meat free holiday

PLEASE READ: Roasted Beef Tenderloin + Mascarpone and Truffle Polenta w  Parmesan and Bursted Tomatoes

Not pictured:
Sautéed broccolini
Kale salad
Lamb chops w/ cumin-mint yogurt
Braised shallots and radishes

This picture is probably the ugliest food picture I’ll ever let myself post. Not to make excuses but — I cooked all of the above with no help other than some eager and annoying “tasting help” from hovering scavenger-guests. Also, zero prep was done ahead of time. So! When the food got to the table it went FAST meanwhile I was doing what reminded me of gym class “suicides” except in the home-settting: running from table to kitchen and back as fast as possible in order to grab a forgotten serving spoon or wine bottle or child or dish on the verge of burning out of spite and loneliness in the oven. Anyway, in all of the commotion/gluttony I forgot to snap a picture before it had practically beamed itself into everyone’s stomach and I am so mad at myself for not fighting off my dining companions in order to get a good shot even if it meant everything would be eaten lukewarm (kidding). So instead, I’ll try to paint you a picture with words, my English teachers would be proud at my effort? The roast was quite a dramatic centerpiece, supported by a crown of golden cloves of garlic, cradling the tenderloin in the pan. The beef was about 16 inches long, perfectly browned and textured with a good crust, all eyes peering down on it wondering what the inside would give away - did I leave it in for too long or is it practically still moo-ing? The latter being the unanimous preference that evening, easier for me! Plus, I think overcooked meat is a sin…I want my cutting board to look like a damn slasher film. A blood bath. Chainsaw- Laguiole Massacre. Knife jokes, lol bye.

The smooth and creamy mascarpone polenta coupled well with the masculine tenderloin. Bright yellow, soft and rich, covered by a veil of finely grated parmesan. The vibrant but slightly browned bursted cherry tomatoes strewn about gave the dish a nice pop too. 

The dishes did make for a beautiful table and the greens provided a freshness as well as serve as a reminder to eat balanced. The lamb chops and their bones gave the table the added bonus of a festive “special occasion“ experience. Unfortunately this picture was taken towards the end of the meal, when only the last few bites remained. But these too, even in the shadow of what they had once looked like, did not go to waste!

1 roughly 1.5 lb beef tenderloin
2-3 heads of garlic (we love garlic), peeled
Salt and pepper
½ cup EVOO
Good salt and fresh black pepper

1 cup of polenta
2 cups of chicken stock or water
1 cup whole milk
½ cup of mascarpone
1 cup of parmesan + more to top
1 tbsp of truffle butter or of truffle oil OR shaved truffle if you’re a baller

Step 1: Set the beef out to come to nearly room temp. Peel your garlic cloves and drizzle with olive oil. Drizzle tomatoes as well. Set your oven to 450. Lather on the EVOO and salt and pepper your tenderloin. Place tenderloin in pan and evenly arrange your cloves around it, add to oven. Place tomatoes in oven in a small, separate pan or roasting dish.

Step 2: Bring liquids to a boil, add polenta while mixing slowly for 15 minutes. Once thickened, add mascarpone and parmesan mixing in little by little until smooth. Add truffle butter, salt and pepper. Kiss your toned ass goodbye.

Step 3: Remove tomatoes once they are a little browned and bursted, top polenta.
Remove tenderloin after 20-25 minute for medium-rare, garlic should be browned. Gather up your garlic neatly around beef for better presentation. I’d show you an example but, read above.