The holiday season is the perfect time of year to make a nice beautiful roast. This year we are delighted to share one of our favorite Christmas Eve recipes with you! This Garlic Thyme Studded Beef Tenderloin Roast with Red Wine Sauce is perfect for a special occasion or holiday gathering!
Roasting a Beef Tenderloin
Roasting is a great way to cook beef tenderloin. It results in even cooking throughout so everyone gets a nice perfectly cooked filet once it is sliced.
Roasting it on low heat ensures that most of your tenderloin will be the perfect temperature, instead of just the very center being pink. This is really for two reasons:
- First, the heat is relatively low at 300°F, therefore, the meat comes to temperature gradually. When you roast at higher temperatures, you risk the meat overcooking on the outside while the middle remains raw. This isn’t desirable and has the potential to ruin everyone’s meal aside from that one person who likes their beef to taste like a leather shoe.
- Secondly, the carryover is not as aggressive at lower temperatures. Carryover is the process of the meat continuing to cook after it is out of the oven. At only 300°F, the carryover will be about 7-10 degrees because the meat doesn’t have as much internal energy as it would if you cooked it at 375° or 400°F. Therefore, when you temp your meat to check for doneness, you can account for this carryover to achieve the desired doneness you and your guests prefer.
We also choose to sear the meat at the end after it comes out of the oven. We do this to achieve a nice crust on the outside after it has been roasted. The searing should be done in a super hot skillet, and should only take a minute per side max so you don’t cook your meat more than necessary.
What does “Studded” mean?
While the meat is raw, we take garlic and thyme and insert it into the meat. This is done by taking a knife and cutting small slits all over the tenderloin and pushing the sliced garlic and thyme into the holes.
Studding the beef with garlic and thyme adds so much flavor to the meat and, when cut, it looks beautiful. Because the tenderloin doesn’t take much time to cook and is cooked at low heat, the garlic must be sautéed before studding the beef. Otherwise, the garlic will not cook, and you’ll have raw slices of garlic to eat with your beef, which isn’t ideal at all. But a little sauté beforehand goes a long way.
Why coat your tenderloin with compound butter?
Most of the compound butter you coat your beef with melts and falls off the roast in the oven. However, it really adds a delicious flavor to your roast and keeps it nice and juicy throughout the roasting process. We have cooked tenderloins with and without the compound butter, and by far, we prefer the ones with the compound butter in overall taste and texture.
Additionally, because you cut small holes all over your tenderloin to stud it, the butter will melt into these holes to make your meat even juicier.
Aging Your Beef Tenderloin Prior to Roasting
So, how about aging your roast? I can’t tell you how much better it is if you let it sit on a roasting rack in the refrigerator, uncovered, for a good amount of time (about 6 hours or up to 2 days). You will definitely notice the aging in texture and flavor and will be converted to this easy technique for sure. You can do all the prep in the morning for a dinner, which will be enough time to enhance the flavors of your meat. We definitely prefer to prep the beef the night before and let it dry overnight and all the next day.
If you have the time and have planned it out, we highly recommend that you try aging your beef in this way!
Don’t skip the red wine sauce!
We are steak purists for the most part around here, so we don’t usually believe that steaks require sauces. This is especially true if you have a good quality cut of beef.
BUT, we beg you, DO NOT SKIP THE SAUCE in this recipe!
This particular sauce, which is based on a bordelaise, complements the steak instead of covering up the flavors and is absolutely amazing with the tenderloin. Honestly, licking the sauce off the plate is completely appropriate, and expected here! This sauce is so rich with layers of flavor that it elevates this tenderloin to a restaurant style dish that will WOW your guests!
Of course we cannot forget about the wine, especially for a delicious and beautiful beef tenderloin roast like this one!
A nice cut of red meat needs a bold and delicious red wine, of course. We are absolutely in love with the 90+ Cellars Lot 94 Cabernet Sauvignon for this meal. This Napa Valley Cab is a full-bodied beauty with aromas of black currant, herbs, and mocha with a smooth finish of bright cherries. It pairs so beautifully with this Garlic Thyme Studded Beef Tenderloin Roast and is lovely to enjoy on its own, as well!
We hope you enjoy this holiday food and wine pairing! If you give this Garlic Thyme Studded Beef Tenderloin Roast a try, leave us a comment below, or tag us on Instagram @cooking_with_wine!
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