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Porcini-crusted Beef Roast with Port Wine Jus

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Beef Roast

Beef Roast

Creative Commons License 2011 Steve Johnson
Lynda Balslev at Tastefood developed this recipe for porcini-crusted beef roast and posted it on Food 52 where it was chosen as Best Holiday Roast. The moment I read the recipe I fell in love. Balslev used a beef tenderloin roast, but that was beyond my budget so I went for a smaller, cheaper sirloin roast. It's not as tender but it often has a beefier flavor than tenderloin. I thought a lot about potatoes to go with this nad although my inclination was for some kind of gratin, I decided the port jus demanded mashed potatoes to soak it up. (Larger image.) Serves 2 with leftovers.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour

Yield: Serves 2 with leftovers.

Ingredients:

  • Roast:
  • 1 (2 – 2 1/2 pound) sirloin roast
  • Salt
  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • Olive oil
  • Port Wine Jus:
  • 1/2 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 3/4 cup hot water
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 md. shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 cup medium-dry port wine
  • 1 cup heavy-bodied red wine
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1/2 tsp salt, or to taste

Preparation:

Roast:
1. Generously season the roast with salt and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours. The salt will be absorbed by the roast flavoring and tenderizing it. Remove from refrigerator and warm for one hour before cooking.

2. Heat oven to 400 degrees.

3. Very finely grind mushroms, rosemary and pepper corns in a small food processor, spice grinder, or coffee grinder, then brush the roast with olive oil and rub in spices.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Note: For best results use stainless steel. Cast iron will react to the acid in the sauce and non-stick won't create as fond (browned bits) as you want.

5. Move the roast to a roasting pan, reserving skillet without cleaning. Place in center of oven and roast beef until a thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 125 F. - about 30 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes.

Jus:
6. Strain the porcini water through an un-bleached paper towel into a small bowl, reserving the mushroom juice. Coarsely chop the porcini.

7. Place reserved skillet over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter in it then add shallots and porcini. Sauté over until shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes.

8. Add port, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Add red wine, mushroom juice and rosemary. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until sauce is reduced by about half to approximately 1 1/2 cups. Add salt and taste for seasoning.

9. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve or cheese cloth into a small saucepan, pressing firmly on solids. Discard solids. Place sauce over low heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep warm until serving.

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