With Heirloom Tomatoes, Maytag Blue Cheese, and Morel Mushroom Brandy Sauce
1 six-ounce center-cut beef tenderloin
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon ground guajillo chile
kosher or sea salt
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 to 4 morel mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and sliced into rings
1 shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 ounces brandy
2 ounces veal demi-glace (available at upscale grocery stores)
1 large, ripe heirloom or beefsteak tomato, sliced thick
1 handful of watercress or arugula or mixed greens (approximately 1 ounce)
1 ounce sherry or balsamic vinegar
1 handful of crumbled blue cheese
To begin, marinate beef with half the olive oil, the ground guajillo chile, and a little of the salt and pepper. In a hot skillet sear beef over high heat. Allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then turn over and sear for another 3 to 4 minutes for medium rare, 1 to 2 minutes longer for more well done beef. Remove beef from pan and keep warm. With the pan on medium high heat, add about a tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter to the pan. When the butter melts, add morels, shallot, and garlic. Allow to cook 30 to 45 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat, add brandy, and return to the heat. You may light the brandy with a long kitchen lighter … but use caution as the flames may leap. After the flame has died down, add the demi-glace and season with a little salt and pepper to taste. Whisk in the remainder of the butter and keep warm until ready to serve.
Arrange the sliced tomatoes on a plate and season with salt and pepper. Place the beef on top of the tomatoes and toss the greens with a little sherry vinegar and olive oil. Top the beef and tomatoes with the greens and spoon the sauce around the beef. Garnish with crumbled blue cheese. Serves 1.
Editor’s note: This recipe has not been tested by Texas Monthly.