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Beef Tenderloin Medallions with Ratatouille



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“I don’t believe that there is a perfect cuisine. Cooking is a form of
expression that combines ideas about cooking and eating in a way that a
lot of people, from the home cook to professional chefs, can understand.”
~ Charlie Trotter

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Beef Tenderloin Medallions with
Ratatouille and Anchovy-Pine Nut

Best of the Best Vol. 5:
The Best Recipes from the 25
Best Cookbooks of the Year

Food & Wine Books, Editor in Chief Judith Hill, 2002,
American Express Publishing Corp.


Charlie Trotter's
Meat and Game

by Charlie Trotter, 2001, Ten Speed Press

“The full flavor of the beef works perfectly with the lively ratatouille and is
equally complemented by the musty, heady anchovy-pine nut vinaigrette.
The ratatouille is especially explosive in flavor because all the ingredients
are briefly sautéed rather than cooking them slowly together. This creates
a less muddy flavor. Capers and Basil Oil provide the final whimsical, but
important, flavor notes.”

1 shallot, minced
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
Pinch of saffron threads
2 cups peeled, seeded, and chopped tomato
1 cup finely julienned [cut into thin,
matchstick strips] Spanish onion
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup finely julienned red bell pepper
1/2 cup finely julienned yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup finely julienned zucchini
1/2 cup finely julienned yellow squash
1/2 cup finely julienned eggplant
2 tablespoons fresh basil chiffonade
[see tips below]
Salt and pepper
15 salt-packed anchovies, filleted,
rinsed, and chopped
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Four 3-ounce beef tenderloin medallions
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
1/4 cup capers, minced
8 teaspoons Basil Oil (recipe follows)

To prepare the tomato sauce:
Sweat the shallot in 1 tablespoon of the
olive oil in a small sauté pan over medium-low heat for 2 minutes. Add
the saffron and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook over
medium heat for 30 minutes. Puree until smooth and pass through a
fine-mesh sieve.
To prepare the ratatouille:
Sauté the onion in 2 tablespoons of the
olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, or
until caramelized. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the juli-
enned red and yellow bell peppers, zucchini, yellow squash, and egg-
plant and cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender. Fold
the tomato sauce and basil into the vegetables and season with salt
and pepper.
To prepare the vinaigrette:
Puree the anchovies, balsamic vinegar,
the remaining 1 cup olive oil, the chopped red bell pepper, and the
pine nuts until smooth. Pass through a fine-mesh sieve and season to
taste with salt and pepper. Warm the vinaigrette over medium heat
for 2 to 3 minutes, or until warm.
To prepare the beef:
Season the beef medallions with salt and pepper.
Place the medallions in a hot sauté pan with the grapeseed oil and cook
over medium heat for 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked rare.
Allow the meat to rest for 3 minutes before slicing in half. Season with
salt and pepper.

Place some of the ratatouille in the center of each plate. Set 2 pieces of
the meat over the ratatouille and sprinkle the capers around the plate.
Spoon the vinaigrette and Basil Oil around the plate and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Basil Oil
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup firmly packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup firmly packed spinach
1/4 cup firmly packed fresh flat-leaf
parsley leaves
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup canola oil

Blanch the basil, spinach, and parsley in boiling salted water for 45 seconds. Immediately shock in ice water and drain. Coarsely chop the mixture and squeeze out the excess water. Purée with the olive and canola oils for 3 to
4 minutes, or until bright green. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate for 1 day.
Strain the oil through a fine-mesh sieve and discards the solids. Refrigerate
for 1 day, decant, and refrigerate until ready to use or for up to 1 week.

Substitutions: Chicken, veal, squab

Wine Notes: While the red and yellow bell peppers in the ratatouille are well matched by a peppery Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, for the whole
dish, Cabernet Franc is the better match. The herbaceous quality of Château
Simard from St. Émilion in Bordeaux is a stimulating pairing with all of the
other vegetable elements and the basil.

Food & Wine Test-Kitchen Tips

  • The only ingredients in this recipe that might be difficult for you to get
    are the salt-packed anchovies and the grapeseed oil.
    [No problem! Shop] We hesitate to admit this in light of Chef Trotter’s discriminating palate and demanding standards. But we substituted well-rinsed canned anchovies (30 fillets to equal 15 anchovies) and canola
    oil. The dish still tasted marvelous to us.

  • The quickest way to cut basil into chiffonade is to stack several leaves together, roll them up loosely, and cut them crosswise into thin strips.

  • For just enough of the Anchovy-Pine Nut Vinaigrette for four, make a
    quarter of the recipe.

Featured Archive Recipes:
Charlie Trotter Cooks at Home
Charlie Trotter's Mediterranean-Inspired
Beef Tenderloin with Quinoa and Red
Wine-Black Olive Vinaigrette

Patrick Clark's Pan-Roasted Filet of Beef
with Potato and Blue-Cheese Ravioli

Ratatouille Riot

Index - Beef Recipe Archives
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