Beef tenderloin and buttered prawn with buttered leeks and mustard

By Michael Bonacini
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  • 2 115 gram beef tenderloins
  • 6-8 tiger prawns in the shell - split down the middle, shell on, de-veined
  • 2 1/2 cups leeks, trimmed, washed & cut into 1 centimeter squares
  • 1/2 clove of minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

For the shrimp:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 clove minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup Panko bread crumbs


  1. In a small frying pan, over medium heat, take 1/2 the butter and gently begin to melt the leeks. Add a splash of water, to create a little steam, which encourages the leeks to soften. Stir from time to time, to prevent browning. While the leeks are cooking, in a separate pan cook the beef tenderloin by seasoning well and searing in a good, hot pan with a splash of olive oil. Its important to ensure a good, golden brown colour on all sides of the tenderloin. Cooking time is approximately six to eight minutes, for a medium to slightly medium-rare cooking colour.
  2. Add the room temperature butter to a bowl, adding garlic, lemon zest, parsley and salt & pepper. Next, take your shrimp and cover the flesh-side of the big, beautiful shrimp with the garlic, lemon & butter. Place the shrimp on a grilling pan, under a pre-heated broiler and broil for four to six minutes until the shrimp is cooked through. Remove from the broiler, sprinkle the top of the shrimp with breadcrumbs and place back under the broiler for approximately 20 seconds for the bread crumbs to turn light, golden brown and soak up all the flavours of the buttery garlic sauce. Keep warm to one side.
  3. To finish the leeks, add half the cream, the Dijon mustard, adjust the seasoning and if needed, a little more cream so there is a little bit of moisture within the leeks.

To Serve: Place a good amount of the melted creamy leeks in the centre of a plate. Place the beef tenderloin in the centre. Take the shrimp and lean a portion of it along the side edge of the tenderloin, in an attractive manner. You can add just about any vegetable of your choosing for the final element. I would recommend cooked, buttered carrots or a little asparagus and fresh garden peas.

Note: this dish is an elegant, upscale Mother’s Day dinner that any mum is guaranteed to enjoy. You can always replace the tenderloin with a pork tenderloin or a chicken breast. And more surprisingly, this is not a difficult recipe to prepare. The leeks and the butter for the shrimp can be prepared a day ahead, which makes it that much simpler come dinner time. 


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