Holiday Chateaubriand

This is a traditional French dish originally prepared by grilling the tenderloin, which is quite lean, between two fattier pieces of meat that were then discarded. Today, we’ve learned to quickly sear the roast and then finish in a hot oven to rare or medium-rare. It works best in a cast iron skillet, but any oven-proof skillet will do in a pinch. Serve it with Bernaise sauce, or keep it simple with this easy red wine and mushroom sauce. Add a side of Chateau potatoes, new potatoes cut into coins and roasted in butter. It’s a simple, yet elegant meal for any special holiday.

Serves 3-4

  • 2-pound grassfed tenderloin roast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • ½ cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons butter

Remove the roast from the refrigerator and allow to stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pat dry, then sprinkle all over with salt and pepper.

Heat the oven to 450°.

Heat the oil until it shimmers in a cast iron skillet over high heat. Add the roast and brown on all sides, about 3-5 minutes per side. When the roast is brown, place the skillet in the oven and allow the roast to come to an internal temperature of 135° for medium rare.

Remove the roast to a plate and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.

Make the sauce. Add the shallot and mushroom to the hot skillet and stir until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the red wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up the browned bits. Simmer the wine until it reduces and becomes slightly syrupy. Whisk in the butter and pour into a gravy boat or serving bowl.

Carve the beef into slices about ¾-inch thick and top with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Filet Tips al Pesto

Filet tips are cut from the ends of the tenderloin, so they offer all the tenderness and flavor of filet mignon but without the hefty price tag. This is a simple and quick preparation that will please both meat lovers and pasta afficionados. If you’ve got a supply of basil in your garden, make your own pesto, but if not, prepared pesto from the grocery store is a fine alternative.

Serves 4-6

  • 1 pound grass-fed filet tips, cut into 3/4 -inch pieces
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound short pasta, like rotini or farfalle
  • ½ cup pesto
  • 2 ounces grated Parmesan

Pat the filet dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil to shimmering in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat in batches and stir to brown on all sides. The meat should be just browned, but still rare inside. Remove each batch to a plate.

Cook the pasta according to package instructions. While the pasta is cooking, remove any excess oil from the skillet and return the meat. Add the pesto, and over low heat, stir just until the meat is coated. Drain the pasta, reserving the cooking water, and add to the skillet. Stir until everything is coated in pesto. Add a little of the pasta water, if needed, to thin the sauce slightly.

Remove to a serving dish and sprinkle the grated cheese over all. Serve immediately.