Meat-aholics prepare yourself for this one. Go grab a steak bone to chew on or something, your inner carnivore is about to be released! Myself, a born and raised Alberta girl needed a meal like this tonight. After a few weeks away from home, I am definitely missing my Alberta beef. If this didn’t make up for it, I am not sure what will!
At first glance, beef tenderloin sounds like the antithesis of a starving student. It is the most expensive cut after all. However, in my opinion it is also the best cut to cook if you are only serving one person. How many people are actually going to finish an entire 12 oz. t-bone? There’s money that is just going to waste. On the other hand, my smaller (but still satisfying) tenderloin cost a mere $4.79. In a restaurant you are paying upwards of $30 for the exact same thing. And this one will taste just as good.
– 1 cup of baby jewel potatoes (you can roast as many as you like, the leftovers are great for hashbrowns)
– 1 tbsp. oil
– salt and pepper to taste
– 1 beef tenderloin medallion
– 1 cup mushrooms
– a splash of beef stock (or chicken)
– 2-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
All you have to do is cut up the potatoes as big or small as you like, you can even leave them whole if you want. Crank your oven to 400 F or so. Toss the potatoes with oil, salt and pepper. Spread onto a cookie sheet and bake until crisp. Obviously the time will depend on how large the potatoes are, mine took around 25 minutes. Keep an eye on them, you may want to toss them half way through to ensure all sides are golden and delicious (but not golden delicious, the apples).
Meanwhile, sear your steak. Over medium heat, allow your pan to get decently hot and add under 1 tbsp. of oil. Season your tenderloin on both sides with salt and pepper (be liberal, remember salt is GOOD!). Time to sear! Put it in the pan and wait (seriously, I mean wait, don’t poke it, prod it, HANDS OFF THE STEAK PEOPLE!). After 3-4 minutes it will be ready to flip. You will KNOW that it is ready because it will release itself from the pan (thus you don’t have to tear it away, ripping your beautiful meat into shreds). Repeat on the second side. When a golden crust has developed on both sides, you can pop it in the oven on the same cookie sheet as your potatoes. The time it will take all depends on how you like your steak cooked. If you are like me and Uncle Rico, it will be medium-rare to rare. I acheived this in under 10 minutes. However if you prefer to cook the hell out of your poor meat (the cow is already dead, you don’t need to kill it twice!!! have pitty!!!) keep it in as long as you see fit. More than 20 minutes and you will easily have yourself a piece of shoe leather. As you cook meat more and more often, you become pretty good at telling the doneness simply by poking it. But, if you are not confident, I would recommend a meat thermometer or if all fails, just cut it open and check.
When your steak and potatoes are done, pull them out of the oven to rest. They can sit while you make your mushroomy sauce of goodness. In the same pan that you cooked your steak, add the shrooms. There should be brown bits all over the bottom of the pan. Don’t worry, you didn’t burn anything, these are good. Brown bits = flavor! After the mushrooms start to release their moisture, pour in a splash of stock to deglaze. By adding this liquid you are optimizing all of the brown bits, releasing them from the pan (see I told you they weren’t burned!). Then add your balsamic vinegar and let the sauce reduce until it becomes thick and syrupy. Add salt and pepper if you think it needs it. Prepare yourself, this is a WTBIT sauce (want to bath in it). Yes, it’s that good.
Assemble your plate as you see fit, whether that be creatively or not. I really have nothing else to say, try this meal and it will speak for itself!