- 1 (about 6 pounds) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed of the chain and excess fat and sinew (see notes)
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 25 sprigs fresh thyme
- 5 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 6 medium shallots, thinly sliced (about ⅔ cup)
- 2 cups full-bodied dry red wine like a Merlot
- 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- 4 cups low-salt canned beef broth
Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Thyme and Red Wine Sauce
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Start to Finish:
FOR THE TENDERLOIN:
Heat the oven to 250°F. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper. Fold the thin tail piece under itself to create a roast of even thickness. Using twine, tie the beef at regular intervals to help it hold its shape during cooking. Tuck the 25 sprigs thyme beneath the twine all the way around the beef, spacing the sprigs about 2 inches apart. Put the beef in a roasting pan and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 130°F for medium rare, 1¾ to 2 hours. Transfer to a carving board, tent with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes. Just before serving, carve into ½-inch slices.
FOR THE RED WINE SAUCE:
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat. Cook the shallots, stirring occasionally, until they're soft and translucent, 10 to 12 minutes. Turn the heat to high, add the wine and vinegar, and boil until reduced to a syrupy consistency (about ¼ cup), about 10 minutes. Add the 5 sprigs thyme and the beef broth and reduce to 1 cup, about 20 minutes. Strain the sauce, let cool, cover, and refrigerate.
Just before serving, reheat the sauce in a saucepan over medium heat. When it's hot, whisk in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter.
You can always buy a tenderloin already trimmed and, often, tied by the butcher.
You can make the red wine sauce the day before. Refrigerate, and reheat before serving.
What to Drink
The same wine you use to make the sauce would be perfect.