December 17, 2008

Beef Tenderloin for Christmas Dinner

Why is it during the holidays we always cook up the traditional turkey and stuffing? Why not try something new?

I don’t know about you, but after having turkey and stuffing for Thanksgiving dinners and then again at Christmas dinners – I’m turkey’ed out!

Now don’t get me wrong- I’m a huge fan of turkey and stuffing. I make chicken and stuffing throughout the year and occasionally splurge and buy a turkey, but there is nothing wrong with mixing it up a bit.

My family mixes it up during the holidays when it comes to the main course: sometimes wild turkey, venison, beef brisket or even pork loin (which I love).

A farmers’ market vendor in southwest Missouri passed along this recipe to me last year and it’s became one of my favorites. This makes a beautiful main course for entertaining special visitors and would be great for your Christmas dinner this holiday.

* Try and make this a local affair this holiday and try and buy local products.

Peppery Pinot Noir Beef Tenderloin
Makes 6 to 8 servings
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature, divided
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 cup finely chopped celery
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/4 cups Pinot Nor wine (try and choose a Missouri wine)
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 1/4 cups beef broth
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (3- to 4-pound) beef tenderloin roast (try and buy from a local farmer)
2 tablespoons heavy cream
4 to 6 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix together 2 tablespoons butter and flour; set aside.

In a large frying pan over low heat, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery; saute approximately 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add tomato paste and stir until vegetables are coated. Add wine and boil approximately 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add chicken and beef broths; boil approximately 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 1/4 cups. Remove from heat and strain liquid, discarding solids. Return liquid to pan; add butter/flour mixture and whisk over medium heat about 1 minute or until sauce thickens. Add heavy cream at the very end (do not overheat the cream). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Bring roast to room temperature before cooking (usually about 20 minutes). Trim the tenderloin of fat.

Pat the beef dry with paper towels. Lightly oil outside of roast and sprinkle with pepper.
Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat. Without adding any cooking fat, brown the roast on all sides (approximately 10 minutes). When browned, remove from heat. Place the browned roast and cast-iron pan in the oven and bake, uncovered, until a meat thermometer registers desired temperature (see below).

Rare - 120°F Medium Rare - 125°F Medium - 130°F

Remove from oven and transfer onto a cutting board; cover with a tent of aluminum foil and let stand 15 minutes before carving (meat temperature will rise 5 to 10 degrees after it is removed from the oven).

In the cast-iron frying pan over medium heat, re-warm Pinot Noir Sauce over low heat; mix in any juices from roast.

Cut the roast into 1/2-inch slices and place them on a warm serving platter. To serve, spoon some Pinot Noir Sauce over the meat; pass remaining sauce separately. Serve immediately.

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