Poached Tenderloin of Beef with Celery and Chanterelles

  • Active Time 20m
  • Total Time 20m

Serves 4

For a long time the French scorned English cooking because, they said, everything was boiled, not realizing that this basic cooking technique is also part of their own tradition. This delicious dish demonstrates to what extent this type of cooking allows seemingly simple preparations to be extraordinarily refined as well. This is, of course, partly due to the flavor of the wild mushrooms, which can never be equaled by humble cultivated mushrooms.


  • 4 thick slices of boneless beef: tenderloin, filet mignon (fillet) or sirloin, 5 ounces each, cut 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 13 ounces small chanterelles (wild mushrooms)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • Green leaves of 4 celery stalks
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • Salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet muscat wine
  • 1/4 cup light cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped tender yellow leaves of 1 celery heart


Tie kitchen string around each slice of beef in the shape of a cross, forming a 2 1/2-inch bow at the center. Trim any hard parts from the chanterelle stems, but keep the mushrooms whole. Wash them quickly and pat dry.

Boil water in a 4-quart pot. Add the coarse sea salt, peppercorns and green celery leaves.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a 10 1/4-inch nonstick skillet. Add the shallot and cook over low heat for 3 minutes, until soft but not golden. Add the chanterelles and cook, stirring constantly, over high heat for 5 minutes, until they no longer release water. Season with salt and add the wine. Cook until the wine evaporates. Add the cream and cook for 2 minutes; the cream will reduce and turn light brown. Remove from the heat.

Slip the string bows of the tied slices of beef over the handle of a wooden spoon. Rest the wooden spoon across the pot, with the meat suspended in the simmering seasoned water. The beef will cook perfectly. Allow 4 minutes to obtain rare meat. Remove the beef from the pot and place each piece on a warm plate.

Add the yellow celery leaves to the mushrooms and heat for 30 seconds, stirring. Garnish the meat with the mushrooms and serve immediately.

NOTE: The chanterelles can be replaced by other wild mushrooms: small flap mushrooms cut into thin slices, pleurotes, St George's agaric mushrooms, trompettes de la mort - or mixture of many kinds of mushrooms.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Weldon Russell. All rights reserved.

RecID 2674

nutrition information per serving

344 calories; 20g total fat; 114mg cholesterol; 1858mg sodium; 9g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 33g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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