Time for one last rhubarb recipe before the season is finished. My first thought when rhubarb arrives on the scene is always strawberry rhubarb pie, but it can be used in a variety of other ways as well. For a recent dinner party I made a beef tenderloin - it is easy to cook but quite special, and it can be served at room temperature so you can cook it just before guests arrive and all you have to do is slice it when you are ready to serve it. I made this pretty rhubarb chutney to accompany the beef - the tart flavor was perfect with the meat.
3/4 cup red wine venegar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 whole star anise
1 small red onion, diced
1 cup crimson raisins
2 1/2 cups chopped rhubarb
1 orange, sections removed from the membranes, and chopped
Combine red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and star anise in a small saucepot and bring to a boil. Add red onion and raisins and reduce to a simmer,cook about 10 minutes. Add rhubarb and cook 10 minutes more, or until rhubarb is tender but not completely mushy. Stir in the orange pieces and set aside to cool.
Beef tenderloin can be quite expensive but at our local Fairway whole tenderloins are about $8 per pound. They come vacuum packed and you need to remove the silverskin and tie the loin so that is is evenly shaped for even cooking. The first few times I bought it I did all this myself, but it is quite time consuming if you are not a pro. I have since discovered that you can ask the butcher to do it for you which makes it an even better deal.
I prepare the beef in the simplest way possible. Generously coat the meat with coarse salt and freshly ground pepper and drizzle with a little olive oi. Sear it on a very hot grill pan until nicely browned on all sides. Then place meat on a sheet pan and roast in a preheated 450° oven until a meat thermometer registers 140°. Timing will depend on size of the tenderloin but I start checking it after about 15 minutes.
Once the meat is cooked it needs to rest. This is a crucial step...if you do not let it rest for long enough the juices will all run out of the meat when you slice it. Because of this I find it a perfect thing to serve at a buffet since you can cook it all in advance and just slice it as you need it...especially for spring and summer entertaining when a room temperature meal is welcome.