Butternut Squash and Roasted Hazelnut Puree:
- 1½ pounds (750 grams) peeled and diced butternut squash
- ½ cup diced butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 8 oz (250 grams) finely chopped mixed mushrooms
- ½ cup minced shallots
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ cup dried mushrooms, preferably porcini
- 1½ cups veal or beef stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 veal or pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds/1 kilogram)
Bring squash to boil in salted water for about 15 to 20 minutes or until very soft. Drain well and return to pot. Using potato masher, mash until smooth with ½ cup butter, salt and pepper. Stir in hazelnuts. Set aside and keep warm.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium high heat; cook mushrooms, shallots, thyme and garlic together, stirring occasionally until any liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool. Season with salt and pepper.
Butterfly the veal tenderloins by cutting them through the middle to about 1/2-inch of the other side. Open like a book. Stuff with enough mushroom mixture to make a thin layer and close back up.
Tie tenderloins with butcher’s twine at about 2-inch intervals and place seam-side down on parchment-paper lined baking sheet. Season with pepper and salt. Place in oven and roast for about 45 to 55 minutes depending on thickness or until meat thermometer reaches 140 F for medium rare. Let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.
Combine dried mushrooms and stock in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer on medium heat and cook for 10 minutes or until reduced to about half. Drain through a fine mesh sieve and return stock to saucepan. Whisk in 2 tablespoons of butter and season with salt pepper, if needed.
Spread squash in centre of plate and place veal slices alongside. Spoon sauce beside meat.
The combination of veal with mushrooms and hazelnuts strongly points in Italy’s direction. So as not to overpower the delicate meat, consider a medium-bodied red, such as earthy Chianti Classico. Rioja from Spain is another fine option. But don’t shy away from most Italian or Spanish whites, either. Veal is friendly to both colours. Beppi Crosariol