Growing up, Roasted Beef Tenderloin was always our family’s go-to special occasion dinner. Christmas, birthdays, Mother’s Day, last day of school… it was our crowd-pleaser dish. My Grandmother, Granny, used to make a delicious tenderloin, which was then inherited by my mother and aunts. Granny was a great cook, and an even more amazing hostess. My Mom learned from her, and then kicked things up another notch in the kitchen. I feel very fortunate to not only have grown-up fed well, but to have learned the art of cooking and entertaining from such wonderful women.
The base of this dish is Granny’s original Roasted Beef Tenderloin. It’s simple and delicious. The key is starting with a high-quality piece of meat, add simple flavors that compliment the beef, and then cooking it properly to your desired temperature. Remember, meat will continue to cook after it’s out of the oven. Also, do not cut into it right away – you need to let the meat rest and redistribute it’s juices.
While the beef is absolutely wonderful on it’s own (we usually do just eat this way), sometimes it’s fun to jazz it up. I’ve always been a huge fan of balsamic vinegar, …and Red Wine – duh. This reduction sauce enhances the beef flavor, bringing out an acidic, savory flavor of sweet fruit but also adds an earthy complex depth.
- 4-pound Beef Tenderloin, trimmed
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
- 1 cup Dry Red Wine (Merlot or Côtes du Rhône)
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 2 teaspoons Dry Mustard
- 2 teaspoons Paprika
- 2 tablespoons Brown Sugar
- 4 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 2 teaspoons Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoon Olive Oil
- Sea Salt Flakes
Position the rack in center of oven and preheat to 275 degrees. After patting the meat dry with paper towel, rub the tenderloin with the olive oil & 2 tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar. Next, sprinkle 3 teaspoons of the kosher salt, black pepper, dry mustard and paprika all over the beef. Place the beef on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and roast until the thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium-rare, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.
While the beef is roasting, mix the balsamic vinegar, red wine, brown sugar and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a small sauce pan over medium heat until it starts to softly boil. Once boiling, reduce to the heat to a simmer and cook until the sauce is reduced by half and is thicker like a syrup. Watch the sauce carefully not to over-cook it and thicken too much. If you reduce it more than 50%, the flavor could become bitter. For added decadence, you can also melt in some butter.
Once the beef is removed from oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Cut the beef tenderloin into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and drizzle with the Red Wine Balsamic sauce.
Note: When picking your cooking wine, select a wine that has low tannins, and is preferably soft & fruity. Some of the better varietals of wine to cook with are Merlot, Côtes du Rhône Cabernet, Chianti, and Pinot Noir. Select something that you like to drink, but it does not need to be expensive – just don’t use ‘cooking wine’! This is a helpful article from Bon Appetit.
Rare: 125 degrees F
Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees F
Medium: 140-145 degrees F
Medium Well: 150 degrees F
Well Done: 160 degrees F