Thursday, December 27, 2012

Christmas Eats

Just when it seems like your husband is impossible to buy for at Christmas, you come up with the perfect gift. The gift of beef. A couple of weeks ago I decided to order a beef tenderloin for our family of four Christmas dinner (the Sunday before December 25th). Saucy came through with a lovely cut from Metzger's. I dialled up a recipe on Epicurious: Herb and Spice-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with with Red-Wine Shallot Sauce. The verdict? See above. Next year, all my husband wants for Christmas is beef tenderloin.

This particular beef tenderloin was rubbed with a combination of herbs and spices, (thyme, rosemary, nutmeg and cloves) orange peel, shallots and olive oil. The sauce contains the same ingredients with the addition of red wine and beef stock. We received a lovely bottle of red wine for Christmas that we put to good use here - the sauce was a brilliant accompaniment to a roast we cooked medium rare:

and served with mashed potatoes and corn, the most kid-friendly sides we know. We barely made a dent in this 4 pound piece of perfection, which was fine because it was also wonderful as leftovers. Cubed and added to pasta, sliced thin and added to grilled cheese on sourdough...or eaten straight out of the fridge in huge hunks. A definite success story. So next year, beef will definitely be on the menu for the holidays.

Herb and Spice Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Red-Wine Shallot Sauce (from Epicurious)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups sliced shallots (about 12 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 3 1/4 cups canned beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 1/4 cup brandy

  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 large shallot, peeled, quartered
  • 1 tablespoon grated orange peel
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 2-pound (large end) beef tenderloin pieces, trimmed

  • 1/4 cup ( 1/2 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

For sauce:
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add shallots and garlic; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in sugar; sauté until shallots are golden, about 15 minutes longer. Add flour, herbs, orange peel, nutmeg and cloves; stir 1 minute. Pour in broth, wine and brandy. Boil until sauce is reduced to 1 3/4 cups, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill.)

For tenderloin:
Grind first 10 ingredients in processor. With machine running, add oil and blend well. Spread mixture evenly over all sides of tenderloins. Place beef in large glass baking dish. Cover with foil; chill at least 6 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Place beef on rack in large roasting pan. Roast until meat thermometer inserted into center of beef registers 125°F for rare, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and cover with foil; let stand 10 minutes.
Transfer beef to cutting board. Pour any accumulated juices from roasts into sauce. Bring sauce to boil. Remove from heat; whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper. Slice beef. Serve with sauce.

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