Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Cherry Tenderloin (using Cherries in Wine)


After participating in Canning Week hosted by Amy at a Latte with Ott, A and Jen at From Mess Hall to Bistro I was invited to participate in their new weekly blog hop.  I Canned a Whole Lott, Now I'm Baking in My Bistro is a blog hop that focuses on what we do with the items we have canned.

I must admit that this is an area that I need some serious help in.  I should be a member of Canning Hoarders Anonymous.  I like to put all the pretty produce in jars and stare at them once they are processed.  I DO NOT like to open the jars.  Every time I catch my husband opening a new jar, I give him a dirty look and think: you can't open that yet.  Summer isn't even over, jerk!  You have to save them for the winter.  But I don't say anything.  I'm just happy that he actually likes what I made.

I did make a small step this past weekend.  I shared a jar of salsa with the neighbors, and even gave another jar away to the neighbors.  It wasn't easy, but I did it.  I think salsa might be the hardest thing for me to give away because it takes so much time to make.  All that chopping (even if I do most of it in the food processor) is very time consuming.  Jams/jellies/preserves/butters are easier for me to share because they are easier to make, and I have so many jars that there is no way my family of 3 will ever eat them all.

Well, on to what I made with an item I canned.  At the height of cherry season, I canned some Door County cherries in wine, according to the recipe from Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods.  I used Satin Red from Von Stiehl Winery (a Wisconsin Wine).  Since I was using Wisconsin cherries, I wanted to stick with a Wisconsin wine.  This was the first jar I opened, and they were delicious.  They weren't too soft or soggy.  They still had a bit of crunch to them.

I liked Well-Preserved: Recipes and Techniques for Putting Up Small Batches of Seasonal Foods because it helps a person like me who is not very creative with the items they can.  After most of the canning recipes, there are recipes on how to use those canned items.  Perfect!  Cherries in wine meant cherry tenderloin.  The original recipe was for 4 servings, but I only needed 2.  The only ingredients I actually cut in half were the steaks.  Instead of buying a tenderloin, I bought 2 filet mignons (on sale, of course).  I started by putting the 2 raw filet mignons on a broiling pan.  Then went into the oven (preheated to 450) for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, they look kind of ugly and grey-ish.
I preheated a medium-sized pan (NOT non-stick...you'll want to deglaze it later on) with 1 TB of olive oil over high heat.  When I read the instructions I was surprised that I had to heat olive oil to 'high' because it smokes at that temperature.  But, I followed the directions.  As soon as it started smoking (like I knew it would) I added the grey-ish looking steaks.
They sizzled up a storm.  Make sure your little kids aren't around.  Let them sear for 2 minutes.

I had prepared 1 TB of crushed garlic and set it aside.  I heart garlic.  If you don't have a garlic press, get one.
After the steaks seared for 2 minutes, I flipped them over.  Much more splattering happened.  I added the garlic.  What did I get?  Burnt-ass garlic.  Immediately.  That's what happens when you add garlic to a pan that's on 'high' heat.  I adjusted the heat down to 'medium high'.  This is also the point that I lightly salted the steaks with sea salt.
After searing for 2 minutes, remove the steaks (not the garlic) and place on a plate to rest.  Be sure to cover (I just used a bowl).  While the steaks are resting, you add the canned cherries in wine to the pan that had the steaks in it.  The pan will have bits of stuck on steak.  That's good.  Use a wooden spoon to scrape it in with the cherries.
After the steaks have rested for a couple of minutes, add the juices that accumulate on the plate to the cherry mixture.
After the cherries have simmered for about 4 minutes, add 2 TB unsalted butter (yes, that's my homemade butter).
I let the cherries cook for 2 more minutes.  Meanwhile, I sliced the steaks on a the bias.
Then the cherry sauce was added on top, then a bit of freshly ground black pepper.
I ended up serving the steak with some Balsamic Roasted Red Potatoes (with the changes suggested by the first reviewer, Serena).

I'm not exactly sure if that's a good pairing or not.  I'm not great at figuring out side dishes.  But, my husband LOVED the potatoes and I LOVED the steak!

Surprisingly, the sauce didn't taste like burnt garlic at all.  The flavor was wonderful, and this is absolutely a dish that I'd make again.  I wouldn't even make any changes to it.

If you are wondering what is in the cherries in wine (seeing as I don't have a post on it because I canned it before I started my blog) here are the ingredients:  2 quarts red wine, 2 cups sugar, 2 cups orange juice, 24 whole cloves, 16 3-inch strips orange zest, and 4 pounds pitted cherries.  They are also great for dessert.  Just top with whipped cream!  Simple!

Please take a few minutes to visit these other blogs participating in this week's blog hop.  Maybe you can get some new ideas of how to use the items that you've canned (or, if you're not a canner, a new recipe!).
From Mess Hall to Bistro
From the Hive

This post is also featured on the Tuesday Twister Blog Hop hosted by GNOWFGLINS.


  1. WOW!!!!! That looks amazing!!! And I totally feel your pain about giving away jars of salsa. I make up a batch, then my husband immediately eats the whole thing in a week or two. Any remaining jars, he tries to give away because he wants everyone to taste the "amazing" salsa I make. Each time I wonder why I bother to can the stuff if he's going to eat it so quick. I finally got smart and hid the last batch I did while he was at work!

  2. Oooh, this looks delicious! Thank you for taking us through step-by-step.

    That tenderloin is cooked perfectly, it looks like it was melt in the mouth tender, and the cherries just put it over the top! Very nice.

    PS I'm so happy I found you through Tuesday Twister!

  3. I feel the exact same way about my pretty canned jars of food! It must be one of those weird "canner issues" we aren't supposed to talk about or something...lol Your cherries are beautiful and look so good. Great recipe!

  4. This is sooooo great, my husband is originally from Wisconsin and we went to Door County this past summer and stopped by Von Stiehl winery. I even blogged about it. http://alattewithotta.blogspot.com/2010/06/on-wiscottsin-wines-signs.html
    We were there before the cherries though. I think you did a great job pairing everything together and it all looks delish!!!

  5. I want to come to dinner at your house, definitely.

    -the redhead-


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