Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Porcini-Shallot-Tarragon Pan Sauce – It’s the Heat and the Humidity!

This New Year’s Eve splurge special is dedicated to all of you who’ve used the cost as the excuse for not doing a beef tenderloin, when the real reason is the intense fear of screwing up such an expensive cut of meat.

The thought of paying all that money for such a luxury item, only to have it end up a dry, overcooked platter of corn-fed humiliation, is just too much to take. Well, I have some very good news. Using these very simple techniques, anyone can achieve a perfectly pink and juicy roast.

One secret is the slow oven, which allows for a gentle roasting, and produces an even, rosy hue throughout the muscle. The other trick is roasting the beef on top of the pan sauce, which not only flavors the meat, but also humidifies the oven for a moist, aromatic cooking environment. 

Of course, both of those are dependent on you being able to give this a serious sear before it goes in the oven, but I have complete confidence in you.

This particular cut of beef is extremely tender, but very lean, and so cooking it beyond medium-rare is not recommended. If you like your beef medium-well and beyond, you are completely wasting your money on one of these beauties. I’m usually not that militant about having to eat steaks medium-rare, but this time I really must insist.

Anyway, if you follow these pretty basic steps, and are in possession of a quality, digital meat thermometer, there is no reason why you can’t get the same results you see here. By the way, the roughly 15 minutes per pound roasting time is just a ballpark, so be sure to start checking the temp early, so you can catch it at the perfect doneness. I hope you give it a try. Enjoy!


Ingredients (serves 6):
2 1/2 to 3 lb beef tenderloin roast
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup sliced shallots
1/4 cup tarragon white wine vinegar, or plain white wine vinegar
1 cup veal stock or chicken broth
1/4 cup cream
1/3 cup dried porcini mushrooms, soaked and diced
1/2 cup liquid from porcini mushrooms, more if needed
1 tbsp minced fresh tarragon

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

I cant eat mushrooms. Well I can, but I wont. Cuz I find them grotty. Is it ok to go without?

CarolineTurpentine said...

This looks amazing! I'm a cooking noob, so what temperature would you say a solid medium would be? I have some paranoid relatives who insist everything is undercooked.

Yellow Starkey said...

What All-Clad pan did you use? It looks like a 13" French but rounder ...

Chef John said...

CT, Shoot for 140 for medium, but tenderloin is not a great cut at that temp.

Yellow, it is a 13 inch skillet.

Anonymous said...

That looks fantastic! I'm making that this New Year's for sure. Chef, I was thinking of trying this with Bison. Thoughts?

Chef John said...

Sounds great!

Hiddy said...

Would dried shiitake mushrooms work instead of porcini? Also, is it okay to use any kind of vinegar instead of the wine variety? Thanks, Chef!

Kitty said...

man that looks good. Oooooh I want. I'm glad there is no smellovision or I might have shorted out my laptop

M in Mex. said...

The most appealing and appetizing meal to date; fantastic!

Anonymous said...

Chef John,
Beautiful presentation! Thanks so much and have a Happy New Year!
Jan W

Pyrofish said...

Caroline, if you buy the entire primal ($60-$70), then you can cut it up and have the beautiful tenderloin at MR, and serve them the Sirloin part, or the skinny ends as filet mignon. That's how I do it when I have people who refuse to eat MR. That said, once they try it at MR... sometimes they leave the part I specifically cooked for them alone and eat the MR part I cooked for the more seasoned eaters.

BTW, if you buy the primal, you can cut off the sirloin roast at the end, filet it open so it's flat. Season then sear it on both sides. Spread blue cheese one side and tie it up into a roll with the blue cheese on the inside. Then finish bringing it to the temp you want. Super easy, and seems sooo fancy. It's still no perfectly cooked tenderloin though... I think I need to go get one of these now... dang that looks good!
-Pyrofish

etamar said...

will this work with a pork tenderloin?

mike said...

hi chef john,
small question:
do you exist?

Samantha said...

Wow this looks great chef John! I definetely plan on making this soon! Thanks again for a wonderful recipe!

rich said...

i need to ship my kids out and make this for me and the wife. it really looks great.

but please people....play it safe and get one of those probe thermometers that stay in the meat during the entire cooking process. the digital part has a magnet on it that sticks to the oven door. a great twenty dollar investment if dont want to screw up a great cut of meat, or realy any cut of meat, by overcooking it.

Chargeorge said...

Normally I'm an advocate of searing after roasting to get a better ratio of medium rare in the beef, but GODDAMN THAT LOOKS PEREFECT.

I would guess that the key is the moisture right? The low temp+ the moisture allows the lower heat to trasfer more quickly, preventing the outer edges from overcooking, while heating evenly. At the end, it would be too wet to get a good sear at the end.

