Serves 4 | Best Paired with Cabernet Sauvignon
I was catching up with a friend of mine last night. Both of us being caught up at work, we haven't had the chance to get together for a while. Knowing that she likes Red Wine, I thought South African Cabernet Sauvignon, will be a very good accent to the evening. This wine like our friendship: old and deep. It kind of delights you with its complexity and I thought that it would make for a very good unwinding feel with unspoken affirmation of how good a friend she is to me. We sat for hours on the balcony talking, laughing and really enjoying the pleasant cool breeze that blows occasionally.
All the while though, I couldn't help but think about what to pair with such good wine. I knew the flavour was meaty, I liked the idea of a hint of rosemary with the aromas of the caramelised crust on steak. I had made brown sauce the other day, and thought a demi glace sauce over that will be wonderful. But the experience would not be complete without a creamy, starchy side. Of course I thought of all kinds of potato sides, but it was not exciting enough! It was the expected classic side. I thought that a sweet potato gratin or a roasted pumpkin will make for a nice side. The gratin clicked big time, and to stay on the note of exciting and different I remembered reading somewhere about a celery root gratin, so decided to go for Celery Root! Yummy, that was it! A perfectly rounded flavour accented with the notes of Cab. Sav.!
These are just some of life's good things, you know. Good people, good friends, good flavours and good times... What more do we need, really? These days, we get so caught up with work, with the stresses of everyday life, and stop enjoying the little things that make all the difference. But this is food for ya! It reminds you of the good life, it brings you back to the essentials, back to the basics, back to simple pleasures. Those that we tend to forget about, focusing on the hectic and fast life instead!
Take a moment, and get back in touch with your friends, make time for them, and appreciate the presence of good people in your life. Then enjoy some of life's simple pleasures. Smile and as we say: "Share Bread!"
Oh and by the way, this recipe is a perfect option for a romantic dinner at home. If your Mrs/hubbs is an enthusiastic carnivore, he/she will love this! Give it a try....
Beef Tenderloin Steaks with Celery Root Gratin
Why not try a celery root gratin as variation to the classic potato gratin? It is always a good idea to challenge classics and go for a more original thought.... say Celery!!
1 kg celery root, peeled, quartered and sliced lengthwise
1 cup cooking cream
5 tbsp butter
1 tbsp extra butter, cut into small cubes
1 tbsp EV olive oil
Rosemary strings for garnish
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt & Pepper to taste
1/2 cup brown sauce or demi glace (if you want to make it home it is: A rich, concentrated stock made from beef and veal bones, vegetables and tomato paste, thickened with flour)
4 beef tenderloins about 2 inches thick steaks, fat trimmed off
Preheat oven to 375F
In a shallow gratin dish, place 1/4 the sliced celery root, season with salt, black pepper and nutmeg. Repeat the same process with the remaining celery root slices to create 4 layers. Pour the cream over the celery root and spreinkle the butter cubes on top. Cover dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes in preheated oven. After the 30 minutes are over, remove the foil and bake for 30 minutes more. (it should be golden brown, and the celery root should be tender when pierced with a knife) Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Keep the oven on, and in a large oven proof skillet, melt 1 tbsp butter in the olive oil. Season your steaks with Salt & Black pepper on all sides. Cook the steaks in the skillet over moderately high heat until it browns at the bottom (3 minutes). Turn the steaks and place the skillet in the preheated oven and cook for 12 minutes for medium-rare longer for more doneness. Once the steaks reach the desired doneness, remove from skillet and place in a plate to rest for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in the same skillet, add the demi glace to the steak juices, and bring to a rapid boil. Remove the skillet from the heat and whisk in the remaining 3 tbsp butter, a little at a time. Season the sauce with salt & pepper.
Place steak on serving plate, spoon the demi glace sauce over and around the steaks, sprinkle with rosemary and serve with the gratin side.
This dish pairs very well with full bodied, firm Red Wine. The complexity and the oaky smokiness of Cabernet Savingon will compliment the flavour and aromas of this dish, rounding up the experience.
Hope you have enjoyed this post come back again soon for more delicious recipes ;)