At our family Christmas Eve Dinner in Chicago I roasted a tenderloin of beef that turned out perfectly medium rare and since have been asked by my cousin how to do it. The recipe is very simple and the results will be perfect as long as you start with a great piece of meat. I found that cooking a tenderloin in a convection oven on high roast is the best road to perfection but if you do not have a convection oven I suggest you begin by searing the meat all over in a heavy large saute pan on top of the stove and finish it off in the oven. (If you have a large cast iron pan you should use that but not everyone is lucky enough to own the king of pans.)
Generously Serves 8
1 5 Lb. Beef Tenderloin Trimmed of All Fat and Silver Skin
1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Several Sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Coarse Sea Salt
1 Cup Cabernet
2 Cups Rich Homemade Beef Stock or Canned Beef Consume
2 Tablespoons Unsalted Cold Butter Cut into 4 Pieces
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. with the rack in the middle of the oven.
Have your butcher trim the tenderloin of the fat and silver skin and to evenly tie it.
Place the meat in a non-reactive baking dish and pour the oil over the meat. Rub the olive oil all over the meat and generously coat it with the black pepper. Lay the thyme on the meat, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
Remove the meat from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. (About 45 minutes.) Take off the sprigs of thyme.
Place the meat on a shallow roasting pan with one inch sides or large saute pan (12″ – 14″) sprinkle generously with coarse sea salt all over and roast for 30 – 40 minutes until an instant read thermometer registers 130 degrees F. for medium rare. Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
Heat the pan used to cook the tenderloin over medium high heat and add the wine scraping up the brown bits. Reduce by half. Add the stock, bring to a boil and reduce until slightly thickened. Take the pan off the heat and swirl in the butter bit by bit being sure each piece is incorporated before adding the next. You can serve the sauce as is or strain it through a fine sieve for a more refined sauce. Serve the sauce with the tenderloin.
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