So Cheers Chef John, that's a seriously perfect looking Roast.

Anonymous said...

Hi chef this looks amazing and i will cook that for new years for sure ! one question : where in the oven did you roast it ? top , middle or bottom ? thanks !

Matt D said...

Bought my beef tenderloin today....Chef, i'll answer the above for you. Middle of oven, watched enough vids of yours to know that one. Thanks chef happy new year!

Chef John said...

Yes, middle! Thanks!

Sandra from Montreal said...

All I can say is WOW!! What a great success this recipe turned out to be for us. My husband did the tying of the roast with butcher's twine, and using your instructions, it went perfectly. I followed the rest of the recipe almost exactly (used morrel mushrooms instead of porcini), and what a beautiful roast we enjoyed. It was perfectly cooked and seasoned, and the sauce....just wow! We took pictures as we worked; unfortunately I can't post them here...

Thanks again for another fantastic recipe, Chef John!

Anonymous said...

Oh man, that looks so good!

Anonymous said...

Hi Chef!
General question: could you start giving wannabe chefs, like myself, preparation time (estimates/guesstimates are fine) for your recipes? I always start too late:( Not cool...

On behalf of Denmark, Thank you:)


BTW, I'm making yor asparagus soufflé tonight. Because it's super yummy and looks über pro;)

Chris said...

Excellent video, Chef John, I just added it to StumbleUpon. You shared the best techniques, as always.

Since I cook mine on the grill, I keep my trimmings and cook them (then discard) in a pan to get sucs for my pan sauce.

Happy New Year!

Chef John said...

I don't because people cook/cut/prep at such different speeds. It would just frustrate/confuse people who took more/less time. Thanks!

Lic. Carlos Basulto said...

Your post invite me to do a boneless ribeye in the same way, but with an stout instead of stock, it is now in oven, so wish me luck!

Anonymous said...

Made it last night for a special dinner, and that it was. Turned out great! Thanks Chef...

Matt D said...

Made this today, A.......mazing. with the mascorpone mashed potatos and a baked mac n cheese. Great meal.

Kenia Ritka said...

That is such a beautiful rosy Chef John but I wonder, can we cook the beef to well-done? will it spoil the taste? Thank you

Mads Schmidt said...

I figure I should comment AFTER having tried out the recipe:

It was just awesome!

First of all, I must confess I can't follow recipes (not even when baking), so your videos are always just great inspiration!

However, temperatures are essential here as it would be a shame to screw up such a nice cut of meat...

My tarragon had succumbed to the frost, so I had to go with thyme, which I don't regret. A bit more powerful herby flavour!

And also mushrooms, cream/stock ratio, side dish were different, heh...

But still gotta say it was lovely and I enjoy your videos as a guide and source of inspiration. Don't stop doing video recipes!

Anonymous said...

Hi chef I plan on making this Sunday. I was wondering. Do you absolutely need to put the string on it before it cooks? And if so, what does it do?

Byron, eh? said...

Hope you don't mind but this sauce recipe seemed like a great jumping off point for skinless free range chicken thighs and drumsticks. I seared them as you did with the beef. For the sauce I substituted white wine and sour cream. I added some small red new potatoes to the pan and simmered covered on the stove for an hour, removed the chicken and potatoes and reduced the sauce. Smashed the potatoes on the plate and spooned the sauce over everything. Scary good! I make at least one of your recipes a week. Love'em.

Sarah Poskey said...

Thanks Chef John! This is melt in your mouth delicious! I followed your directions to the T and it turned out absolutely perfect and oh so succulent. My husband is now a fan of yours as well.

Anonymous said...

I decided to "test drive" this recipe with an eye of round I had.($13.00 for 3+ lb roast on sale)
No tarragon vinegar, so added tarragon to my red wine vinegar.
As you say... I am the master of my meal, and made it my own!!
Everything else, including tying the roast was done. I didn't expect the same finished dish as if I had used a gorgeous tenderloin... (apples and oranges comparison).. but I have to tell you... it was fabulous!!! The tarragon mushroom sauce alone is SO good!!! Thank you, Chef John!
I am a faithful follower of your videos, because being an "old dog" home(pretty darn good)cook that I am, I'm always willing to perfect new methods and techniques from someone who knows what they are doing! And seeing the videos takes all the guesswork out of what it should look like.
Thank you for taking the time to share your wealth of knowledge in such an easy, inspiring way to get people cooking!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my my my.... I made this yesterday for a very special dinner. We had guest, some of which said that they prefer their beef "well done"... well, I bought a whole tenderloin and cut it in half, I cooked half of it a little longer for them, but in no way was it "well done" but I made it a little more done than the other half. After they tasted it, the "digging in" and the rave reviews never stopped, not even after the entire roast disappeared. I was told to open my own fine dining establishment :)
As for my husband and I, we LOVED the med-rare portions and were almost sorry to see that our guests tapped into this portion after finishing the other ... so much for "I like mine well done" ...
Chef John, you are a food GENIUS!!!! Thank you for makin me look good :)
MegaRamsey

Anonymous said...

