Braised Beef Tenderloin Ragu with Butternut Squash Puree and Cranberry Gastrique

Pairing suggestion: Best with Cristom Paul Gerrie Vineyard Pinot Noir

Ingredients for Cranberry Gastrique

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 1/3 cup fresh cranberries
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

Ingredients for Butternut Squash Puree

  • 1 large butternut squash
  • 6 table spoons unsalted butter, diced
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Ingredients for Braised Beef Tenderloin Ragu

  • 2 oz porcini mushroom powder
  • 2 lbs crimini mushrooms, de-stemmed and quartered
  • 2 lbs canned San Marzano plum tomato
  • 4 lbs beef tenderloin (or stew meat), 1” cubes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 3 ea yellow onion, medium dice
  • 3 tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 6 oz bacon, rough chop
  • 4 cups beer (hefeweizen-style recommended)
  • 5 bay leaves

Directions for Cranberry Gastrique

  1. Combine sugar, water and cranberries in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Cook over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved and cranberries start to soften. Continue to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring gently to help mixture cook evenly.
  2. Add red wine vinegar all at once (mixture will boil very rapidly). Continue to cook until sugar is re-dissolved, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add wine to pan and reduce until slightly syrupy.
  4. Add the thyme and cook until cranberries have broken down slightly and mixture is dark red with texture of maple syrup.
  5. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh sieve.

Directions for Butternut Squash Puree

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Slice the butternut squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and toss the seeds. Place the halves flesh-side-up on a foil lined baking sheet.
  3. Sprinkle the diced butter and brown sugar evenly on both halves.
  4. Roast for 45-60 minutes or until the butternut squash can be easily pierced with a knife.
  5. Remove from oven; allow to cool for about 10 minutes. Scoop out the flesh and liquid and place it into your food processor.
  6. Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch of salt; pulse until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency.

Directions for Braised Beef Tenderloin Ragu

  1. Pulse tomatoes a few times in a food processor, place in a deep heavy bottom roasting pan
  2. Add the criminis and bay leaf
  3. Sauté the bacon and reserve the fat, add bacon to the tomato mixture
  4. Use the bacon fat to sear ½ of the cubed meat, stir in the garlic, salt and pepper.
  5. Remove from pan and add to the tomato mixture along with the other half of the meat
  6. In the same pan, saute the onion until opaque and add to the tomato mixture
  7. Thoroughly mix all ingredients (except porcini powder) in roasting pan. Add beer and mix again
  8. Cover and bake in the oven @350 degrees for one hour
  9. Stir in porcini powder, cover again and cook for 2 more hours or until meat is fork tender

Plating Notes

Use a basting brush to “paint” a good drizzle of the gastrique toward the bottom of the plate. Add a tidy scoop of the squash puree near the sauce. Add a couple ounces of the beef ragu and place neatly over the squash. Serve immediately.

Recipe by Capital Manor Catering, Salem, OR