The tenderloin is both the most tender cut of beef and one of the most expensive. It is also leaner than many other cuts, which means it needs relatively brief cooking and tastes best when cooked to no more than medium-rare. The red wine reduction, made from the flavorful pan juices, is quickly assembled while the roast rests.
Beef Tenderloin with Shallot and Red Wine Reduction
1 beef tenderloin, 2 1⁄2 to 3 lb. (1.25 to 1.5 kg)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. minced shallots
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) full-bodied red wine such as Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
2 1⁄2 Tbs. butter
Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator about 1 hour before it is scheduled to go in the oven to allow it to lose its chill.
Preheat an oven to 450°F (230°C). Rub the beef all over with the olive oil, then rub
with the thyme, 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. pepper.
Place the roast on a V-shaped rack in a shallow roasting pan just large enough to accommodate it. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 115° to 120°F (46° to 49°C) for rare, about 20 minutes; 125° to 130°F (52° to 54°C) for medium-rare, about 25 minutes; or 130° to 140°F (54°–60°C) for medium, about 30 minutes.
When the roast has reached the desired degree of doneness, transfer to a carving board and tent loosely with foil. Let rest for about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, remove the rack from the roasting pan and place the pan on the stove top over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring them into the pan juices, until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine, a little at a time, stirring and scraping up any browned bits with a wooden spoon from the pan bottom. Continue to cook until the wine is reduced by nearly half. Stir in the butter. When the butter has melted, remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
To serve, cut the beef across the grain into slices 1⁄2 inch (12 mm) thick. Arrange the slices on a platter, drizzle with the sauce, and serve. Serves 8.
Find more fun recipes for couples in the kitchen—and everyone else who enjoys making great food—in our Two in the Kitchen: A Cookbook for Newlyweds, by Christie Dufault and Jordan Mackay