Seared Buffalo Tenderloin Medallions with Peppercorn Cream
Buffalo tenderloin steaks cook up quickly and easily. Succulent and tender, they need little in the way of sauce or condiments. In this easy-but-elegant recipe the steaks are lightly coated with crushed peppercorns, seared, and drizzled with a light creamy sauce enhanced by mustard, cognac, and a touch of Marsala wine.
If you don’t have a mortar and pestle for crushing the peppercorns, put them in a sealed plastic bag and crush them with the back of a heavy skillet. If you aren’t very experienced at cooking steaks (and even if you are) it can be very helpful to have an instant-read thermometer on hand to determine the internal temperature. These are very inexpensive and easy to find wherever kitchen products are sold.
- Servings 2
- Two 113-gram (4-ounce) buffalo tenderloin steaks
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) mixed-color (preferably red, green, black, and white) whole peppercorns, coarsely crushed
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) vegetable oil
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 10 ml (2 teaspoons) Dijon mustard
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) cognac
- 15 ml (1 tablespoon) Marsala
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) heavy cream
- Salt, to taste
- Sliced chives, for garnish
1. Place the steaks on a large plate and sprinkle both sides with crushed peppercorns, pressing them in lightly. Set aside for about 15-20 minutes to remove the chill of refrigeration.
2. Place a large steel (or other non-reactive) skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and 30 ml (2 tablespoons) of butter. When the butter is melted, add the chopped shallot and stir until slightly softened, about 30 seconds.
3. Increase heat to high and add the steaks. You want them seared well on each side but undercooked during searing since they will be returned to the pan before serving. For a 2.5 cm (1 inch) steak sear for about 1 minute each side for rare, 1½ minutes a side for medium-rare, 2 minutes a side for medium. When the steaks are seared, transfer to a plate and keep warm under foil or a lid.
4. Reduce the heat under the pan to medium-low. Add the mustard and stir to blend well with the oils in the pan. Add the cognac, Marsala, heavy cream, and remaining 15 ml (1 tablespoon) butter. Stir well, and season with salt to taste.
5. Return the steaks to the pan and cover with a lid. If possible, use an instant-read thermometer to determine the temperature of the steaks: 54-57° C (130-135° F) for rare, 60° C (140° F) for medium-rare, 68° C (155° F) for medium. The internal temperatures of the steaks will continue to rise after they are removed from the pan, so be careful not to overcook.
6. Transfer the steaks to warmed plates. Drizzle with sauce and garnish with chives.