Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce
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Perfect for special occasions, this sear-roasted beef tenderloin served with a rich red wine sauce is easy to make and super elegant.
This recipe for roasted beef tenderloin is my go-to for special occasions. It never fails to impress, and using a leave-in meat thermometer with a remote monitor makes it easy to cook the beef to the perfect level of doneness—no guesswork! The tenderloin is accompanied by a red wine reduction sauce, which tastes like something you’d order at a fancy French restaurant. It’s made by simmering a mixture of butter, shallots, red wine, beef broth, and thyme until the flavors intensify. A buerre manié, or flour and butter paste, is then whisked in to thicken the sauce and give it a glossy sheen. What’s more, the sauce can be made mostly in advance, so there’s very little fussing at the last minute. This dish is surprisingly easy, exceptionally elegant, and always delicious.
What you’ll need to Make Roast beef tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce
The recipe calls for a beef tenderloin roast, which is the most tender (and most expensive) cut of beef available. “Beef tenderloin” refers to the large cut of beef before it is sliced into steaks. Once cut, those steaks are referred to as filet mignon, which is used in recipes like steak au poivre or pan-seared steaks. Package labeling can vary depending upon where you shop. For example, you will sometimes find it labeled Chateaubriand or filet mignon roast, so if you’re uncertain about what you’re buying, just ask the butcher.
Your tenderloin may have some kitchen twine tied around one end of it; butchers often tie tenderloin up near the tapered end so that it is the same thickness all the way around. If yours comes that way, leave the string on until after it’s cooked. If it doesn’t, no worries—no need to do any tying.
When selecting a wine for the sauce, you can use any red, such as Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, or Red Zinfandel, that you have in the house. Don’t overthink it or use anything too pricey; when using wine for cooking, always select a bottle that’s inexpensive but still good enough to drink.
Step 1: Make the Sauce
Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan.
Add the shallots.
Cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil.
Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
While the liquid is reducing, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl. Soften in the microwave (if necessary), then add the flour. Using a spoon, mix together into a paste. This is called a buerre manié, and it’s used to thicken sauces.
Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter mixture, a tablespoon at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened. The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated several days ahead of time.
Step 2: Roast the Beef Tenderloin
The best way to cook beef tenderloin is a two-step process: sear, then roast. The tenderloin gets a nice crusty brown exterior, which adds delicious flavor and texture to an otherwise lean cut.
Begin by seasoning the beef with kosher salt and pepper. Don’t be shy with the seasoning; it needs a lot.
Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all but one side, about 10 minutes total.
Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down and transfer the skillet directly to a 400°F oven.
Roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120ºF-125°F for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking. (Note that a perfect medium-rare roast will register around 130°F, but the internal temperature of the meat will continue to rise 5-10°F after it is removed from the oven, so it’s best to pull it out a little early to account for the carry-over cooking.) If you prefer your roast cooked to medium, pull it out of the oven at 130°F.
Step 3: Finish the Sauce & Carve the Tenderloin
Transfer the roast to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute from the outside of the roast throughout the whole roast, making the tenderloin juicy. If you slice it too soon, the juices will pour out of it.
Meanwhile, pour off the fat from the roasting pan. Set the pan on the stovetop and add the beef broth. Bring the broth to a boil, using a wooden spoon to scrape the fond (brown bits) from the bottom of the pan.
Add the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and bring the sauce to a simmer.
Carve the roast into 1/3-inch-thick slices.
Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.
More holiday beef recipes
- Onion-Braised Beef Brisket
- Beef Stew with Carrots and Potatoes
- Moroccan-Style Brisket with Dried Fruit and Capers
- Red Wine Braised Short Ribs
- Steak Au Poivre
Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce
Perfect for special occasions, this sear-roasted beef tenderloin served with a rich red wine sauce is easy to make and super elegant.
For the Sauce
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- ¾ cup finely chopped shallots, from 2-3 large shallots
- 1¼ cups red wine
- 3 cups beef broth
- 6 fresh thyme sprigs
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
For the Beef
- 1 (2 to 3 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin roast
- Kosher salt (½ teaspoon per pound of beef)
- Freshly ground black pepper (¼ teaspoon per pound of beef)
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- ¼ cup beef broth
For the Sauce
- Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan. Add the shallots and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.
- While the liquid is reducing, place the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in a small bowl and soften in the microwave, if necessary (it should be soft but not melted). Add the flour and, using a small spoon, mix into a smooth paste.
- Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter paste, a tablespoon at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened. Set aside. (The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated up to 3 days ahead of time.)
