Poached Beef Tenderloin With Dijon Vinaigrette And Brussels Sprouts

It never crossed my mind to poach beef until I came across a recipe in Charlie Trotter’s cookbook, ‘Home Cooking With Charlie Trotter’. The simplicity of this recipe made me slightly dubious so initially I overlooked cooking the dish. After cooking with a lot of flavorful herbs and spices lately it was refreshing to eat something where the ingredients largely spoke for themselves. Ditch the potatoes to make this a low carbohydrate, starch free meal.

I have not yet worked up the enthusiasm (or planned well enough in advance) to make stock myself but have found a cheat method to enhance the flavor to store-bought stock by using the ingredients listed below. Be careful to read the ingredients of  store-bought stock as many brands add in MSG. I buy frozen stock from my butcher; it has no additives or preservatives.

Beef tenderloin is very lean so by grilling or frying you can run the risk of drying out the meat. Using the poaching method emphasizes its velvety texture and is a pretty much foolproof way to serve a perfectly juicy and tender steak!

Serves 2

Stock Ingredients:

  • 1 cup decent quality red wine
  • 1 leek, sliced lengthways
  • 2 carrots roughly diced
  • 1 brown onion chopped into chunks
  • 3 whole garlic cloves
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • Whole black peppercorns
  • 2-3 cups beef stock

Vinaigrette Ingredients: (you will have leftovers)

  • 1.5 tbsp minced shallot
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp minced garlic

Other Ingredients:

  • Approximately 350g Grass fed beef tenderloin cut into 2 pieces
  • 1.5 cups Brussels Sprouts sliced in half
  • About 4 Fingerling potatoes sliced in half


To make the stock add the ingredients listed above to a medium-sized pot and bring to boil. Once boiling reduce the temperature to low, cover and simmer for about 30 minutes to an hour (the longer the better the flavor).

Slice the beef tenderloin into individual sized steaks and season. Once the stock has been simmering away for long enough bring back to a steady boil, then turn off the heat, add in the beef and the fingerling potatoes then cover and allow to poach in the broth for 25 -30 minutes, turning  the beef once. Its is important the beef is completely submerged in the poaching broth. (Poaching time is for med-rare for approx 150-200g steak).

While the beef is cooking heat up a large, non-stick fry pan on med/high heat with a little butter and add the brussels sprouts. Allow to cook flat side down for about 2 minutes then turn and allow to cook for about 1 more minute before removing to ensure they retain their crunch. Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the vinaigrette by adding ingredients together in a mortar and pestle and stir vigorously until emulsified.

Remove the beef and potatoes from the stock. Tent the beef while placing the potatoes and brussels sprouts on the bottom of a shallow bowl. Place the beef on top of the brussels sprouts then spoon some of the poaching liquid over the beef and vegetables. Finally drizzle some of the vinaigrette over the beef and serve immediately.


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