Our Christmas menu has non negotiable dishes like stuffed shells, antipasto items, and eggplant parm. The vegetable and meat dishes seem to be up for debate every year. Now that I am such an adult I have been contributing to the menu planning and cooking. Of course I love it! As much as I am from the school of keeping tradition, I do love that I am able to add in new dishes to my family gatherings. This year I did a Spice-Rubbed Roast Beef Tenderloin with a red wine sauce. It was such a big hit, even I was surprised. I think they key with the tenderloin is to not over cook it, it should be pink inside. I made that mistake the first time I made a tenderloin dish. This recipe I adapted from Fine Cooking Magazine, it is a great make-ahead recipe as well. The most time consuming part can be the red wine sauce if you are doubling it, which I did. That is because you have to wait in between steps to reduce the liquids down. Other than that it is an elegant and easy dish for a holiday or party!
SEASON THE BEEF:
1. In a small bowl combine all of the ingredients.
2. Pat the tenderloins dry with paper towel. (This helps the spice rub stick to the meat)
3. Spread the spice rub evenly over the meat. Feel free to add more spices if you feel its necessary. I know I did!
* This beef can be made up to 36 hours ahead of time. Cover lightly with plastic wrap on a rimmed baking sheet and place in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast. Make sure you let the beef come to room temperature before roasting.
FOR THE SAUCE:
1. Melt 1 Tbs. of the butter and the oil in a 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, shallot, sugar, and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to brown, about 6 minutes.
2. Add the thyme, peppercorns, and half of the wine. Simmer briskly until the wine reduces and just covers the solids, 10 to 15 minutes. Add the remaining wine and reduce again until the wine just covers the solids, 10 to 12 minutes more.
3. Add the beef broth and simmer until reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Strain through a fine sieve set over a 1-quart measuring cup, pressing lightly on the solids. If you have more than 1-1/2 cups liquid, return the sauce to the pan and simmer until reduced to 1-1/2 cups . ***(Now I skipped this part because I am lazy haha! I did not strain the liquid and everything turned out just fine!!!)
4. Melt the remaining 1 Tbs. butter in a 1-quart saucepan over low heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking often, until smooth and light beige in color, about 1 minute. Slowly add the wine reduction, whisking constantly. Bring to a simmer and cook, whisking often, until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Here I ended up adding flour and butter mixture to the wine reduction because I needed it to stay in the bigger pan)
***This sauce can be made up to two days ahead of time. Make sure to cook it to room temperature before putting it in the fridge!)
ROASTING THE BEEF:
If you’ve seasoned the beef ahead of time, remove it from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for about an hour before roasting. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
Arrange the roasts on a flat rack on a large rimmed baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads 120°F for rare , 125°F to 130°F for medium rare, or 135°F for medium, 40 to 50 minutes. ** I did medium about 135 degrees and people loved it!**I also poured some red wine intro the bottom of the pyrex pan that I roasted the meat in because I was worried the meat would dry out. I think this contributed to how juicy it came out!
If the sauce was made ahead, heat gently in a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisking a few times, until barely simmering.
Meanwhile, let the beef rest for 15 minutes before carving crosswise into thick slices. Slice only as much as you plan to serve right away (leftovers keep better unsliced). Spoon the sauce over each serving or pass at the table.