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Peppered Tuna with Mushroom Ragout

February 24, 2010

I really outdid myself on this one.  I mean, this is the best tuna I’ve ever made, and possibly the best I’ve ever had.  It

peppered tuna with truffled potatoes

takes a bit of work, but it can all be done ahead of time and assembled just before dinner.  It would be a super-impressive entertaining dish, and a great special occasion dish.  The reduction sauce really makes it, so be sure you don’t skip that, and roasting the mushrooms is pretty effortless, so don’t skip on those either.  The reduction sauce calls for beef stock, but if you don’t want to use beef stock, substitute a really rich vegetable stock instead.  This recipe comes from Charlie Trotter’s Home Cooking and serves 2 tuna lovers.


For the mushroom ragout:

4 oz cremini mushrooms, halved if small and quartered if large

5 shittake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced 1/4″ thick

2 golf ball sizes oyster mushrooms, cut into 1″ pieces

1 T olive oil

2 thyme sprigs

1 garlic clove, unpeeled

1/2 c water

1 T butter

For the reduction sauce:

1 T olive oil

1 carrot, peeled and diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1/4 c red wine

1 14 oz can beef or vegetable broth

2 thyme sprigs

1/4 c reserved mushroom roasting liquid

For the tuna:

2-1/3- 1/2 lb tuna loins

1 T olive oil

1 t black peppercorns

1/2 t pink peppercorns

1/2 t green peppercorns

2 T grape seed oil, or other oil with a high smoking point

Thyme for garnish


Prepare the mushrooms: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  In a baking dish, combine mushrooms, olive oil, garlic, thyme an water.  Cover and bake for 30-40 minutes, until mushrooms are tender.  Season with salt and pepper and let cool in roasting liquid.

Prepare the reduction: Heat 1 T olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat.  Add carrot and celery and saute until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add wine to pan to deglaze and cook until almost evaporated.  Add beef stock and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes until reduced.  Add thyme and cook for 5 minutes, then strain out vegetables and thyme.  Simmer an additional 15 minutes, until reduced to 1/2 cup.

Prepare the tuna: Rinse tuna and pat very dry.  Crush black, red and green peppercorns with a mortar and pestle until they are a medium grind.  Coat tuna with 1 T olive oil and coat all sides with peppercorns.  Set aside.

To finish the dish:

Place reduction on a small saucepan and add 1/4 c of the mushroom roasting liquid.  Bring to a simmer and reduce to 1/2 c.

Place the drained mushrooms in a small saucepan with 1 T butter.  Saute until heated through, about 5 minutes.

Heat 2 T grape seed over very high heat in a skillet.  When oil is shimmering, add tuna steaks and sear abotu 1-2 minutes on each side, to desired doneness.  Slice tuna loins.

Place mushroom ragout on the bottom of each place.  Place sliced tuna loins on top of mushrooms and drizzle with reduction sauce.  Sprinkle with fresh thyme and more green and red peppercorns.

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