Stuffed Quail and Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf, and Root Vegetable Puree
Roast quail and pepper-coated beef are a great combination. The quail are stuffed with a chicken mousse dotted with ham, herbs, and pine nuts, and red wine sauce unites the two portions of the entree. The dish is served with two side dishes, Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf, and Root Vegetable Puree, and warmed parboiled baby vegetables such as baby onions, baby carrots, and baby green beans.
- Chicken Breast - 8 ounces, skinless, boneless
- Salt - 1/2 teaspoon
- Freshly ground white pepper - 1/2 teaspoon
- Heavy (whipping) cream - 1/2 cup
- Ice Water - 1/4 cup
- Ham - 1/4 cup, finely diced
- Pine Nuts - 2 tablespoons, toasted
- Mixed Fresh Herbs - 2 tablespoons, minced (rosemary, parsley, and thyme)
- Quails - 4 boned
- Salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- Stuffing - (above)
- Lean Bacon - 4, slices
- Unsalted Butter - 4 tablespoons, melted
- Peppered Tenderloin
- Beef Tenderloin Steaks - four, 2-ounce (preferably tail pieces)
- Olive Oil - 1/4 cup, mixed with 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
- Mixed Peppercorns - 1/4 cup (green, black, white, and pink), crushed with a rolling pin or coarsely cracked in a grinder
- Red Wine Sauce
- Olive Oil - 1 tablespoon
- Shallot - 1, minced
- Garlic Cloves - 2, minced
- Dry Red Wine - 1/2 cup
- Rich veal stock or chicken stock - 1 cup
- Salt, freshly ground black pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste
- Dried Cranberries - 1/4 cup
- Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf (recipe below)
- Root Vegetable Puree (recipe below)
- Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf (Serves 4)
- Wild Rice - 1/2 cup
- Olive Oil - 2 tablespoons
- Onion - 1 tablespoon, diced
- Celery - 1 tablespoon, diced
- Carrot - 1 tablespoon, diced
- Chicken Stock - 3/4 cup
- Water - 4 cups
- Salt to taste
- Pearl Barley - 1/2 cup
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Fresh Parsley - 1 tablespoon, minced
- Root Vegetable Puree (Serves 4)
- Celery Root - 1/3 cup, diced peeled
- Turnip - 1/3 cup, diced peeled
- Carrot - 1/3 cup, diced peeled
- Boiling Potatoes - 1/3 cup, diced peeled
- Milk - 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon
- Unsalted Butter - 1/4 cup (1 stick)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Ground nutmeg - 1/4 teaspoon
To make the stuffing: Cut the chicken into 1-inch pieces and place them in blender or food processor. Add the salt, pepper, and cream, and puree the chicken until smooth. Add the ice water and process until the chicken reaches a gummy consistency. Transfer the chicken puree to a chilled, non-aluminum bowl. Fold in the ham, pine nuts, and herbs. Adjust the seasoning and set aside.
To prepare the quail: Rinse the quail under cold running water, pat them dry with paper towels, and season inside and out with salt and pepper. Fit a large pastry bag with a large plain tip and fill the bag with the stuffing mixture. Stuff the quail, wrap each one with slice of bacon to close the cavity, and secure the bacon with a toothpick. Brush the quail with the butter and set aside.
To prepare the tenderloin: Brush the beef with the olive oil-mustard mixture, then roll each piece in the cracked peppercorns. Set aside.
To make the sauce: Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch saute pan or skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and saute, stirring frequently, until the shallot is translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the red wine, bring to a boil, and cook to reduce the liquid by half. Add the stock, then cook to reduce by half again, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add the cranberries, remove from heat, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. Roast the quail for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the birds are golden, the juices run clear, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the stuffing reads 175 F.
While the quail are roasting, sear the tenderloins in a 12-inch non-stick saute pan or skillet for about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the tenderloins to a roasting pan. Roast the beef in the preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes for medium rare, or longer if you prefer. Remove the quail and beef from the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.
To serve: Slice the quail horizontally into 3 pieces; slice the tenderloins in half horizontally. Make a bed of Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf. Keeping the slices together, place one quail and 1 beef medallion on each plate, leaning them against the pilaf, then fan slightly to show the insides. Serve with Root Vegetable Puree and baby vegetables.
Wild Rice and Barley Pilaf
Wild rice is the seed of an aquatic grass not related to paddy rice or barley, but its nutty flavor is similar to barley, and its toothsome texture contrasts nicely with pearl barley.
Wash the rice in a bowl of cold water to dislodge any dirt or sand particles. After washing, place the rice in a bowl and add boiling water to cover. Cover the bowl and let soak for at least 1 hour. Drain and rinse the rice, then set aside.
Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the onion is translucent. Add the wild rice and stock and bring the liquid to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat, and simmer the rice for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the rice is tender and the grains are separate. Check after 25 minutes and add more stock or water if it seems the pan is dry.
In a separate saucepan, bring the 4 cups of water to a boil and salt lightly. Add the barley, cover, and cook until the grains are tender but not mushy, about 30 to 35 minutes. Drain the barley in a sieve and mix it with the cooked wild rice. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper, sprinkle with minced parsley, and serve.
Note: The pilaf may be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered; rewarm it in a 300 F oven or microwave until warm, and add the parsley at the last minute.
Root Vegetable Puree
This simple orange-colored puree is a colorful and tasty side dish for traditional turkey. It is served with quail at the Williamsburg Inn.
Place the celery root, turnip, carrot, and potatoes in a large saucepan of lightly salted cold water and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until tender.
While the vegetables are cooking, heat the milk in a small saucepan. Strain the vegetables and puree them through a food mill or sieve. Immediately add the hot milk and butter, stirring well to combine. Add the seasonings and serve immediately.
Note: The puree may be prepared up to 3 hours in advance. Cover and let sit at room temperature. Reheat in a double boiler over simmering water to serve.