Photo: Oxmoor House 
Hands-on Time
15 Mins
Total Time
55 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 3 ounces beef, 2 tablespoons aioli mixture, and 2 tablespoons port reduction)

This is a counterintuitive little recipe. Indeed, you'll get some squished faces if you tell your guests you're serving them steamed beef. But this is delicious. Promise. So why are we steaming prized beef tenderloin? Because gentle steaming honors the delicate nature of the cut and the mildness of the flavor, and it allows the tender texture of tenderloin to be the lead feature in the dish. While a steakhouse char is welcome on beefier cuts, such as strip and rib-eye, the port stain gives the same visual appeal in a super-tender cut. People will ask where you hid your personal chef.

How to Make It

Step 1

Place garlic on a cutting board; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Chop until coarse, but consistent. Then, scrape with the flat side of knife to mash.

Step 2

Place the beef tenderloin medallions on paper towels on a plate. Pat dry on all sides.

Step 3

Rub the garlic mixture evenly on all 4 beef medallions. Replace the paper towels on the plate, and allow the beef medallions to quick-cure, uncovered, in the refrigerator, for about 30 minutes.

Step 4

MAKE THE SAUCE Blend the aioli and the chiles. Chill.

Step 5

In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the port wine to a boil.

Step 6

Now, reduce heat to a gentle simmer and reduce wine to a 1/2 cup of liquid. It should be syrupy.

Step 7

Remove from the heat, and stir in the lemon zest and smoked paprika. Pour the port reduction into a baking dish or shallow pan with a diameter small enough to allow the sauce to pool, yet hold all of the beef medallions.

Step 8

Set aside.

Step 9

STEAM THE MEDALLIONS Ready a 10-inch stovetop steamer, filling the pot to a depth of 1 inch. I like using the bamboo steamer for this recipe. You'll only need one layer and the lid. Bring the water to a boil and get the steam going at a full (but not violent) rate.

Step 10

Place the medallions equidistant on a small square of parchment. Cover and steam for about 6 to 8 minutes or until desired degree of doneness.

Step 11

Remove the steaks from the steamer. Pat the tenderloin medallions dry with paper towels, and press them down into the port reduction. Allow them to "stain" for 5 minutes on each side.

Step 12

PLATE YOUR MaSTERPIECE! Transfer the medallions to a cutting board and slice at a broad angle. You should be able to get 4 reasonably thick (about 1/2-inch) slices per medallion.

Step 13

Spoon 2 tablespoons of the aioli mixture on each of 4 plates and smear, running across the plate with the back of your spoon. Snazzy.

Step 14

Fan the medallions over the aioli performance art. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the port reduction on the steaks to finish.

Step 15

Step by Step: Staining Beef Medallions 1) The Before: You'll effectively have gray beef medallions at this juncture. Fear not. The interior is gloriously rosy. 2) The After: Drying, then "staining" will allow both the deep burgundy color and flavor of the port reduction to absorb into the exterior meat fibers, making your medallions look credibly roasted.

Cooking Light Mad Delicious

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