Bison Tenderloin, Wintercress Buds and Anchovy-Ramp Sauce
Serves two as an entree
Course: Main Course
Keyword: Anchovy Sauce, Bison, Wintercress
2eight ounce bison tenderloins
1/2cupdry white wine
2tablespoonschopped anchovyroughly 5-6 filets
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
2tablespoonshigh heat cooking fatlike lard or grapeseed oil
1small sprig of thymeoptional but recommended
4ouncesyoung mustard raabsyoung dandelions or broccoli raab would be a great substitute
2tablespoonsliced fresh ramp bulbs
Preheat an oven to 250 degrees. Season the bison steaks all over with salt and pepper. Open some windows so you don't smoke out the kitchen.
Heat the lard or oil in a wide saute pan until lightly smoking (a ten inch would do). Put the steaks in the pan and press down firmly on them. Cook the steaks for a few minutes until a deep brown crust forms on one side, then flip, press down on the steaks lightly again and sear until the other side is deeply seared as well. Now repeat with the sides of the steak.
Transfer the steaks to a roasting tray lined with a cooling rack to prevent the steaks touching the metal and overcooking, then cook in the 250 degree oven until a thermometer reads 110 degrees (trust me on this). Remove the steaks to rest in a warm place in a pan to catch the juice the give off.
Anchovy Pan Sauce
Meanwhile, wipe the saute pan out with a towel to remove burnt oil, then add one tablespoon of the butter, the ramps and the anchovies. Cook, stirring occasionally until the anchovies are broken up and the ramps are lightly colored. Add the thyme sprig to the pan if using. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half, then add the stock and the juice the tenderloins have given off while resting. Heat the sauce and reduce for a few minutes more on medium heat, discard the thyme and reserve the sauce.
Before serving, reheat the sauce and whisk in the cold butter, allow the sauce to thicken, then double check the seasoning and adjust if needed. If necessary, flash the tenderloins in the oven for a few minutes to warm them back up a little.
To cook the wintercress buds, bring a a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, then blanch them for 30 seconds or so until just wilted, remove the raabs from the water and blot on a towel for a second to remove water, since it will dilute your sauce.
To plate the dish, cut each tenderloin in half, then fan each out on the middle of two preheated dinner plates, arrange the raabs around them, garnish with the sauce, and serve immediately.
This is a simple entree to be part of a larger meal, serve it with a salad or a starch on the side.Like I mentioned, It's really important to use high quality anchovies here. From my experience, expensive anchovies have more umami flavor, and less fishy funk. be on the look out at high end food stores for a variety, two great brands I like are Scalia, and Ortiz. Spanish anchovies will tend to be less fishy than Italian too, since the fish are in colder water which makes them develop less fat.To give a tenderloin more height, I like to tie them tightly in the middle with butchers twine, since it makes them cook evenly and gives an even shape for a nice presentation.