Beef Tenderloin with Niman Ranch Lardo over Roast Jumbo Asparagus and Glazed Shallots
Lay the fillet flat. Slice it two times length-wise, ¾ of the way through the tenderloin. Make sure the slices are equally spaced from one another and the top and bottom of the fillet. Open up the fillet and sprinkle it with transglutaminase, completely covering the interior. Place a slice of lardo inside each incision and roll the fillet to its original shape. Tie the beef with butcher’s twine several times to secure. Then roll it in plastic wrap, tie the ends with butcher’s twine and let it rest at least 24 hours. On the day of preparation, season the beef with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast the beef over an open grill at a high temperature until medium rare, turning the fillet every several minutes.
Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Cut 1 inch of the root off the asparagus and discard. Toss the rest with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Lay the asparagus out in an oven-safe pan and roast them for 5 minutes. Remove the asparagus, let cool and then cut them into three sections on a sharp bias. Toss the shallots to coat heavily with oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes; let cool. Squeeze the outer skin off of the shallots. Toss with the asparagus and reserve.
Bring 3 quarts of water and ½ cup salt to a boil in a 1-gallon pot. Drop in the asparagus and spinach and blanch until the asparagus is tender. Quickly remove from the water, place in a large bowl and cover with ice. Pour just a little of the salted water over the top to cool and season the asparagus. Remove the spinach and asparagus from the water and squeeze off any extra moisture. Bring the cream and chicken stock to a boil. Place the asparagus and spinach in a blender with the cream and stock. Blend until the asparagus and spinach are liquefied. Strain through a fine strainer and season with salt.
Preheat oven to 250ºF. Sear all sides of the tails heavily in a large roasting pan coated with oil until dark brown and crispy. Remove and place in oven-safe pan. Place the chopped vegetables, thyme, garlic head, bay leaf and peppercorns into the hot pan and stir with a wooden spoon until the bottom of the pan comes clean and the vegetables caramelize deeply. Add the tomato paste and brown until most of the moisture is removed and the paste threatens to burn onto the bottom of the pan. Quickly add the red wine and bring to a boil. Add the veal stock and bring to a boil again. Pour over the tails and cover with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Cook in the oven for 6 hours or until the meat falls off the bone and the fat is barely holding on to the meat. Place the tails in another pan and strain the stock from the first pan to remove the vegetables and add it to the meat to let it cool in its own stock. Let the meat come to room temperature and then pick everything from the bones. Strain the stock again and reserve. In a medium sauce pot large enough to comfortably hold all of the stock from above turn to low heat and add in one tablespoon butter, thyme, shallots and chopped garlic. Cook on low heat until the garlic threatens to burn; then add in the stock. Reduce by half and then add in the tail meat and the rest of the butter.
As the fillet is cooking, heat the sauce. Add the asparagus and shallots to the ragout, then divide it among six bowls. When the fillet is ready, let it rest for 5 minutes. Slice it into six (7-ounce) fillets. Rest the fillets on top of the ragout. With a hand blender, froth up the asparagus foam. Use as garnish on plate with fresh chervil.