I don't normally blog a new recipe when I'm cooking for guests. I don't think that people would necessarily object to waiting an extra 15 minutes for their meal while I take a ridiculous number of pictures but they might be offended when I put their dinner plate outside on my back porch in 30 degree weather in order to get the best lighting. 🥶 There's nothing like serving ice cold steak and mashed potatoes to a house full of hungry dinner guests. 😅
Time is also a factor when I'm preparing more than one thing at a time. My brain gets so consumed with getting the meal on the table that I forget to take pictures along the way. It's one thing to prepare and blog a perfectly roasted tenderloin, it's a whole new level to try and do it while also making sure that my potatoes don't burn, the asparagus is cooked to perfect crispness, the cesear dressing gets made added to the salad at just the right time to prevent wilting, the yeast rolls are given time to rise and bake, the carrot souffle is warm but not overly hot and and the apple pie is cooked at precisely the right time so that it's the perfect serving temperature at the end of the meal. In case you're wondering - that perfect dinner scenario almost never happens at our house. There's always at least 1 thing that gets overcooked or even catches on fire. 😂
I actually made this beef tenderloin twice last month just so that I could capture the steps and put it on my blog. If I write a recipe down, I'll probably forget where I put it so blogging is really the only reliable way for me to record recipes for future use. 🤷🏻♀️ The first time I made it - I got so wrapped up in the rest of the meal that I forgot to take about half of the pictures for the blog. The second time - I tried to fill in the gaps but I still never managed to get a picture of this beautiful beef on the dinner plate with all of the colorful sides. 💁🏻♀️ Oh well.
When the company of my dinner companions takes priority over taking photographs of the food - I know it's was a special meal. I love making fancy dinners but I love the people that I get to share them with even more. After the food is long gone, it's the memories of our time together that I'll remember.
I adapted this recipe from a recipe that I found in a Cook's Illustrated magazine. Full disclosure: I didn't eat any of this beef - on either occasion. I'm just not a beef eater. 💁🏻♀️ Anywhooo - What I can tell you is that everyone that I served it to, really enjoyed it.
Beef Tenderloin with Madeira Dijon Sauce
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 (1 pound) center cut beef tenderloin filets
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pepper
1/4 cup minced onion
1 thyme sprig
1/2 cup Madeira wine
3 cups beef stock
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
Thinly slice beef and serve with sauce.
An accurate meat thermometer is really key in this recipe. It's really the only way to tell when the meat reaches that critical 125 degree temperature. Serve the center of the tenderloin to guests who prefer their meat more rare and the ends to guests to like their beef a little more well done.
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