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
1/4 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