Veal Tenderloin with Morels, Asparagus, and Sherry Cream

Alex Cao

Blackbird Dining Establishment, Collingswood, NJ

Chef Alex Cao of New Jersey’s Blackbird Dining Establishment created a version of this delicious veal tenderloin at his French and Italian Wine Tour dinner at the historic James Beard House.


  • 1 1/2 pounds veal tenderloin
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup dry sherry
  • 1 cup demi-glace
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 4 tablespoons chilled butter, cubed
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 9 ounces morel mushrooms (about 2 cups)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Blended oil


Preheat the oven to 400ºF.

Rinse the veal, trim off any excess fat and silver skin, and season liberally with salt and pepper.

Heat a medium oven-safe pan over high heat until very hot, then add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the veal on all sides until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer to the oven and cook until the internal temperature of the veal is between 130ºF for medium-rare meat and 145º for medium. Remove from pan and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes.

Drain excess oil from the pan (but keep all of the brown bits), and return to the stove over medium heat. Add half of the shallots and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Carefully deglaze the pan with the sherry, scraping the bottom with a wooden spoon to incorporate all of the brown bits. Increase the heat to medium-high and reduce the sherry by half. Add the demi-glace and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce slightly until the sauce is thickened. Reduce the heat to low and add 2 tablespoons of the chilled butter to the pan, one piece at a time, swirling to incorporate each addition before adding another. Add about half of the chives and keep warm.

While the veal is cooking, make the fricassee. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus for about 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain, cut into 1-inch pieces, and set aside.

Check the morels for any dirt and dust them off lightly with a towel. Trim if necessary and cut the larger morels so that they are the same size as the smaller ones. Coat a shallow pan with blended oil and lightly sauté the garlic and remaining shallots until tender. Add the morels and sauté until most of the liquid is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the asparagus and remaining butter; season to taste with salt and pepper.

To plate, divide the fricassee among 6 plates. Thinly slice the veal and place several slices on each plate on top of the fricassee. Spoon the sauce around the plate and garnish with the remaining chives.


6 servings