Hey, What’s Cookin’?
I can already tell what you’re thinking:
“Balsamic REDUCTION???? What kind of fancy-pants nonsense is this?!”
Please don’t judge too quickly! The “reduction” consists of only 2 ingredients, and the entire recipe calls for only 5 ingredients (not counting the salt and pepper).
So just what is a reduction? It’s a sauce that is cooked over heat so it evaporates water and thereby gains intensity of flavor. Good, simple reductions (sauces) are super handy when you want to make an impressive cut of meat even more delectable. And I think you’ll agree that a thick, juicy slab of beef tenderloin is worth the effort!
Valentine’s Day happens this week, and this Tenderloin with Balsamic Reduction is a very simple but impressive dish that anyone can assemble! Make a quick salad and steam some veggies for a side accompaniment, and you’ve got an amazing dinner that is sure to satisfy anyone you love!
Tenderloin with Balsamic Reduction
Adapted from: a recipe by Martha Stewart
- 1/2 cup aged balsamic vinegar (the best quality you can afford)
- 2 plum tomatoes, (1/3 – 1/2 cup) seeded and coarsely chopped
- 1 tbs grapeseed oil (better than olive oil for high-temperature searing)
- 2 beef tenderloin steaks; cut 3/4 inch thick (about 8 ounces each) and at room temperature
- 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly-ground pepper, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
- In a small saucepan bring balsamic vinegar to boiling. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes or until reduced to 1/4 cup. Stir tomatoes into the hot balsamic reduction.
- Meanwhile, trim fat from the steaks. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add steaks; reduce heat to medium. Cook to desired doneness, turning once halfway through. Allow 7 to 9 minutes for medium-rare (145 degrees F) to medium (160 degrees F).
- To serve, spoon balsamic reduction over steaks. Sprinkle with thyme.
Notes: Wondering what to serve with this meal? A simple side salad of baby arugula, mandarin orange segments & sliced red onion; plus roasted asparagus and mashed cauliflower or mashed turnip will do very nicely!
Photograph via MSLiving