For the Tenderloin
- Let the beef stand at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Set an oven rack in the middle position and preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Season the beef all over with kosher salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all but one side, about 10 minutes total. Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down, and transfer the skillet directly to the preheated oven. (If your pan isn't oven-proof, transfer the beef to a lightly oiled roasting pan.) Roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120°F-125° for medium rare, about 15 minutes, or until done to your liking (115°F-120°F for rare, 130°F-135°F for medium). Keep in mind that these temperatures account for the fact that the temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees while the meat rests.
- Transfer the meat to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, covered loosely with aluminum foil, for 10 to 15 minutes. Place a dishtowel or oven mitt over the handle of the roasting pan to remind yourself that it's hot.
- Meanwhile, carefully discard the fat from the roasting pan (remember that the handle is hot!). Set the pan on the stovetop and add the ¼ cup of broth. Bring the broth to a boil and, using a wooden spoon, scrape the fond, or brown bits, from the bottom of the pan. Add the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and then bring the sauce to a simmer.
- Carve the tenderloin into ½-inch-thick slices. Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.
- Per serving (6 servings)
- Calories: 1,001
- Fat: 61 g
- Saturated fat: 26 g
- Carbohydrates: 9 g
- Sugar: 3 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 49 g
- Sodium: 1093 mg
- Cholesterol: 233 mg
This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.
Thank you for the delicious main course. I served it for Easter dinner this year and it is safe to say it was a hit. I buy whole tenderloins and trim them myself. Next up is your Steak Au Poivre using some of the steaks left over from the tenderloin. Thanks again for the many delicious sounding recipes. I can’t wait to try more of them.
Great inspiration for serving up the larger roast I’d had in the fridge!
Made this for my family during the holidays and it was a big hit. Instructions were spot on and it’s an easy one to make as well. That’s always a plus with the other holiday tasks.
Made this for special friends on a cold winter night and it was delightful! Even the little 6 year old in attendance loved it. The meat was perfectly tender and the sauce was velvety. I served it with a red leaf/Roquefort/tomato salad and potatoes. Thank you for your consistently delicious recipes. They are always my go-to when cooking for occasions.
I have made your tenderloin recipe on 2 occasions, and the first time everything was perfect! The 2nd time I took your suggestion to make the red wine sauce approximately 36 hours ahead of serving, so I prepared it, let it cool, and then stored it in the refrigerator. I removed “the sauce” from the fridge and heated it thoroughly in a pan on top of the stove as the tenderloin was cooking, but it never returned to the proper, delicious consistency as when originally made. I did not like the texture or the thickness of this sauce on the reheating the day of serving the tenderloin = I DO NOT RECOMMEND making the red wine sauce before the day of serving this recipe.
What type of red wine do you recommend using?
Hi Hannah, You can use any dry red – Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Red Zinfandel, etc. – that you have in the house. Don’t use anything too pricey — when using wine for cooking, something inexpensive (but still good enough to drink) is ideal.
Wonderful recipe! Making the sauce ahead of time was super helpful – but don’t forget to add the pan drippings. Definitely takes the flavor up a notch. Everyone raved about it!
What a memorable meal! Your skill helped make Christmas extra special for our family. Are there other cuts of meat I could use for this recipe? If so, I would very much appreciate your advice on how to prepare the meat so I can enjoy your delectable sauce more frequently.
So glad it was a hit! You can use the sauce with any cut of steak. You may want to try cooking steaks using this method.
This sauce is so delicious! I will also try this sauce with my prime rib. Does anyone know if I can freeze this sauce?
Hi Lauri, Glad you liked the sauce! I think the sauce would freeze well, but I’d probably wait to whisk in the flour/butter paste until you reheat it. Hope that helps!
Jenn – I love your recipes! I’ve been making them for years and send all my friends to your website! I’m thinking about making your sauce tonight (NYE) using Port instead of red wine, I’d eliminate the sugar. Do you think it would work? I realize a reply in this short time frame is unlikely, but if I give it a try I’ll let you know!! Happy New Year!!
Hi Sue, Sorry I’m weighing in too late to help! How did the sauce turn out with the Port?
I have made beef tenderloin for Christmas Day dinner every year for several years. I decided to make your recipe this year and it was out of this world delicious! The red wine sauce took the dish to a new level and I will never make beef tenderloin without it ever again. Thank you for this incredible recipe!
Well, Jenn, thank you so much. I made this yesterday for a group of friends and it went down a treat. My tenderloin (fillet of beef as we call it here in Ireland) was 1.6kg but I still only cooked it for 20 minutes so it was served rare. That’s how my friends like it though so they couldn’t get over the meat. I bought a beautiful piece of meat produced locally so that certainly helped.
I was really happy because yesterday morning, I bought a new roasting tin which turned out to be compatible with my induction hob. This mean I could cook the juices with some stock and add it to the gravy.
