Beef Tenderloin Stuffed with Herb Cream Cheese, with Sauce Bordelaise
Even a perfect filet can be “improved:” Chef Susan Spicer stuffs hers with herb-laced cream cheese, then serves them with a simple but elegant butter-wine sauce. A simply prepared vegetable, like thin haricots verts or asparagus, would seem just right with this dish.
- Cream Cheese - 4 ounces, at room temperature
- Garlic - 1/2 teaspoon, peeled and minced
- Fresh Herbs - 2 teaspoons, assorted, chopped (the chef uses thyme, tarragon, chives, and parsley)
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Centercut Beef Tenderloin Steaks - Four, 6- to 8-ounce
- Bordelaise Sauce
- Cabernet Sauvignon - 1 cup (alt. Bordeaux wine)
- Thyme Leaves - 1 teaspoon, fresh, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- Shallots - 2 tablespoons, peeled and finely chopped
- Veal Stock - 1 cup
- Butter - 2 tablespoons, cut into 1-inch pieces, at room temperature
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon (alt.canola oil)
To stuff the steaks: In a medium mixing bowl combine the cheese, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Cover and chill until firm. Cut an “X” in the top of each filet almost but not quite all the way through. Open the “X” and stuff with 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture, pushing the cheese in well until level with the top of the steaks. Cover and chill 15 minutes.
To make the Bordelaise sauce: Combine the wine, thyme, and shallots in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced to 1/4 cup. Add the stock and continue to simmer until reduced by half. Remove the pan from the heat and reserve.
To cook the steaks: Preheat the oven to 400 F, and remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Place a large saute pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, and heat until almost smoking. Add the steaks, cut-side down, and sear 1 to 2 minutes on each side, turning carefully with a spatula. Make sure to scrape up the cheese crust with the steak when turning. Remove the steaks from the saute pan to a sheet pan and place in the oven to finish. Cook to desired temperature, about 6 to 8 minutes for medium-rare.
While the steaks are finishing in the oven, finish the sauce. Return the sauce to a low heat and gradually whisk in the butter, one piece at a time, until the sauce is glossy. Put a steak on each serving plate and surround the steaks with the sauce.