Every so often you want to splurge on a meal. You want to serve a meal that family and friends remember for months. Beef tenderloin is one of the first cuts of meat that comes to mind. Though beef tenderloin is the perfect choice for your celebration dinner, it is a pricey choice. Thankfully, many grocery stores have sales on beef tenderloin during the holidays.
Do not buy wrapped slices of meat because they cost $7.00-$8.00 more than whole tenderloin. If the tenderloin is sealed in a plastic wrapper, chances are you will have to buy the whole thing. A specialty butcher shop may be willing to sell you half a tenderloin or less. Beef tenderloin is also known as Chateaubriand and Filet Mignon.
Chateaubriand is a whole tenderloin that has been grilled. Some professional chefs and home cooks insert slivers of garlic into the tenderloin before they grill it. If you don't have a grill, roast the whole tenderloin in a 400-degree oven for about 45 minutes. Before you put the tenderloin in the oven, rub the outside with a little olive oil and season it with salt and freshly-cracked pepper.
Roasting a whole tenderloin is easy, but you have to keep an eye on it, and take it out of the oven just before the temperature reaches 140 degrees. (The tenderloin will continue to cook for a few minutes.) Do not over-cook tenderloin or you will lose flavor and tenderness.
Beef tenderloin is an adaptable cut of meat. You may season it with Southern, Southwestern, and Oriental herbs and spices. Bring out the flavor with fresh mushrooms, shallots, Roquefort cheese, port wine, red wine, or Madeira. Often the simple recipes are the best and I came up with this recipe several years ago. It is easy, fast, and memorable. Celebrate family, friends, and life itself with my Celebration Beef Tenderloin with Seasoned Butter.
1 stick of soft butter (no substitutions)2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons finely-chopped flat leaf parsley 1 1/2 pound beef tenderloin 1 tablespoon butter
Combine the butter, Dijon mustard, lemon juice and parsley in a small bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for two hours. After the butter has hardened, cut small marbles of butter with a melon-baller. Cover the butter balls and refrigerate again.
Cut beef tenderloin into 3/4-inch slices. (You may have to make the slices thinner, depending on how much meat you have.) Put 1 tablespoon of butter into a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Heat the skillet and saute the tenderloin quickly, over medium heat, until the outside is firm and the inside is pink. Season the steak with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Place two slices of tenderloin on each plate. Top each slice with a ball of seasoned butter. Save the extra seasoned butter for other meals. Serve the sliced tenderloin with a side dish of wild rice, caramelized onions and dried cranberries. Round out your meal with warm French bread and a fresh spinach salad with thinly-sliced red onion, fresh Mandarin orange segments, and vinaigrette dressing. Makes 6 celebration servings.
Copyright 2008 by Harriet Hodgson
Harriet Hodgson has been an independent journalist for 30 years. Before she became a health/wellness writer she was a food writer for a local magazine. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists and the Associatioin for Death Education and Counseling. Her 24th book, "Smiling Through Your Tears: Anticipating Grief," written with Lois Krahn, MD, is available from http://www.amazon.com
Centering Corporation in Omaha, Nebraska -- North America's oldest and largest grief resource center -- has just published her 26th book, "Writing to Recover: The Journey from Loss and Grief to a New Life." The company has also published two companion resources, the "Writing to Recover Journal," which contains 100 writing affirmations, and the "Writing to Recover Affirmations Calendar," which contains life affirmations.
Please visit Harriet's website and learn more about this busy author and grandmother.
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