Smothered Tenderloin Medallions

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Florida Keys & Key West Chef's Table: Extraordinary Recipes from the Conch RepublicThe world as a young chef, picking up ideas from other chefs he worked with in such
far-flung countries as Israel, South Africa, and Honduras. Enamored with the Florida
Keys since a holiday visit in his youth, he returned to Key West, met a girl, fell in love, got married, and stayed.

Now, fifteen years later, Coole presides over one of the most storied kitchens in the
Florida Keys. Creating new dishes is a collaborative effort, he says. “If we have time,
we’ll have a mess-around day and we’ll just play with stuff in the kitchen.” Advises the
pirate chef, “To get your own style, you have to break a few rules. Cooking should be
fun. Don’t give up.”

  • Yield: 1 Servings


For the au poivre sauce
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup heavy cream, divided
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces brandy
  • 1 tablespoon coarse-ground black pepper
For the onions
  • 1 large red onion, peeled
  • 1 leek
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces brandy
For the mashed potatoes
  • 8 ounces red creamer potatoes, rinsed and quartered Salt
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 ounces heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg
How to Make It
    To make the au poivre sauce
  1. Place olive oil in a 10-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, until garlic is soft but not browned. Add cream, beef stock, butter, brandy, and pepper. Cook sauce, stirring constantly with a wire whisk, until sauce is thick and rich. (Watch carefully so that sauce does not boil over.) Remove sauce from heat and set aside until needed. Before serving, warm sauce over low heat. (If sauce splits because of excessive reheating, add a splash of heavy cream.)
  2. To prepare the onions
  3. Cut onion in half and slice each half into half-moon pieces. Cut top and bottom off leek and remove tough outer layers. Cut leek in half lengthwise. Wash leek thoroughly, making sure to rinse between layers, and pat dry with paper towels. Cut leek into half-moon slices. Place olive oil in a large sauté pan over high heat until almost smoking. Carefully add onions and leeks. Sprinkle with brown sugar and add a pinch of salt and pepper.
  4. Sauté onions and leeks, stirring constantly, for 2 ½ minutes. Reduce heat to medium and sauté for another 2½ minutes, stirring constantly. Add butter and brandy. Reduce heat to low and simmer mixture until onions are light brown, soft, and caramelized. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. To make the mashed potatoes
  6. Place potatoes in a large saucepan over medium heat with water to cover. Add a pinch of salt and boil until potatoes are cooked through. Drain potatoes and return them to the saucepan. Add butter, cream, salt and pepper to taste, and a pinch of nutmeg. Mash potatoes to desired consistency.
  7. To prepare the tenderloin medallions
  8. Preheat gas or charcoal grill until very hot. Season medallions with salt and pepper to taste. Grill medallions to medium-rare. Be careful not to overcook the meat.
  9. To assemble
  10. Preheat oven broiler. Place mashed potatoes in the center of a dinner plate, mounding them in a pyramid shape that peaks in the middle. Arrange medallions evenly around the mashed potatoes, leaning them on the potatoes so that they stretch about halfway up. Spoon the onion/leek mixture over the peak of the mashed potatoes, semi-covering the top of the medallions. Drizzle a little onion/leek pan juice on top. Sprinkle crumbled Stilton atop onions and spoon au poivre sauce over onions and medallions. Place under broiler briefly, just until cheese begins to melt and serve immediately.

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