The center-cut tenderloin — often called chateaubriand — comes from the middle of the whole tenderloin, which sits beneath the spine of the cow and gets no exercise at all, making it the most tender piece of beef you can buy. We knew that a simple preparation would let the exceptional texture shine.
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Tying the roast at intervals with kitchen twine made it more compact and helped give it an even shape, which promoted even cooking. To up the tenderloin’s mild flavor and help it hold on to its juices, we salted the roast before cooking. A smear of softened butter added before cooking also helped counteract the leanness and mildness of this cut with a minimum of fuss.
We then used a reverse-sear method, roasting the meat first and then finishing it by searing it in a skillet. Starting the roast in a fairly cool 300 F oven minimized the temperature differential between the exterior and interior, allowing for gentle, even cooking. This approach also dried out the surface of the meat so it then seared very quickly in the skillet_leaving no chance for it to overcook. We finished by slathering the roast with a flavored butter as it rested. As the savory butter melted it became an instant sauce.
ROAST BEEF TENDERLOIN
Start to finish: 1 hour, 20 minutes (plus 30 minutes resting time)
1 (2-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast, trimmed, tail end tucked, and tied at 1 1/2-inch intervals
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Shallot and Parsley Butter:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 shallot, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
For the beef: Sprinkle roast evenly with salt, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 F.
For the shallot and parsley butter: Meanwhile, combine all ingredients in bowl and let rest to blend flavors, about 10 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap, roll into log, and refrigerate until serving.
Pat roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle roast evenly with pepper and spread softened butter evenly over surface. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Roast until beef registers 120 F to 125 F (for medium-rare), 40 to 55 minutes, flipping roast halfway through roasting.
Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Brown roast well on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer roast to carving board and spread 2 tablespoons flavored butter evenly over top of roast; let rest for 30 minutes. Remove twine and slice into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve, passing remaining flavored butter separately.
Nutrition information per serving: 470 calories; 289 calories from fat; 32 g fat (10 g saturated; 1 g trans fats); 136 mg cholesterol; 835 mg sodium; 2 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 43 g protein.
America’s Test Kitchen provided this article to The Associated Press.
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