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Roast Beef Tenderloin with Mushroom Madeira Sauce

For the Meat:
(4-pound) whole beef tenderloin roast, preferably the wide end, cut, trimmed, and tied
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoon s
olive oil
large onion, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
celery stalks, cut into 1-inch chunks
medium carrots, peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks
For the Sauce:
2 tablespoon s
olive oil
3 tablespoon s
tablespoons butter (or to taste)
1/2 pound
button mushrooms, or a mixture of button mushrooms and shiitakes, quartered or cut into eighths if large
shallots, minced
garlic cloves, minced
1 cup
2 cup s
homemade chiken stock or good-quality canned chicken broth
1/2 cup
heavy cream
2 teaspoon s
Dijon mustard
2 teaspoon s
bottled barbecue sauce
2 tablespoon s
chopped flat-leaf parsley or chives for garnish
  1. Adjust the oven shelf to the middle position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Meanwhile, if the butcher hasn't done this for you, at 1-inch intervals, tie kitchen string around the tenderloin's diameter to give it a uniform, compact shape. Season all over with salt and pepper to taste. 
  2. Heat a small, heavy roasting pan or large ovenproof saute pan on top of the stove over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sear the tenderloin until uniformly well browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove the tenderloin form the pan. 
  3. Add the onion, celery, and carrots to the pan, reduce the heat slightly, and saute, stirring occasionally, until golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Place the tenderloin on top and transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Roast the tenderloin until medium rare, 18 to 20 minutes. An instant-read thermometer inserted into its center should register 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the tenderloin from the pan and place it on a carving board. Cover with aluminum foil and leave the roast to rest in a warm spot while you prepare the sauce. 
  4. While the meat is roasting, prepare the sauce. Heat a heavy saute pan or medium saucpan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. As soon as it is hot, add 2 tablespoons of the butter, the mushrooms, shallots, and garlic. Saute, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are light golden, about 5 minutes. Set aside. 
  5. Place the roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add the Madeira and stir and scrape with a wooden spoon to dissolve the pan deposits. Taise the heat and boil the Madeira until reduced to about 1/4 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the chicken stock and continue to boil until reduced by half, 10 to 12 minutes. Strain the mixture into the pan with the mushrooms (discard the onion, celery, and carrots), stir together and bring to a simmer. Stir in the heavy cream and continue boiling the sauce until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and stir in the mustard, barbecue causce, and, if you wish, another 2 tablespoons butter, a little at a time. Stir until well blended and satiny. Carefully pour in any meat juices that have collected from the resting tenderloin and stir. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  6. With the tip of a sharp knife, carefully snip off the strings from the roast. Cut the meat across the grain into slices 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Arrange them on the heated platter or individual serving plates, garnish with parsley or chives, and pass the sauce in a heated bowl or sauce boat for guests to help themselves.

Do seek out a piece with the widest possible diameter so there's less risk of overcooking, and use a meat thermometer.

If your butcher hasn't done this, before cooking, you'll need to trim off excess fat and the silverskin, a touch membrane covering part of the meat,  Insert a sharp knife just beneath the silverskin and loosen it by cutting parallel to the surface, then pull off.
How big a tenderloin you buys depends on how many guests you'll have and the extent of your menu.  For a simple meal with salad to start, vegetable and potato sides, and a light dessert, buy 12 ounces uncooked per person.  (The meat loses up to a third of its weight during cooking.)  For a more elaborate multicourse menu plan on 8 ounces uncooked per person,  Buy more than you think you'll need and transform leftovers into delicious breakfast hash or lunchtime sandwiches.  Or cut off part of the tenderloin and use it at a later time, cut into thick filets mignons.
For even cooking, use a heavy roasting pan.
Average: 3.5 (39 votes)

About this Recipe

This makes a marvelous holiday meal.  Serving roast beef is, to me, like dressing up in a black tie.  It elevates the meal's entire tone,  A beef main course also lets you serve a great red wine such as a cabernet sauvignon, Rhone, or Barolo.  One of my favorite roasts is the tenderloin, the same piece of meat that is cut crosswise into filets mignons.  Though far from a bargain, it's well worth the cost.  And you don't have to search for the most expensice prime meat, since choice tenderloin is sufficiently well-marbled and tender to work perfectly.