Marrietta Old Vine Red, Bin 44, is our new favorite wine and we had a bottle with dinner last night. Tom made his version of Beef Wellington, I made a delicious Mushroom Cream Sauce and we were in dining heaven.
Tom and I buy a lot of stuff in large sizes or bulk. I buy large bottles of olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and all of my spices this way. What I can't find at the markets or Sam's Club, I order online. We also buy most of our meat in large quantities. I buy bags of frozen boneless chicken breasts and whole pork and beef tenderloins. Although the initial expense is greater, in the long run we may only pay $5.00 to $7.00 per meal for beautiful beef tenderloin steaks that were cut to our liking. We bring the meats home, separate or cut them into portions (not determined by the market packaging), vacuum seal them and put them in the freezer for use at a later time.
We bought our vacuum sealer in 1998 after we moved out to the country to live on 10 acres. The blackberry and raspberry vines we planted were fierce producers and we often couldn't keep up. Every year as they ripened, we would pick the berries, freeze them on a large cookie sheet then vacuum seal them for use throughout the year. Honestly, I used raspberries last week that were frozen 3 years ago. They were in perfect shape. No freezer burn at all. It worked so well, we started vacuum sealing everything else.
We moved from our house on 10 acres last year, so we don't have any berries to freeze, but we still use that vacuum sealer for just about everything else, including leftovers.
So, to my point. Trying to come up with something creative to eat is hard when you have been cooking together as long as we have... 39 years. Tom thought he would like to try his hand at something like Beef Wellington. He pulled a small beef tenderloin roast out of our freezer (vacuum sealed and frozen several months ago). On the way home, he stopped at the store and bought a package of puff pastry sheets and a large container of mushrooms. When we were ready to cook dinner, we just flew by the seat of our pants and the following recipe is what developed. I had some Caesar salad dressing left over from the night before so we served it with a small Caesar salad, without croutons because we thought it would be too much with the pastry.
1-1/2 to 2 lb. beef tenderloin roast
1 sheet pre-made puff pastry
1 lb. button mushrooms, sliced thin
1 tablespoon white truffle oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon Minor's chicken base (no water)
In a frying pan, saute the mushrooms in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the moisture has evaporated. Add salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly. Stir in truffle oil. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Lay out one sheet of puff pastry and cover with a clean towel. Generously salt and pepper the roast. Put 1 tablespoon of oil into a hot frying pan large enough to accommodate the roast. Put the roast in the pan and sear on all sides. Remove the roast from the pan and place it in the middle of the sheet of puff pastry. Spoon about 1/2 of the mushroom mixture on top of the roast and distribute evenly along the top only. Pull sides and ends of puff pastry up over the roast and mushrooms like a small package and seal well by pressing together.
Place the roast on a cookie sheet or shallow baking pan and bake in the oven for about 20 to 25 minutes until pastry is golden brown.
Remove the roast from the oven and allow to rest for about 5 minutes while you make the sauce.
Mushroom Sauce: Place the frying pan with the remaining mushrooms over medium high heat and deglaze the pan with the wine (I had some roasted garlic cloves in the refrigerator, so I chopped 3 of the roasted cloves and added those to sauce as well). Add the chicken base and stir well, then add the cream and bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened.
To serve, slice the roast in about 3/4 inch slices. Serve with sauce.