Hazelnut and Peppercorn-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Syrah Reduction Sauce

Serves 6

2 T. chopped hazelnuts, toasted
1 T. black peppercorns
2 ½ lbs. beef tenderloin or 6 filets
2 T. extra virgin olive oil

Syrah Reduction Sauce (recipe follows)

Mix the chopped hazelnuts and the peppercorns together in a blow.  Rub the whole tenderloin with the mixture, pressing it gently into the beef.  Generously season with salt.  Refrigerate, covered, for at least 4 hours over overnight.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Heat the olive oil in an ovenproof skillet over high heat.  Sear the beef all over to retain its juices.  Place the beef in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees on an instant read thermometer for medium.  Cook 5 minutes less for rare meat.

Transfer the beef to a platter to rest for about 10 minutes.  Keep warm while you prepare the sauce.

Syrah Reduction Sauce.

Makes 1 cup

1 onion, cut into small dice
1 celery stalk, cut into small dice
1 carrot, peeled and cut into small dice
1 leek, cut into small dice
1 Roma tomato, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 c. Syrah
4 c. veal stock
Bouquet garni (3 thyme sprigs, 3-4 Italian parsley springs, ½ t. black peppercorns, 1 bay leaf)
½ t. unsweetened cocoa powder
Salt and pepper.

Sauté the onion, celery, carrot, leek, tomato, and garlic over medium heat in a saucepan until lightly browned.  Deglaze the pan with the Syrah and reduce the liquid to 1 cup.  Add the veal stock, bouquet garni, and cocoa powder and slowly reduce the liquid by half, skimming constantly.  Strain the sauce and adjust the seasoning.

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