Today were going to be talking about one of my all time most underrated cuts of meat, how to safely flambé without losing your eyebrows (or loose them if that’s what your prerogative is, we won’t judge…) and how to impress your significant other with this next date night dish. This is DEVOUR, and its time to get cooking!
To those living in their small apartments with significant others, we always dream about going out somewhere new, somewhere we’ve never been on a date with our significant others but one of two things happen that prevent us: we can’t afford it or we don’t have significant others. To them, I say that this recipe is for you too! Veal Tenderloin is, in my opinion, an incredibly underrated and delicious cut of meat from pigs that we largely marginalize in favor of pork chops, however, they are often cheaper, less fatty, more flavorful and have a beautiful tender consistency that is very close to filet mignon without the pretentious attitude and price. With some help from your local butcher and little know-how and confidence, you can blow somebody’s expectations with this dish.
Pork Tenderloin is the psoas major muscle that runs along the backbone (also known as the Chine Bone in butcher lingo). This is designated in cut #8 in the image below. The muscle is largely unused and is thus very tender.
Surrounding the muscle is usually some fat and silverskin which is a translucent & silvery-white color membrane that surrounds all pork, beef and lamb tenderloins. It is important to trim an excessive fat collections (because it will just melt and become greasy (but some fat helps with flavor) and all the silverskin. If you don’t, the exterior of your tenderloin will be chewy and not very desirable. Trust me, when you are chewing the same piece of tenderloin for like 10 minutes, you will lose your appetite no matter how delicious the entire plate came out The picture below shows a three tenderloins, the bottom one looks good, the middle one needs some silver skin trimmed and the top piece needs minimal trimming.
When cooking tenderloin, it’s important to truss, or tie together with butcher’s twine, to keep it firm and even shaped so you can brown the entire cut. In this video, you can see how to truss a roast. Using the technique learned in this video you will apply it to the tenderloin. When you receive you tenderloin and trim it, cut it in half. One side will be more even and thicker, the other side will have a tapering tail. Tuck the tapered part underneath that half of the tenderloin and truss as if it were a regular sized cut. It should look like the cut below.
When your tenderloin is ready, you can prep your remaining ingredients and get cooking. This recipe isn’t very difficult, but it does have multiple components.
First, you brown the tenderloin to seal the outside and keep the juices in followed by a trip to the oven at 350°F for 7-9 minutes to cook the tenderloin until it reaches medium. When it’s done, set it on a resting rack on the side and reserve until it’s time to carve.
Next, brown the mushrooms. The key to browning mushrooms is NOT TO CROWD THE MUTHERFUCKING PAN! STOP CROWDING THE FUCKING PAN YOU KITCHEN TWIT! It was Julia Child who first started telling American cooks about this in her cookbooks and yet even though almost American has heard of Julia Child, and almost every grandmother has a copy of her cookbook, this piece of information has been lost on today’s home cooks. When the mushrooms are done, turn the heat off, remove the pan from the stove and add some Brandy. If added to the pan with the flame on, the brandy will combust and blow your eyebrows off your face (if you’re lucky it will only be your eyebrows). Remove the pan from the heat, add the brandy and let it sit for a minute before adding back to the heat. Mix the Brandy and the mushrooms well and lower the heat slightly. Reduce this 3/4.
Add the Veal Stock, I prefer brown Veal stock because it’s much tastier. However, if you only have chicken stock, use chicken stock, if you only have vegetable stock, use vegetable, but be warned, fish stock and water should be avoided like the plague. Absolutely not an option! The one shoemaker (insult to any cook ever btw) option would be a bouillon cube mixed with water, but you didn’t hear it from me because if my chef finds out he will probably evict me from class so let’s keep that one between us. Reduce the stock and mushrooms by 3/4.
Next, you must channel your inner French chef and read this section in Julia Child’s voice, starting now. Now, add the cream to the center of the pan. The trick to this is to add it to the center of the pan and not mix. This is an old trick from a french chef who mastered the art of good cream based sauce. The cream will spread to the outside of the pan and start to mix entirely through the simmering action. For this to be perfect, let the cream mix naturally and do not move for about 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat only if absolutely necessary to prevent burning. Reduce this by 1/2. The reducing of each ingredient will concentrate the flavors and make it much more desirable.
The final step in the recipe is to mount with butter. In French, this is called monte au before. To make a good pan sauce, you add a knob of butter to the sauce and swirl it around to add shine and a smooth and velvety consistency. This will also help to thicken the sauce and prevent it from being thin. This will also only work if your sauce has been reduced enough in the previous steps.
To plate, add the mushroom from one side to the other of the plate and spoon sauce over them. Move the tenderloin to a cutting board and slice on a bias and layer across the mushrooms.
Veal Tenderloin w/ Oyster Mushroom & Madeira Cream Sauce
- 1 Veal Tenderloin, halved, trussed
- Salt & Pepper
- Canola oil
- Canola oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. Oyster Mushrooms, trimmed
- Salt & Pepper
- 4 fl. oz. Brandy
Madeira Cream Sauce
- 4 fl. oz. Madeira
- 6 fl. oz. Veal Stock
- 12 fl. oz. Heavy Cream
- 3 oz. Butter
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Season the Veal with salt and pepper.
- Heat a saute pan win with enough oil to lubricate the pan to keep the Veal from sticking to medium-high. Brown the Veal on all sides and then place the entire pan in the oven and cook for 7-9 minutes. Reserve on resting rack until later.
- Heat a large saute pan with enough oil to lubricate the bottom and brown the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the stove and add the brandy.
- Reduce Mushrooms and Brandy by 3/4. Add Veal Stock and reduce by 3/4. Add Heavy Cream and reduce by 1/2.
- Turn the heat off and mount with truffle butter. Cute Veal on a bias and serve with mushrooms and sauce.
- Plate and serve.
Like I said, this recipe can be a bit daunting, but with the right amount of confidence and maybe some channeling of your inner Juia Child, you can make this and you will love it. It will also open your eyes to a different cut of meat which is by far one of the most underrated ones. If you have any questions, post a comment or send us a message on Facebook
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