Classy Christmas Dish

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!



  • 2 2 1/2 pound beef butt tenderloins, trimmed (I went to the Fairway Supermarket and bought two beef tenderloins they were already tied up which was helpful!)
  • 2 Tbs Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Tbs Fennel Seeds (you can buy them already ground)
  • Caraway Seeds
  • Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil


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. Beef Tenderloin and Red Wine Sauce (Via fine Cooking)



  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil or canola oil
  • 4 oz. cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (1-3/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced shallot (1 medium)
  • 1/4 tsp. granulated sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 3 large sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 750-ml bottle dry, hearty red wine,such as Shiraz or Zinfandel
  • 2 cups lower-salt beef broth
  • 1 Tbs. all-purpose flour
  • Freshly ground black pepper

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!)


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 i Beef Tenderloin with Red WIne Sauce (via Fine Cooking)
n 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.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.