Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

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Perfect for special occasions, this sear-roasted beef tenderloin served with a rich red wine sauce is easy to make and super elegant.

This recipe for roasted beef tenderloin is my go-to for special occasions. It never fails to impress, and using a leave-in meat thermometer with a remote monitor makes it easy to cook the beef to the perfect level of doneness—no guesswork! The tenderloin is accompanied by a red wine reduction sauce, which tastes like something you’d order at a fancy French restaurant. It’s made by simmering a mixture of butter, shallots, red wine, beef broth, and thyme until the flavors intensify. A buerre manié, or flour and butter paste, is then whisked in to thicken the sauce and give it a glossy sheen. What’s more, the sauce can be made mostly in advance, so there’s very little fussing at the last minute. This dish is surprisingly easy, exceptionally elegant, and always delicious.

What you’ll need to Make Roast beef tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

beef tenderloin ingredients

The recipe calls for a beef tenderloin roast, which is the most tender (and most expensive) cut of beef available. “Beef tenderloin” refers to the large cut of beef before it is sliced into steaks. Once cut, those steaks are referred to as filet mignon, which is used in recipes like steak au poivre or pan-seared steaks. Package labeling can vary depending upon where you shop. For example, you will sometimes find it labeled Chateaubriand or filet mignon roast, so if you’re uncertain about what you’re buying, just ask the butcher.

Your tenderloin may have some kitchen twine tied around one end of it; butchers often tie tenderloin up near the tapered end so that it is the same thickness all the way around. If yours comes that way, leave the string on until after it’s cooked.  If it doesn’t, no worries—no need to do any tying.

When selecting a wine for the sauce, you can use any red, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Red Zinfandel, that you have in the house. Don’t overthink it or use anything too pricey; when using wine for cooking, always select a bottle that’s inexpensive but still good enough to drink.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Make the Sauce

Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan.

melting the butter in a sauce pan Add the shallots.

adding the shallots to the panCook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.

softened shallots in pan

Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil.

boiling red wine reduction

Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.

red wine sauce after reducingWhile the liquid is reducing, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Soften in the microwave (if necessary), then add the flour. Using a spoon, mix together into a paste. This is called a buerre manié, and it’s used to thicken sauces.

beurre manié

Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter mixture, a tablespoon at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened. The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated several days ahead of time.

whisking the flour and butter paste into the sauce

Step 2: Roast the Beef Tenderloin

The best way to cook beef tenderloin is a two-step process: sear, then roast. The tenderloin gets a nice crusty brown exterior, which adds delicious flavor and texture to an otherwise lean cut.

Begin by seasoning the beef with kosher salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the seasoning; it needs a lot.

beef tenderloin seasoned with kosher salt and pepper

Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all but one side, about 10 minutes total.

searing the beef tenderloin in a cast iron skillet

Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down and transfer the skillet directly to a 400°F oven.

beef tenderloin with leave-in thermometer ready to roast in the ovenRoast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120ºF-125°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking. (Note that a perfect medium-rare roast will register around 130°F, but the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise 5-10°F after it is removed from the oven, so it’s best to pull it out a little early to account for the carry-over cooking.) If you prefer your roast cooked to medium, pull it out of the oven at 130°F.

beautifully roasted beef tenderloin

Step 3: Finish the Sauce & Carve the Tenderloin

Transfer the roast to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute from the outside of the roast throughout the whole roast, making the tenderloin juicy. If you slice it too soon, the juices will pour out of it.

Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan on the stovetop and add the beef broth. Bring the broth to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape the fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan.

scraping the brown bits from the roasting panAdd the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and bring the sauce to a simmer.

simmering red wine sauce

Carve the roast into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

carving beef tenderloin roast

Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.

More holiday beef recipes

Video Tutorial

Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

Perfect for special occasions, this sear-roasted beef tenderloin served with a rich red wine sauce is easy to make and super elegant.

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • ¾ cup finely chopped shallots, from 2-3 large shallots
  • 1¼ cups red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Beef

  • 1 (2 to 3 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin roast
  • Kosher salt (½ teaspoon per pound of beef)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (¼ teaspoon per pound of beef)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup beef broth

Instructions

For the Sauce

  1. Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
  2. While the liquid is reducing, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and soften in the microwave, if necessary (it should be soft but not melted). Add the flour and, using a small spoon, mix into a smooth paste.
  3. Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter paste, a tablespoon at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Set aside. (The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.)

For the Tenderloin

  1. Let the beef stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Set an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Season the beef all over with kosher salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all but one side, about 10 minutes total. Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down, and transfer the skillet directly to the preheated oven. (If your pan isn’t oven-proof, transfer the beef to a lightly oiled roasting pan.) Roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120°F-125° for medium rare, about 15 minutes, or until done to your liking (115°F-120°F for rare, 130°F-135°F for medium). Keep in mind that these temperatures account for the fact that the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees while the meat rests.
  3. Transfer the meat to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a dishtowel or oven mitt over the handle of the roasting pan to remind yourself that it’s hot.
  4. Meanwhile, carefully discard the fat from the roasting pan (remember that the handle is hot!). Set the pan on the stovetop and add the ¼ cup of broth. Bring the broth to a boil and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the fond, or brown bits, from the bottom of the pan. Add the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and then bring the sauce to a simmer.
  5. Carve the tenderloin into ½-inch-thick slices. Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (6 servings)
  • Calories: 1,001
  • Fat: 61 g
  • Saturated fat: 26 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 49 g
  • Sodium: 1093 mg
  • Cholesterol: 233 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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