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Beef Tenderloin With Mushroom Madeira Sauce

Servings: 4 - 6
Level of Difficulty: easy

This is one of those "wow" dinner party entrees that's actually quick and easy to prepare. If you make the sauce ahead you just need to quickly cook the steaks right before serving so you can enjoy the party, too!

Beef Tenderloin Steaks with
Mushroom Madeira Sauce

For the Sauce:
1# mixed mushrooms, such as cremini, shiitake and white
3 T. unsalted butter
1 medium shallot, minced
½ t. kosher salt
Black pepper
1 t. fresh thyme (additional sprigs for garnish optional)
½ cup Madeira
½ cup cream

Clean mushrooms with a damp towel. If using shiitake, cut off the tough stems. Slice mushrooms and set aside. Heat butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms in an even layer. Let the mushrooms sauté without stirring until they start to brown. Stir to turn them. You can add a little more butter if the pan seems very dry. Cook until nicely browned and any liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and add the shallot. Cook just until soft and translucent – do not brown the shallot. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the thyme. Remove pan from heat (for safety's sake it's always a good idea to remove pan from open flame before adding alcohol). Add the Madeira. Return pan to heat and deglaze scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer about 1 minute until alcohol has been cooked off. Add the cream. Return to boil and cook briefly until sauce is thickened slightly. (You can prepare the sauce an hour or so ahead and set aside. Reheat before serving.)

4 – 6 tenderloin steaks (6 – 8 ounces each) of approximately the same size and thickness, removed from refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking and patted dry with paper towels
Olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Heat large sauté pan over medium high heat until very hot (use 2 if necessary to avoid crowding the meat). Brush steaks lightly with oil and season well on both sides with coarse salt and pepper. Add about 2 T. of oil to the skillet(s). Quickly sear steaks until nicely browned on both sides, about 4 minutes. Remove and arrange on shallow baking sheet or jelly roll pan. Finish steaks in oven – about 6 - 7 minutes for medium rare. Let meat rest about 5 minutes. Pour any accumulated meat juices into the mushroom sauce. Reheat the sauce and served spooned over the steaks. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs (optional).

Mary Schlueter is the chef/innkeeper at Amber House Bed & Breakfast. Amber House is located in the village of Rocheport, Missouri, recently name one of the "10 Coolest Small Towns in America" by Frommer's Budget Travel Magazine.

Visit the Amber House website at www.amberhousebb.com.

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