By Request: Beef Tenderloin for the Holidays and Figgy Pudding

By Request: Beef Tenderloin for the Holidays and Figgy Pudding

Few pleasures in life are more indulgent and more succulent than a properly prepared tenderloin of beef . When it comes out of the oven and the smells fill the air, you can be sure that people will come running to the table.

I made this tenderloin recipe for the first time several years ago on New Year’s Eve. Everyone loved it, including a vegetarian whom had not eaten meat in several years and felt compelled to try it. I always felt a little guilty about that, but, I know all had a wonderful time New Year’s Eve.
The dessert recipe is a figgy pudding (sans the suet) that evokes visions of an old-world Christmas, with sugar plums dancing and hot cider hanging over the coals. Try this once, and you may yearn to go back in time to the Christmases of yore.
By Request: Beef Tenderloin for the Holidays and Figgy Pudding
1 center cut tenderloin of beef, trimmed, about 2 lbs.
3 TB olive oil
sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup cognac
1 1/2 cups of beef stock, homemade or low sodium in the carton
2 TB of heavy cream
1/4 cup small capers, rinsed
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
Heat a large oven proof skillet on top of the stove to med high/high heat.
Rub the beef with 1 TB of the oil and a generous amount of salt and pepper.
Add the other 2 TB of oil in the pan and let heat for a moment.
Sear the tenderloin in the pan on all sides.
Roast in the oven for 10 – 12 minutes or until a thermometer registers 134 degrees F in the center.
Remove the tenderloin to a cutting board and cover with foil, place the skillet back on med high/high on the stove and deglaze with the cognac. (Do NOT pour it out of the bottle into the pan as it may ignite the whole bottle.) I like to ignite the cognac with the gas flame or using a long outdoor bbq lighter. This is optional. You can let the cognac cook down on it’s own if you wish.
Add the beef stock, reduce to 1/2 cup. Add the heavy cream and the capers.
Slice thinly and serve with the sauce.
pud dough
Figgy Pudding
1 stick of butter, softened
2 eggs, room temperature
1 cup molasses
1 lb. figs
1 cup buttermilk
1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups brandy
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F
Grease a 9 inch tube pan or spray with cooking spray
Chop figs into small pieces. Set aside. Grate lemon rind. Set aside.
With a mixer, whip the softened butter for about 2 minutes.
Add eggs (one at a time until incorporated) and molasses. (Optional: When measuring molasses, spray measuring cup with cooking spray so the molasses won’t stick.)
Beat until fluffy.
Add chopped figs, lemon rind and buttermilk. Mix until incorporated.
In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.
With mixer on low, add dry ingredients to egg/fig mixture. Mix until fully incorporated.
Pour into pan and bake for an hour.
Let cool for 10 minutes and turn out onto a rack over a baking sheet.
Poke holes in the cake (carefully) with a fork all over.
Brush the cake with the brandy until it is fully absorbed.
Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit for 24 hours.
Serve with ice cream, rum sauce or creme anglaise. (An easy trick is to let ice cream thaw out. It makes a great sauce.)

About Elizabeth Dougherty

Elizabeth Dougherty has been cooking and writing about food intensively for more than ten years. She is the fourth generation of chefs and gourmet grocers in her family with her mother, Francesca Esposito and grandmother, Carmella being major influences in her early cooking years. As a teenager, her family sent her to Europe where she became focused on French and Italian cuisine. She survived a year and half of culinary tutelage under a maniacal Swiss-German chef and is a graduate of NYIT, Magna Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations. Food And Travel Nation has won two news awards for content. Broadcasting LIVE each week, nationwide, on and on stations around the country.

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