Correction to my post:
Oh my my my.... I made this yesterday for a very special dinner. We had guest, some of which said that they prefer their beef "well done"... well, I bought a whole tenderloin and cut it in half, I cooked half of it a little longer for them, but in no way was it "well done" but I made it a little more done than the other half. After they tasted it, the "digging in" and the rave reviews never stopped, not even after the entire roast and that AWESOME sauce disappeared. I was told to open my own fine dining establishment :)
As for my husband and I, we LOVED the med-rare portions and were almost sorry to see that our guests tapped into this portion after finishing the other ... so much for "I like mine well done" ...
Chef John, you are a food GENIUS!!!! Thank you for makin me look good :)
MegaRamsey

Chef John said...

Thanks! :-)

Mark said...

Chef John,

I guess I'm turning out to be one of your biggest fans! I have a cabin in the mountains where I'd like to invite you to stay for a while, but that's neither here no there. I will be making something a lot like this tonight except I'm going to be using a sirloin roast instead of a tenderloin, and I plan on using cabernet instead of white wine vinegar. It's probably not what you intended but I don't imagine it will taste terrible. What do you think about replacing the white wine vinegar with balsamic vinegar, chef? I know porcini and shallots are good with balsamic but I've never used tarragon before.

Axel14222 said...

I happened to have a 2.5 lb. top round roast in the fridge. I used more ordinary mushrooms and had no tarragon. Still, using the same technique, the roast was beautifully pink and tender and the pan sauce was flavorful. It went great with your roasted yellow potatoes, Chef, as well as a cold bean and tomato salad. Not bad for a Thursday night.
Thanks, Chef.

Barbara said...

Hi Chef John:

This recipe looks fabulous - it may take the place of my tenderloin recipe. Two questions about supplies - I'm looking for a pan that I can use to sear and then put into the oven and a good thermometer that I can clean w/o worrying that the thermometer part gets wet. Can you suggest some with various price ranges? Thanks

Chef John said...

Sorry, I don't do specific recs, but I just used an All-Clad SS frying pan as you saw. Any new thermometer can be washed, so just check online for the best reviewed.

Sherri VandenHombergh said...

I made this last week for a birthday dinner and everyone raved about it. it turned out perfect!

Mark Harman said...

Used the recipe for a high school hockey team holiday dinner last night. Received so many compliments! Thanks for facilitating that by posting this great recipe. Used 2 - 5 lb choice tenderloins from Linz Meats in Calumet City just outside of Chicago (our supplier of fresh premium meats for our family's 90 year young food service distribution business). It was awesome!!! Thank you!!!

Gary said...

I made this for Christmas Eve dinner. Unbelievably delicious and an easy technique for perfect medium rare deliciousness. The kids devoured it!

Oh, and we had candied bacon as an appetizer...gahhhhh!

claudia mintz said...

How do I make this recipe with a much larger tenderloin (I need to feed 12 people)?? A larger piece probably won't fit in the pan.

Thanks.

claudia mintz said...

Want to make this recipe for NYE but I need to feed 12 persons so I need to use a much larger tenderloin. How do I cook a much larger piece in a skillet? Cook one piece at a time? At the same time??

Thanks.

Chef John said...

Yes, just double everything here and use 2 pieces. Enjoy!

claudia mintz said...

Hi...Me again. I bought a 7 lb tenderloin. Butcher folded, tied, and butterflied it for me. Does this recipe work for one large piece of meat or do I have to adjust anything? Thank you Chef John.

Chef John said...

Never heard of a butcher butterflying a tenderloin. Are you sure? Very odd. Did they think you were going to stuff it? Anyway, any size works, but you have to cook longer. Can't say exactly so use internal temp!

Sarah Hillyer said...

I cooked this recipe at the weekend and scaled it up for 23 people for a special birthday celebration. Each piece of tenderloin came out perfectly. Everyone raved about the food, so thank you very much for the video instructions - it was so easy to make!

bryan evans said...

Recipe works amazing, I normally hate mushrooms but this turned out fantastic the best thing I've eaten in a long time. If you are a weary mushroom / onion eater don't hesitate its 10/10