Roast Beef Tenderloin for 2

Roast Beef for 2 cropped editedThe tenderloin (fillet of beef) is the tenderest part of the beef. It can be costly – but it’s a dream to cook, and there is almost no waste. It’s actually quite easy to cook!

Look for a center-cut Chateaubriand trimmed of fat and silver skin, which may require a special order at the butcher.

Roast Beef Tenderloin for Two    adapted from Cooks Illustrated

  • 1 center-cut beef tenderloin roast (about 2 lbs), trimmed of fat and silver skin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • herbed butter (see below)

Tie the roast: using cotton twine, tie the beef roast crosswise every 1 1/2 inches. This will keep it nicely shaped through the cooking. Sprinkle the roast on all sides with salt, cover it loosely with plastic wrap, and let it stand at room temperature for an hour. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to the middle, and heat the oven to 300˚F.

After an hour, pat the roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle pepper evenly over the beef, and then, with your hands, give it a butter massage, spreading the butter evenly over the surface. Put the buttered roast on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast 40-45 minutes, until the internal temperature of the beef registers 125 degrees (this will give you medium-rare meat) Flip the roast halfway through the cooking.

When the meat is finished roasting, heat oil in a heavy skillet until it’s just barely smoking. Put roast in the skillet, and sear until well browned on all sides, 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer the roast to a carving board, and spread a tablespoon or so of herbed butter evenly over the top of the meat. Let the meat rest 15 minutes.

Remove twine, cut meat crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

Herbed shallot butter

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 medium shallot, minced (about 1 Tbsp)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves

Combine all ingredients. Roll the butter into a twist of waxed paper, chill.