Roast Beef Tenderloin with Shallot and Cabernet Sauvignon Sauce

This is an easy and elegant main dish that serves 5 or 6, depending on guests’ appetites. Leftover beef tenderloin can be thinly sliced and served cold on slabs of sourdough or Italian bread with a horseradish cream. It’s simple to make; just mix prepared horseradish to taste with sour cream.

3 to 3-1/2 lb beef tenderloin roast, at room temperature
1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 TBS cold butter
5 large shallots, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 cup beef broth

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Rub roast with 1 TBS olive oil and transfer to roasting pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper.

Roast, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer registers 130°F for medium rare, about 30 minutes. If a richly-browned crust is desired, roast can be removed from oven and seared in a skillet on medium-high heat in hot butter and olive oil until golden on all sides. Wrap roast in foil and let rest for 15 minutes. This step allows the juices to redistribute through the roast.

Make the Cabernet Sauvignon sauce: In large skillet, melt 2 TBS butter and remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Add Cabernet Sauvignon and thyme sprig. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Boil until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 4-5 minutes. Add broth and boil until sauce is reduced to 1 cup, about 5-7 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Remove thyme sprig. Cut remaining 2 TBS butter into small cubes. Whisk in butter, a cube at a time, whisking to melt. Unwrap roast and stir any accumulated juices into sauce. Season sauce to taste with salt and pepper. Slice meat and serve with sauce.

Serves 4 – 6.

Gary: A fine beef tenderloin is nicely marbled and flavorful, so look for a rich yet elegant red wine to pair with it. If you can buy an older vintage wine or have a special bottle in the cellar, now is the time to serve it. With the Cabernet sauce, Cabernet Sauvignon or a Left Bank Bordeaux from the Médoc would be a fine pairing. Merlot is also an excellent choice, as is a Right Bank Bordeaux from Pomerol or Saint-Émilion. Syrah/Shiraz offer rich and flavorful reds that can be quite complex and perfect for a special dinner. A Monastrell from Spain with its deep flavors would pair marvelously, as would a finer example of Argentine Malbec. Just about any classic, full-bodied red would be stunning with this course.

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