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Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

This beef tenderloin with a rich red wine sauce is a true show-stopper.



Nothing says holiday dinner like a show-stopping roast, and this sear-roasted beef tenderloin is as impressive as it gets. It’s also surprisingly simple to make. The sauce can be made mostly in advance so there’s very little fussing at the last minute — and beef tenderloin, believe it or not, is one of the easiest things in the world to cook. If you’re wondering, “Beef tenderloin is such an expensive cut. What if I overcook it?” I promise: you don’t need to be an experienced cook to make a perfect beef tenderloin. All you need is a meat thermometer. The one I use has a leave-in probe and remote monitor, so I know when the roast is done without ever even opening my oven — there’s no poking, cutting, peeking, or guesswork involved.


WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH RED WINE SAUCE



The recipe calls for a beef tenderloin roast, which is the most tender (and most expensive) cut of beef available. “Beef tenderloin” refers to the large cut of beef before it is sliced into steaks. Once cut, those steaks are referred to as filet mignon, which is used in recipes like steak au poivre or pan-seared steaks

Package labeling can vary depending upon where you shop. For example, you will sometimes find it labeled Chateaubriand or filet mignon roast, so if you’re uncertain about what you’re buying, just ask the butcher.


Your tenderloin may have some kitchen twine tied around one end of it; butchers often tie tenderloin up near the tapered end so that it is the same thickness all the way around. If yours comes that way, leave the string on until after it’s cooked. If it doesn’t, no worries — no need to do any tying.


When selecting a wine for the sauce, you can use any red, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Red Zinfandel, that you have in the house. Don’t overthink it or use anything too pricey; when using wine for cooking, always select a bottle that’s inexpensive but still good enough to drink.


STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS


Step 1: Make the Sauce


Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots. Cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.



Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil.



Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.



While the liquid is reducing, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Soften in the microwave (if necessary), then add the flour. Using a spoon, mix together into a paste. This is called a buerre manié, and it’s used to thicken sauces.



Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter mixture, a teaspoonful at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened. The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated several days ahead of time.


Step 2: Roast the Beef Tenderloin


The best way to cook beef tenderloin is a two-step process: sear, then roast. The tenderloin gets a nice crusty brown exterior, which adds delicious flavor and texture to an otherwise lean cut.


Begin by seasoning the beef with kosher salt and pepper.



Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all but one side, about 10 minutes total.



Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down and transfer the skillet directly to a 400°F oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120ºF for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking.


Step 3: Carve the Tenderloin and Finish the Sauce


Transfer the roast to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute from the outside of the roast throughout the whole roast, making the tenderloin juicy. If you slice it too soon, the juices will pour out of it.



Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan on the stovetop and add the beef broth. Bring the broth to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape the fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan. Add the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and bring the sauce to a simmer.



Carve the roast into 1/3-inch-thick slices.



Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.



Roast Beef Tenderloin with Wine Sauce


By Jennifer Segal


This beef tenderloin with a rich red wine sauce is a true show-stopper.


Servings: 4-6 Prep Time: 20 Minutes Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes, plus 1 hour to bring the meat to room temperature


INGREDIENTS

FOR THE SAUCE


  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided

  • ¾ cup finely chopped shallots, from 2-3 large shallots

  • 1¼ cups red wine

  • 3 cups beef broth

  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs

  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt

  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

FOR THE BEEF

  • 1 (2 to 3 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin roast

  • Kosher salt (½ teaspoon per pound of beef)

  • Freshly ground black pepper (¼ teaspoon per pound of beef)

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • ¼ cup beef broth


INSTRUCTIONS

FOR THE SAUCE

  1. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.

  2. While the liquid is reducing, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and soften in the microwave, if necessary (it should be soft but not melted). Add the flour and, using a small spoon, mix into a smooth paste.

  3. Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter paste, a teaspoonful at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Set aside. (The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.)

FOR THE TENDERLOIN


Let the beef stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Set an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F.

  1. Season the beef all over with kosher salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all but one side, about 10 minutes total. Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down, and transfer the skillet directly to the preheated oven. (If your pan isn't oven-proof, transfer the beef to a lightly oiled roasting pan.) Roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120°F-125° for medium rare, about 15 minutes, or until done to your liking (115°F-120°F for rare, 130°F-135°F for medium). Keep in mind that these temperatures account for the fact that the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees while the meat rests.

  2. Transfer the meat to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a dishtowel or oven mitt over the handle of the roasting pan to remind yourself that it's hot.

  3. Meanwhile, carefully discard the fat from the roasting pan (remember that the handle is hot!). Set the pan on the stovetop and add the ¼ cup of beef broth. Bring the broth to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape the fond, or brown bits, from the bottom of the pan. Add the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and then bring the sauce to a simmer.

  4. Carve the tenderloin into ⅓-inch-thick slices. Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.

NUTRITION INFORMATION


Per serving (6 servings)

  • Calories:1,001

  • Fat:61 g

  • Saturated fat:26 g

  • Carbohydrates:9 g

  • Sugar:3 g

  • Fiber:1 g

  • Protein:49 g

  • Sodium:1093 mg

  • Cholesterol:233 mg

Special thanks to Jennifer Segal, for the recipe and images. You can support Jennifer by purchasing her cookbook, "Once Upon a Chef, the Cookbook," featuring over 100 delightful recipes.

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