The lads absolutely loved the gravy and my home is still filled with the beautiful smells left over.
I served with garlic and Rosemary roast potatoes, carrots and parsnips and we had a scallop and black pudding starter.
Took a bit of planning but all paid off in the end. I plan to make it again for my inlaws on 7.1.23. I will be sure to take some photos and tag you on insta. Beware though, I will need to cook it to medium for them ☹️🤣🤌🤌🤌❤️❤️❤️
I made this recipe for Christmas. It turned out beautifully. Although some family members are not fond of rare beef, I simply put slices of tenderloin in a skillet with butter and heated until a more desired doneness. The wine sauce is a lovely deep brown sauce, and also delicious.
We made the beef tenderloin for Xmas this week….it was fabulous! The sauce was rich and paired perfectly with the beef! We will be making this again for sure!
Jenn you are awesome! This recipe was perfect and received rave reviews! Voted best Christmas dinner ever! That is high praise. I served it with your thyme roasted carrots, shallot green beans and mashed potatoes. Thank you!
I make this for Christmas every year and it’s always a hit! I have a lot of sauce left over and am wondering if I can use it with a pork tenderloin for NYE?
I’m going to make this for 8 people New Years Eve. I would like to add wild mushrooms to the recipe. Should I sauté them first? Should they be added to the sauce?
Hi Regina, Yes, I’d season and saute them first and it’s fine to add them to the sauce before serving. Enjoy!
All is delicious. Can I freeze the red wine sauce as I need to serve all again in 2 weeks and have plenty of red wine sauce left over?
Glad you enjoyed it! Typically, I’d say to freeze it before you add the butter and flour mixture. I know you’ve already added it, but still think it’s worth freezing. Just make sure to stir it well when you reheat it.
Made this for Christmas dinner and both the sauce and beef were delicious. My tenderloin was 5lbs so the cooking time was more. I seared it in a large cast iron skillet and baked in the same. The sauce was so flavorful. This will be my go to recipe from now on
It was Excellent Jenn! Although I forgot to use the cast iron drippings after roast was done. I had already made the Red sauce which it would have definitely enhanced the flavor. Making it the first time with all that goes along with The Christmas activities I just forgot. The Roast was Fantastic and everyone complimented the Red sauce. I added some fresh sliced mushrooms ( in the sauce ) because my family loves them with their beef. It will be number one on my List for ever. Thank you for the Hit!
I’d like to find your prime rib recipe too. I grew up in fancy restaurants and the Prime rib we served is not the rib roast you find in Publix. I have been completely unhappy with those cuts because they just do not have the same flavor or texture. Any help would be appreciated whether I buy the cheaper rib roast or go for a Prime. Everyone else I seem to talk to have bought the cheaper rib roast and tell me it’s excellent. Thanks again
Hi Jack, If you haven’t been happy with the cuts at Publix, I think your best bet is to go to a butcher, where the meat will a little higher in quality.
I purchased a beautiful 2.25 lb filet roast from my butcher and wanted a great recipe. I followed your recipe exactly and it turned out amazing. My husband said it was the best filet he ever had. I liked that you could make the reduction earlier so that I didn’t have to do it at the last minute. Thanks for a great recipe!
This recipe has been my go to recipe for the last few Christmas Day dinners. It is simple but elegant. I like making the tenderloin as it comes out delicious but cooks relatively fast. Today I used beef stock as I bought that instead of beef broth and I actually think the wine sauce was better a bit thicker using the stock.
If I encrusted the tenderloin with peppercorns, do you think the sauce would still go well with it?
Hi! If the sauce doesn’t seem to thicken can you do the buerre manie a second time?
Yep that will work 👍
Hi Laura, I just did this. Sauce didn’t seem to thicken enough for me but I suspect I didn’t reduce it down enough. I had it bubbling for almost 40 minutes. I had to use beef stock made with water so perhaps it was a little too watery to begin with. Anyway, I made half of the original butter and flour mix and added it and it has done the trick. The sauce seems to get more flavourful the longer it rests.
Made this today for Christmas Eve family dinner. This was a huge hit. Meat was so tender that you could cut with a fork. Wine sauce was a great added bonus! Everyone loved it. Recipe is definitely a keeper!
Hi Jen, love this recipe. Do you think the sauce would go well with Yorkshire Puddings as a side?
Thank you so much for this recipe! It is so delicious and has become our Christmas dinner tradition.
I made this last Christmas Day – it was so good I’m going to do it again ! But I’ve forgotten how I converted your measurements as I don’t have American cups, I need to measure in mls or oz or g – help!
