Fall, Gluten-free, In Season, Main Course, Meat, Side, Vegetarian

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