Happy Holidays Everyone! I do hope you are enjoying this lovely spring long weekend. I am very fortunate because we decided to close the studio on Friday AND Monday, so it’s extra lovely for me.
We’re just finishing off our Paul and T weekend and this is the last new recipe I’m posting of that series. I’d like to begin the way I’ve ALWAYS began my posts about the Paul and T weekends: We’ve survived another Paul and T weekend (see here or here or here or here to name a few). And I say it with a heart full of love and gratitude that they visit us…but there is only so much eating and drinking one can take. We’re dieting for the next three weeks !
I had never made beef tenderloin before I saw this recipe in Epicurious a few years ago; now it’s my ‘go to’ recipe for tenderloin. I was intrigued by the recipe because the first instruction was this: “Sprinkle entire surface of beef tenderloin with coarse kosher salt. Place beef on rack set over large rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours.” Really? Could that be true? It goes against everything I think the salt will do, like dry it out completely! If it wasn’t for the 173 comments, I probably would have passed right by, because I don’t know about your parts of the world, but beef tenderloin could cost as much as $60 to feed 6 people, and I’m not about to wreck a $60 piece of meat! But this recipe is A M A Z I N G! Really. And I think it would be even more amazing using some of the flavoured salts that Kristy (from Eat, Play, Love; our family food adventures) won in January during my first give away. Sadly I didn’t have any on hand but a quick trip to Longo’s this past weekend, I now have a lovely selection that I will definitely try the next time (the espresso salt or the Wild Porcini or the Black Truffle or the Aged Balsamic would be amazing for this recipe).
This was our first dinner together on Thursday night. We almost couldn’t stop eating it (that’s why the photo looks a little lame…I had to wait for the next day and this was all that was left!)
Roast Beef Tenderloin with Port Sauce
- 1 4- to 5-pound trimmed whole beef tenderloin, tail end tucked under, tied every 3 inches
- 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt (or infused salt as above)
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
- 3 tablespoons Cognac or brandy
- 1 fresh rosemary sprig
- 1 teaspoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- 1 cup ruby or tawny Port
- 1 cup Homemade Beef Stock or Low Sodium Beef Stock
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons black peppercorns, coarsely cracked in mortar with pestle or in resealable plastic bag with mallet
Directions for beef:
- Sprinkle entire surface of beef tenderloin with coarse kosher salt.
- Place beef on rack set over large rimmed baking sheet. and refrigerate uncovered at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours.
Directions for sauce:
- Melt 2 tablespoons butter in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots; sauté until soft, 3 minutes.
- Add Cognac, rosemary, and 1 teaspoon cracked pepper and cook until liquid evaporates, 1 minute.
- Add Port; bring to simmer. Add all of beef stock. Boil until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 20 minutes.
- Strain into medium saucepan, pressing on solids to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard solids in strainer.
Note: The sauce can be made 24 to 36 hours ahead. Cool slightly, then cover and chill.
Directions for roasting:
- Let beef stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting.
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 425°F.
- Rub beef all over with oil; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons cracked peppercorns, pressing to adhere. Return beef to rack on baking sheet and roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 125°F for medium-rare (135°F to 140°F in thinnest part), about 30 minutes.
- Remove roast from oven and let rest 15 minutes.
Note: Several comments suggest that you sear the beef, but I did not do that and it was still incredibly succulent and tender.
- Bring sauce to boil; whisk in remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Cut off string from roast. Cut roast crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices; arrange on platter. Serve with sauce and the celeriac and cauliflower mash.