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Bison Tenderloin

Fork tender and delicately flavored, a whole bison tenderloin makes a sensational centerpiece for a special dinner party. The cut is lean and should be served rare. Care must be taken not to overcook it. Crack whole peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or bash with a hammer.

4 1/2- to 5-pound bison tenderloin
Olive oil
1 tablespoon finely minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper

1 cup Madeira
1 cup beef stock, preferably homemade

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Trim off any silverskin, the silvery tissue covering the muscle, and pat the meat dry with a paper towel. Tuck under the thin end of the tenderloin and, using kitchen string, tie the meat into an even compact shape (five ties is about right ).

Rub the meat with olive oil. Combine the garlic, salt and pepper. Coat the meat with the mixture. Set the meat on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast about 60 minutes or until a thermometer registers 130 degrees to 135 degrees. Do NOT cut into the roast or poke it with a fork.

Remove the roast to a platter and allow it to rest for 15 to 20 minutes while you make the sauce and finish dinner preparations. As the roast rests, it continues to cook and the juices settle and distribute.

To make the sauce, pour the Madeira and beef stock into the roasting pan. Cook over high heat, scraping the bottom and sides of the pan to release the browned cooking bits stuck to the bottom, until the sauce is reduced by half.

Carve the roast into thin slices by slicing against the grain, just as you would be beef tenderloin. Pass the sauce in a gravy boat. Serves 8.

Marlene Parrish

Thursday, October 14, 1999

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