Hi Shelagh, The great majority of my recipes (including this one) include conversions to metric/weight measurements. To view them, scroll down to the recipe, and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Hope that helps!
I want to make this Christmas day. It gets very hectic here so I was wondering is it OK if I sear the sides then leave it at room temp then put it in the oven later?
Elaine, unfortunately, that won’t work from a food safety standpoint — sorry!
Excited to try the red wine sauce and serve with our prime rib roast for Christmas dinner. I am, however, confused about the 1/4 beef broth to deglaze drippings. Is that in addition to the 3 cups used to make the base of the sauce. Or should I divide and save 1/4 cup for the end? Hopefully this makes sense!
Hi Helena, That 1/4 cup is in addition to the 3 cups you’ll use for the sauce. Hope you enjoy it!
We enjoyed it so much! The perfect accompaniment to our prime rib roast. Wonderful flavor! Thank you!
So glad to hear it — thanks for taking the time to let me know! 🙂
Hello! Can I sear the roast in advance at all? Or do you recommend doing to all at once? Just trying to avoid the kitchen getting too smokey while the guests are here.
Hi Deb, from a food safety standpoint, I would do it all at the same time. Sorry!
Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’d like to check if I do not have an oven-proof skillet, is it ok if I transfer the beef into a baking tray for the roasting instead?
Hi Jen, how would you suggest then is the best way to use the juices from the roasting pan to finish the gravy? I will have the same issue but also the roasting pan I use will not suit my induction hob so I can’t use it to heat the broth.
If I add the broth to the roasting pan, and then try to lift some of the browning from the bottom and transfer that liquid to another saucepan and heating before transferring to the gravy??
Hi Bernard, I’d just add the broth to the roasting pan, scrape up the browned bits, and add it all to the wine sauce. Hope you enjoy!
Great recipe. Thanks for sharing. Turned out great over the holidays and am trying again thise evening. Only thing I modified was adding two cloves of garlic and mixing in with the shallots and glutten free flour vs. wheat flour. Tuned out amazing.
I haven’t made this recipe yet – am planning it for Christmas Eve family dinner. The butcher says my roast will weigh about six pounds. How long do you think it will take in the oven for medium rare (120*-125*)?
The five stars are for you because your recipes are always good and you are so kind in answering our questions. Many thanks.
Hi MP, Thanks for your kind words! 💗
For a 6 pound tenderloin, the cook time will be a little longer than what the recipe specifies, but not by much. I’d use a meat thermometer so there’s no guesswork involved. Hope everyone enjoys!
This sounds delicious. Do you think this recipe would work in a Dutch oven for searing and then transferring straight to the oven to roast?
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
My husband is allergic to onions / shallots. I know it will change the flavor of the sauce but will it be ok?
Yes, it will still taste good. Happy holidays! 🙂
Hi Jenn, could I make a peppercorn cream sauce to serve with the tenderloin, or is the red wine sauce better for this dish? If peppercorn sauce would be appropriate, do you have a recipe?
PS as always, I never doubt your recipes and your advice. You’re my “go-to” for pretty much all things cooking!
Hi Alison, Yes a peppercorn cream sauce would be delicious! I don’t have that exactly, but I think the sauce from my steak au poivre would be delicious.
Hi! If I need tenderloin for 12 I will do 2 3.5lbs, can you tell me if I were to pan sear them could I put them in a roast pan after searing? I’m not sure I could fit both roasts in same pan
Hi Lisa, Yes that’s perfectly fine. The cook time will be a bit longer since the roasting pan won’t be hot (and you’ll have two larger roasts).
Hi Jen. I plan on doing this for Christmas Day but I see your sauce is thickened with flour. I have two guests coming who are celiac. Would gluten free flour work, or should I use cornstarch? Dena
Hi Dena, Gluten-free flour will definitely work. Hope everyone enjoys!
Hi Jenn, this is a general beef tenderloin question!
I’m hosting a Christmas Eve potluck appetizers party. I thought I would make something a little more substantial and settled on beef tenderloin sandwiches. Will serve with a variety of accompaniments (caramelized and pickled onions, horseradish sauce, arugula etc). Would you recommend this method for roasting the beef tenderloin? Or is there another recipe better suited? I plan to roast the beef the day before, chill, then slice. How thick should the slices be for sandwiches? Thanks so much!
Hi Jane, I think that you could use this method (and tenderloin) for what you’re going for. I’d aim for 1/3-inch slices. I’d love to hear how they come out!
Can you cook this and then cut into steak bites for appetizer?
Hi Missy, I don’t think it’s the best recipe for that. Sorry!
Could I substitue another liquid –beef broth for example–for HALF the suggested wine?
Yes that’s fine, Diane, although it will change the flavor a bit.