al fresco, asparagus, autumn, baby carrots, beef tenderloin, California, Chicago, Detroit, dogs, family dinner, Jimmy Schmidt, mashed potatoes, Pinot Noir, pistachios, Rattlesnake Club, red wine, red wine sauce, roasted garlic, Robert Mondavi, San Diego
Our lives have been so hectic as of late, I desperately wanted/needed a family sit-down dinner al fresco. For this special occasion, I decided upon one of my favorite recipes, Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine & Pistachios. I first made this recipe when we lived in San Diego as newlyweds, and my parents flew out to visit us. We didn’t eat dinner until 11pm because of my lack of cooking experience, 1am for my poor parents still on Chicago time! But it is one of my favorite meals ever, and my mother still talks about how delicious it was.
Tonight I paired the filet with sour cream and chive mashed potatoes, roasted baby carrots with a little brown sugar, and roasted thin asparagus with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. My husband picked up a reasonable Pinot Noir for only $9. I am not a wine connoisseur, but I thought it was excellent: Robert Mondavi 2011 Private Selection Pinot Noir from California.
To top off the night, the kids played kickball, the dog stole 3rd base, and we roasted marshmallows over the fire pit. It was a great way to reconnect as a family, and celebrate the beginning of a new season. The recipe for the filets follows.. I made half a recipe this evening and omitted the sunflower seeds since I only had pistachios, and I skipped the parsley garnish. I also spooned the pistachio mixture and red wine sauce on top of the filets; I did not press them into the pistachios as it says to do. I can never get it to stick that way, and I want to eat every last bit of the pistachios! My favorite part of this recipe is the roasted garlic. It’s completely different than raw garlic, and the scent wafting from the oven is divine.
Grilled Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine & Pistachios
Recipe by Jimmy Schmidt of the Rattlesnake Club, Detroit
2 cups beef stock, 2 cups dry red wine, preferably Pinot Noir, 1/2 cup roasted garlic cloves, 1/2 cup chopped shallots, 1/2 cup chopped parsley, 1 dash salt to taste, 1 dash fresh ground pepper to taste, 1/4 cup toasted chopped pistachios, 1/4 cup toasted chopped sunflower seeds, 2 lbs beef tenderloin cut into steaks, 2 Tbs olive oil, 4 sprigs fresh parsley for garnish
In a large saucepan, combine the stock, red wine, 3 Tbs roasted garlic, shallots, and 1/4 cup chopped parsley. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until reduced to coat the back of a spoon, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a blender and puree until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into another saucepan, then adjust the salt and pepper. Stir in the remaining parsley, then reduce heat to low.
In a small bowl, combine the remaining garlic, the pistachios, sunflower seeds, and 2 Tbs red wine sauce. Mix well. Rub the surface of the steaks with the oil.
Grill the steaks until well-seared on the surface, about 5 minutes. Turn over and cook until you reach desired doneness, about 4 minutes for medium-rare, depending on the thickness.
Brush the tops of the steaks with a small amount of red wine sauce, then press the steaks, top side down, into the pistachio sauce, coating the surface well. Position the steaks on a serving plate, spoon the remaining sauce around them, garnish with parsley sprigs and serve~