For this, the first installment of Local with Local (Finger Lakes Edition), I've asked Chef Deb Whiting of Red Newt Bistro on Seneca Lake to create a dish specifically for enjoying with Damiani Wine Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc (my review), a fine example of Finger Lakes cabernet franc from a producer that is only now starting to get some attention.
She came up with Grilled, Coffee-Rubbed, Bacon-Wrapped Beef Tenderloin with Cherry-Cabernet Franc Sauce. Here's here thinking behind it and the recipe:
I recently tasted a bottle of Damiani Wine Cellars 2007 Cabernet Franc and of course immediately started thinking of what kind of food I would pair with this wonderful wine. Aromas and flavors of smoke, dark cherry and cranberry danced through my mind as I continued to drink the wine and think about food. I kept coming back to dark cherry and realized that cherry season is just around the corner so I decided to share a recipe idea utilizing them. I decided that a grilled bacon wrapped beef tenderloin with a coffee rub topped with a cherry cabernet wine sauce would be perfect. This recipe is easy and is worth waiting for cherries to be in season.
The coffee rub and the sauce can be made several days ahead of time.
Cherry Cabernet Sauce
½ tbsp olive oil
1 cup pitted dark cherries, finely chopped
1 tbsp garlic, minced
1 cup Cabernet Franc wine
½ tsp each of fresh thyme and sage, chopped
1 to 2 tbsp honey
salt and pepper, to taste
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp dry thyme
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground pepper
Using your hands, coat the tenderloin with the coffee rub completely. Now wrap one piece of bacon completely around the beef. Start the next strip of bacon by overlapping on the end of the first piece and continuing until the tenderloin is completely covered.
Gently tuck the loose end of the bacon into the wrapped area. Now you are ready to grill! Turn the meat as you grill so that the bacon gets thoroughly cooked and cook to desired temp. Remove the tenderloin and let “rest” for five minutes.
Slice the tenderloin and place onto a platter bedded with fresh arugula or spinach. Ladel the warm sauce over the slices and enjoy along with a glass of Damiani 2007 Cabernet Franc.