So you had this amazing party with a gorgeous, huge beef tenderloin cooked perfectly. Congratulations! And now you have half of that tenderloin sitting in your fridge that you want to treat with the respect it deserves but really, what on earth can you do with leftover steak and not ruin it?
I was faced with the same dilemma recently, so immediately thought Stroganoff. But then I remembered my hidden stash of dried porcini mushrooms and thought of one of my favorite dishes from our trip to Northern Italy: Polenta ai Funghi. Basically just reconstituted porcini made into a gravy and served over soft polenta. The only thing missing was and little cream and some beautiful slices of beef tenderloin. So I mashed up recipes for Beef Stroganoff and Polenta ai Funghi and made this leftover gem.
Tenderloin Polenta ai Funghi
2 cups dried porcini mushrooms
2 cups hot water
1/4 butter or olive oil
2 shallots, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup marsala wine or sherry
2 cups beef broth
1-2 pounds leftover tenderloin, cut into large bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup cream
1 1/2 cups coarse grits or polenta
In a bowl, pour the hot water over the dried mushrooms and let sit for 20 minutes or so–until the mushrooms are reconstituted and soft. Remove the mushrooms from water, reserving the liquid. Coarsely chop the mushrooms.
Make the polenta. Bring 3 cups water or broth to a boil. Slowly stir in polenta and turn water down to medium-low. Continue stirring polenta until creamy. Turn all the way to low, cover, and let stand until the sauce is ready.
Heat the butter or olive oil in a large skillet. Add the shallots and saute a couple of minutes until tender. Stir in garlic, then flour. Mix flour until no lumps remain, then stir in wine and cook for 1 minute. Stir in broth and 1 cup of reserved liquid (careful not to add sediment at the bottom of the mushroom bowl). Bring to a simmer and cook down for 5-10 minutes.
Turn down to low, stir in cream, then fold in tenderloin and mushrooms. Stir just until heated through.
To serve, make a well of polenta in the bottom of a large, wide bowl or plate. Ladle mushroom and tenderloin sauce over polenta.