This wonderfully rich dish with its lingering flavors comes together very quickly, and makes quite a lasting impression. Sautéed butterflied beef tenderloin fillets are folded over slices of brie cheese, the fillets are baked briefly to melt the cheese, and the result is sauced with a pureed cranberry-balsamic reduction.
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup dry white vermouth
Four 1 1/2 to 2-inch-thick slices from the tournedo end of beef tenderloin,
lightly salted and peppered
All-purpose flour for dredging
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
3-4 large shallots, peeled
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dark molasses, to broaden the sauce
1/2 pound of just-ripe brie cheese, peeled if you like
No nutrition information available
Heat the oven to 300 degrees. Place the cranberries in a one-cup glass measure and cover them with the vermouth. Bring the mixture just to a boil in a microwave oven. Let the cranberries reconstitute while you prepare the beef.
Split the fillets crosswise, leaving a "hinge" of meat that enables you to open each fillet like a book. Dry the steaks thoroughly with paper towels, and dredge them in the flour. Proceed promptly.
Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. When the butter is melted, sauté the dredged and opened fillets, 2-3 minutes per side. Place each steak on an oven-proof serving dish and tent with foil to keep warm.
In a mini-processor, mince the shallots and spill them into the skillet over medium-low heat. In same processor, purée the cranberry/vermouth mixture. Add to the skillet with the balsamic and molasses. Reduce over medium heat for 6 minutes or so while proceeding with steaks.
Lay slices of brie cheese across one side of each opened steak, and close the other half over them, using toothpicks to fasten, if necessary. Warm in the oven for 3-4 minutes, just until the brie melts.
Swirl the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter into the sauce. Adjust seasoning, pour the sauce around the steaks, and serve at once.