Merciful God, You are great in compassion and Your tenderness for us is without measure. We ask You to give us today our daily bread, and also provide for the needs of all of Your hungry children around the world. Through Christ Your Son and Our Lord. Amen.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Butter

For Christmas dinner, I planned a meal of beef tenderloin -- my husband's favorite roast. I normally cook a tenderloin on the grill, but my husband (the grill guy) said he didn't really want to mess with the grill, so I hunted for an oven-roasting method. I ended up using Cook's Illustrated's somewhat unconventional method and it was really good (unconventional, I think, because you sear the roast after it cooks in the oven instead of before). The meat was a little rare for one of the boys, but I could add a little cooking time for the next time we cook a tenderloin ( a rare occurrence, I admit). The ends were done enough for my father-in-law, who likes it well done, and the center was perfect for Doug and his mom, who both prefer medium rare. The rest was fine for me (I ate just a few bites) and two of the boys.

The Blue Cheese Butter was, in my opinion, really yummy. It was a little much for the kids -- if you have picky kids, just leave half of the roast without butter, or serve it on the side. It really kicked up a fairly bland piece of meat ( a beef tenderloin is very tender and very lean, but because of the lack of fat, fairly lame in flavor).

The caramelized onions and sauteed mushrooms were tasty, too, but they get cold pretty fast -- next time I'll serve them in a covered dish instead of along side the meat.

The recipe for the tenderloin calls for a 2-pound roast. Mine was four and a half pounds and so I added some time, and waited until the thermometer read 130 degrees.

Beef Tenderloin

1 beef tenderloin (about 2 pounds), trimmed of fat and silver skin
2 t. kosher salt (if using table salt reduce to 1 t.)
1 t. coarsely ground black pepper
2 T. unsalted butter , softened
1 T. vegetable oil

Using 12-inch lengths of twine, tie roast crosswise at 11/2-inch intervals. Sprinkle roast evenly with salt, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees.

Pat roast dry with paper towels. Sprinkle roast evenly with pepper and spread unsalted butter evenly over surface. Transfer roast to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 125 degrees for medium-rare, 40 to 55 minutes, or 135 degrees for medium, 55 to 70 minutes, flipping roast halfway through cooking.

Heat oil in 12-inch heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Place roast in skillet and sear until well browned on four sides, 1 to 2 minutes per side (total of 4 to 8 minutes). Transfer roast to carving board. Remove twine. Spread several tablespoons flavored butter evenly over top of roast; let rest 15 minutes. and cut meat crosswise into 1⁄2-inch-thick slices. Serve, passing remaining flavored butter separately.

Blue Cheese Butter

8 T. unsalted butter, softened
5 oz. blue cheese, crumbled
1 T. Worcestershire sauce

Whip butter in a mixer until creamy. Add blue cheese crumbles and Worcestershire and mix until combined (some chunks of blue cheese can remain). Form in a log and wrap with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for several hours. Slice crosswise to serve.

Caramelized Onions and Sauteed Mushrooms

1 onion, cut crosswise
8 oz. white mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
2 T. olive oil, divided
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat a small saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 T. oil and when oil is hot, add onions. Cook and stir, occasionally, until onions are a dark caramel color, lowering the heat about halfway, for a total of about 20 minutes. Meanwhile in a skillet over medium-high heat, add oil and when oil is hot, add mushrooms. Cook until mushrooms are softened, about 5 to 8 minutes. When onions are done, stir the mushrooms into the onions and salt and pepper to taste.

1 comment:

Abby said...

That picture made my tummy growl. You guys ate well this Christmas!