Tastes of Summer (2003)

See Also
  Cured-Beef-Tenderloin Bruschetta with Red-Wine Mayonnaise

The Chef
Rocco DiSpirito of Tuscan

Serves 6

Cured beef tenderloin
3⁄4 cup salt
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon toasted, coarsely ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon toasted, coarsely ground coriander seed
1⁄4 cup cracked black peppercorns
2 tablespoons ground cumin
1⁄2 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs (a combination of tarragon, sage, mint, thyme, rosemary)
2 tablespoons lemon zest
1 pound choice center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed

Red-Wine Mayonnaise
3 cups good red wine
Herb bouquet (wrap a bay leaf and sprigs of sage, thyme, and parsley around a carrot and tie with string)
1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns
5 juniper berries
1⁄2 cup mayonnaise

12 slices of grilled Italian bread
1 clove garlic
1⁄4 cup shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano

Cooking Instructions
Cured beef
In a bowl, mix together the salt, sugar, spices, herbs, and lemon zest. Add beef and rub all over with curing mix. Transfer to a plastic bag, ensuring the beef is coated with the mix, and allow to cure for 2 days minimum in the refrigerator, turning occasionally. Remove the meat from the cure, quickly rinse to remove the salt and spices, and pat dry with a paper towel.
Note: To make it easier to finely slice the cured beef, use a slicing machine or freeze the beef overnight, or until firm.

Place the wine, herb bouquet, peppercorns, and juniper berries in a small saucepan, set over medium-high heat, and reduce until 2 tablespoons remain. Take care toward the end of the reduction so the wine does not burn. Strain through a fine sieve, and set aside to cool. Stir the wine into the mayonnaise.

Rub the grilled bread with the garlic, spread with red-wine mayonnaise, and top with a thin slice of beef and shaved cheese.