Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Sauce or Simple Au Jus
Yield: 6-8 servings
When serving boneless beef, most butchers recommend starting with 1/2 pound per person, which I find often yields some welcome leftovers. The following recipe can be easily adjusted to the desired number of servings.


Ingredients

  • 1 (3-pound) beef tenderloin roast, trimmed and tied (see notes for less expensive substitution*)
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving: Mushroom Sauce or Au Jus

Mushroom Sauce

  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided use
  • 1 tablespoon olive or avocado oil
  • 1 large shallot, sliced
  • 8 ounces sliced white or cremini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup dry red wine (see notes for options**)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or to taste)

Simple Au Jus

  • 1/2—3/4 cup beef stock or low-sodium canned broth
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Rub the filet all over with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and generously sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Place the beef in a lightly oiled roasting pan or large cast iron skillet, and roast on the center rack of the oven until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the roast registers 120° F for rare. For medium-rare, cook to 125—130° F, for medium look for an internal temperature of 135°—140°. This should take between 25 and 45 minutes; internal temperature will continue to rise 5°—10° out of the oven. (Tip: To accurately judge doneness, rely on temperature, not time.) Remove the beef to a platter or carving board, loosely cover with foil, and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
  2. If using the Mushroom Sauce, prepare this while the beef roasts: Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they soften and turn golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Boil over medium-high heat until the volume of wine reduces by about half. Reduce the heat to low. Stir in the thyme and Worcestershire sauce, and then add the rest of the butter, stirring constantly. Stir in any accumulated juices from the beef, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. For the Simple Au Jus: once the cooked roast has been removed to a platter, place the roasting pan over medium heat. Add 1/2—3/4 cup beef broth and bring the liquid to a boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate all the beefy particles.       Stir in any accumulated juices from the beef, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Remove the strings and cut the meat into 1/2-inch slices. Serve with the sauce or au jus as desired.

Notes, Tips & Options

*For a less expensive option, I recommend a top loin roast. This is a whole strip loin that has been trimmed, quartered, and tied into individual roasts. I call ahead to order the weight I want. Prepare the same way as directed for the tenderloin, placing the roast fat-side up in the pan.

**When using wine, choose a dry red wine (like a Pinot Noir, Merlot, or lighter style Cabernet) that you would enjoy drinking, not a cooking wine. If prefer to not use wine, substitute a good beef stock or canned low-sodium beef broth.

One more thing… Leftovers make delicious roast beef sandwiches. For a tasty horseradish mayo, stir 1 tablespoon of horseradish into 1/4 cup mayonnaise.


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