For the past 2 Easters my mom has come to my house and I have cooked the Easter meal. Our family tradition was to have leg of lamb on Easter, but that's a lot for just two people and lamb leftovers aren't very good so I went to my cookbooks to find something else. I made a menu of options for my mom and for the main course she chose Tenderloin of Beef with Brandied Mushrooms from this cookbook. For exact recipe click the title or the pic of the cookbook and buy it! Cheap price for great recipes!
If you are going to make this, you have to remember to plan ahead. One or two days before having the meal you must get the meat ready which includes rubbing it in olive oil and pepper, covering it in tarragon leaves, and wrapping in tightly in plastic wrap. Leave it in the fridge until a couple hours before cooking it.
I also make the brandied mushrooms one day ahead of time. I have a hard time cooking multiple things at once and timing everything to be ready at the same time so doing as much ahead of time when I have multiple dishes helps a lot.
To make the brandied mushrooms you soften dried mushrooms. I used a combo of shitake and porcini.
Save the soaking liquid! and chop up the mushrooms. Then you heat chicken stock & the soaking liquid.
In a skillet soften shallots and fresh cremini mushrooms in butter. Add the rest of the mushrooms and some garlic. Finally you get to add the brandy and also some red wine :)
Once you have cooked that to the point that liquid has mostly evaporated you add the mixture of the soaking liquid and stock and some balsamic vinegar. The first time I made this I did everything and tasted it and thought "oh, that's good" and then realized I'd forgotten the balsamic vinegar. It is only 1 teaspoon, but that made all the difference, it went from "oh, that's good" to "oh my gosh! that's amazing!"
After adding those things add creme fraiche. True confession, I'd never heard of that until making this. The cookbook provides a recipe for making your own and the first year I made it that's what I did, this past Easter I just bought some from the store. Also add some chopped up tarragon and your brandied mushrooms are complete!
The day of remove the wrapping from the beef and the tarragon leaves and cook to your taste preference (Mom and I like rare). Reheat the brandied mushrooms (if you made them the day before) and serve over the meat.
The first time I made this my mom said it was the best meal she'd ever had, and her mom was a GREAT cook so that is a compliment!