Melt in your mouth tender, roast tenderloin of beef is always the right choice when only the finest will do. With a little bit of advance preparation, roasting this elegant cut of beef has very little active preparation time until it is out of the oven and you prepare the sauce.
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley, shopped
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 whole beef tenderloin (about 2-1/2 pounds)**
2 cups ruby port
1/4 cup beef demi-glace diluted with 3/4 cup water***
2 teaspoons corn starch
2 teaspoons water
Have the butcher trim the tenderloin, removing the train. The train can be reserved for another meal.
Remove meat from the refrigerator 40 minutes before roasting. Using a very sharp knife with a thin blade, remove any remaining silver skin** or thick pieces of fat.
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, combine all of the seasonings and mix well. Set roast on a cutting board and rub seasoning mixture evenly over the entire surface of the meat. Place meat on a rack in a roasting pan and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the middle of the meat registers 120 – 125 for very rare to medium rare or 130 – 135 for medium to medium well. When the roast has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and transfer to warm serving plate. Let the roast stand 15 – 20 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, combine port and demi-glace mixture. Cook, stirring, until the liquid is reduced to 1 cup, about 15 – 20 minutes.
Skin fat from roasting pan, set pan over medium low heat and add port mixture. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and water; add to the simmering (not boiling) pan. Continue to simmer, whisking constantly, until clear and thickened, 4 – 6 minutes. Adjust seasoning as needed.
Carve into serving pieces, plate, add a drizzle of sauce and sprinkle with a bit of chopped fresh parsley and thyme. Pour remaining sauce in a heated sauce boat and serve with the meat.
** You can trim off the silver skin and excess fat the day before. Silver skin is the thin ‘silvery’ membrane found on tenderloin. It causes the meat to curl when cooked, and is too tough to chew through. Even well trimmed meat may require that you trim off the excess silver skin.
*** If prepared demi-glace is unavailable, reduce 1 quart Low-Sodium broth to 1 cup. Allow 60-90 minutes for reducing the broth. You can do this the day before. Do not use salted broth. It becomes inedible when reduced.