Tenderloin with Aromatic Crust, Leek Puree and Wine-Cooked Fruit

A myriad of different flavors come together for this dish that rewards your efforts for its preparation with multiple layers of taste.


Chef: Christophoros Peskias

Preparation & Cooking time: 150'

Serves: 6

This recipe is a gourmet adaptation of the classic pork and leek dish by Chef Christophoros Peskias. For a more refined rendition, the chef suggests using tenderloin, which he dresses with an aromatic mixture of onion, wine ands herbs. He purees the leeks, and completes the dish with the addition of prunes and sliced quince that have been cooked in wine. The dish is a little difficult to prepare, so a little organization is required; for example, the garnish can be made a few hours in advance, as can the puree, both of which can simply be heated before serving. If you like, you can also skip making one or two of the side dishes he recommends.

INGREDIENTS

For the meat:

  • 6 small tenderloins, around 200g each
  • 30ml olive oil

 For the crust:

  • 200g onion, finely chopped
  • 30ml olive oil
  • 130ml sweet Moschato Limnos wine
  • 1 bunch estragon or ½ bunch thyme leaves
  • 250g Aigina pistachio nuts, heated at 150° C for 10-15 minutes
  • 40g (or a little more) breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

 For the leek puree:

  • 1.5kg leeks, the white part only, roughly chopped
  • 500ml fresh milk
  • 100g cow’s butter

For the garnish:

  • 3 quinces, cut in fine, round slices
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole and unpeeled
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 30 dry prunes, without stones
  • 100ml dry, red wine
  • 500ml homemade vegetable stock
  • 30ml olive oil
  • salt, freshly ground pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Leek puree:
In a small pot boil the milk with the leeks for around 30 minutes, until they soften. Strain the leeks and squeeze them well with your hands in a colander to rid them of their juices. Mix the leeks in a blender with the butter at the highest speed for 5 minutes. Season and put the puree aside (covered with cling-film so that it doesn’t develop a crust).

Garnish:
In a pot heat the oil on a medium heat and sauté the quinces and prunes for around 8-10 minutes, until they start to color on both sides. Remove the prunes and add the wine, stock, garlic, and bay and half-cover the pot, lowering the heat and allowing it to simmer for around 20 minutes. Add the prunes again and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. If there’s a lot of liquid left in the pot remove the lid during the last few minutes to allow them to evaporate. Remove from the heat, take out the garlic and bay leaves and season.

Crust and tenderloin:
In a small pot heat 30 ml of olive oil on a low heat and sauté the onion for around 4 minutes, until tender. Add the wine and cook for around 2 minutes, until the alcohol evaporates. Pour into the blender, adding the estragon, lemon juice, salt and pepper and blend well. Add the pistachios and blend gently, avoiding crushing the nuts too much. Put the mixture into a large bowl, add the breadcrumbs and mix well. The mixture should look like a thick paste – if necessary, add some more breadcrumbs to reach the right consistency. Turn on the grill in your oven. Season the meat with salt and pepper. In a frying pan heat 30 ml of oil on a high heat, add the meat and sauté for 5-6 minutes until it colors on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon. Pack the crust mixture around the meat as well as you can. Place onto a baking tray and grill for 3-4 minutes until it browns. Slice the tenderloin with a sharp knife. Serve accompanied by the puree, prunes and quinces.

* Originally published in Gastronomos Magazine, Dec 15 Issue.

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