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WINTER SIT-DOWN DINNER with 3 ingredients
from Entertaining 1-2-3 Menu Cookbook by Rozanne Gold
for the main course...
Chateaubriand with Porcini Crust,
Wild Mushroom Sauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Place 1/2 ounce porcini mushrooms in spice grinder or blender. Process until you have a fine powder. Dredge chateaubriand in mushroom "dust" to cover completely, leaving flat ends exposed. Sprinkle lightly with freshly ground white pepper.
In large nonstick skillet, melt 2 ounces reserved fat over low heat to make 2 tablespoons melted fat. Remove any large unmelted pieces or any debris.
Increase heat to high, and when fat is hot, add beef and sear quickly on all sides. You want to create a crust. This should take a few minutes. Transfer beef to heavy shallow roasting pan or baking sheet.
You may prepare meat up to this point and let sit at room temperature for an hour or two, until you are ready to put it in oven.
Roast beef for 40 to 50 minutes, checking after 30 minutes with a quick-read meat thermometer. This is essential to ensure a perfectly cooked roast. Roast for about 12 to 15 minutes per pound, or until thermometer reads 125 degrees to 130 degrees for rare.
While beef is roasting, prepare wild mushroom sauce. In small bowl, place remaining 1 ounce mushrooms and 2 cups boiling water. Let sit for 30 minutes. Remove mushrooms with slotted spoon, then pour liquid through fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any grit.
Place strained mushroom liquid in meduim saucepan and bring to a boil. Cut soaked mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces and add to boiling liquid. Lower heat to medium and reduce to 1 cup. Whisk in butter. Add salt and white pepper to taste. Set aside.
Remove roast from oven when it has reached the desired temperature. Let sit for 5 minutes before carving. Add accumulated juices to mushroom gravy. Cut meat into thick slices. Heat mushroom gravy over high heat for 1 minute, then pour over beef. Serve immediately.
* Have your butcher prepare the meat for you: Trim the fat and reserve. Tie chateaubriand at 1-inch intervals with string. The resulting piece should be 7 1/2 to 8 inches long, with a diameter of 3 inches on the narrow ends and 4 1/2 inches in the center. The net weight should be about 3 1/4 pounds.