This is one of those recipes reserved for very special occasions - when you’re having a small dinner party and want to make a big impression. You will probably have to ask your butcher to prepare a trimmed, center-cut piece, often known as Chateaubriand, from the whole tenderloin, as this cut is not usually available without special ordering. It’s probably going to be a bit pricey - quite pricey in fact. When prepared properly, this can truly be the star of a spectacular meal to remember.
Serves 4-6 people
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
1 beef tenderloin, center-cut Chateaubriand (about 2-3 pounds), trimmed of fat and silver skin
1 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper (or crushed with a mortar and pestle)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Red Wine Sauce
1 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme or heaping 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 ½ teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon of cold water
1. Tie roast crosswise at 1½-inch intervals using butcher’s twine. Set meat on a sheet of plastic wrap and rub all over with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; then, lift plastic wrap up and around meat to press on excess and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.
2. Remove plastic wrap from beef and pat roast dry with paper towels. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, 40 to 55 minutes, or 135 degrees for medium, 55 to 70 minutes, flipping roast halfway through cooking.
3. Heat vegetable oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place roasted tenderloin in skillet and sear until well browned on four sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side (total of 4 to 8 minutes). Remove skillet from heat and transfer roast to carving board and spread 2 tablespoons soft butter evenly over top of roast; let rest 15 minutes. Meanwhile make red wine sauce in the same skillet used to sear the meat.
4. Mix broth, wine, mustard and thyme in a bowl. Using tongs and a wad of paper towel, wipe fat out from skillet used to sear the roast. Return pan to medium high heat and add the broth mixture, stirring to scrape up any browned bits from bottom. Bring to a gentle simmer and whisk in cornstarch mixture to thicken sauce. Set aside.
5. Remove twine and cut meat crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices. Serve with red wine sauce.