Roast Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

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Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

This beef tenderloin with a rich red wine sauce is a true show-stopper. Perfect for a special occasion!

beef tenderloin

Nothing says holiday dinner like a show-stopping roast, and I love this combination of sear-roasted beef tenderloin with a deeply flavored red wine sauce. Not only is it elegant, but it’s also simple to make. The sauce can be made mostly in advance so there’s very little fussing at the last minute — and beef tenderloin, believe it or not, is one of the easiest things in the world to cook.

If you’re thinking, “Beef tenderloin is such an expensive cut. What if I overcook it? How will I know when it’s done?” I promise you: you don’t need to be an experienced cook to make a perfect beef tenderloin. All you need is a meat thermometer. The one I use has a leave-in probe and remote monitor (like this one), so I know when the roast is done without ever even opening my oven. There’s no poking, cutting, peeking, or guesswork involved.

What you’ll need to Make beef tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

ingredientsThe 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. 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.

You  may notice that my tenderloin has some kitchen twine tied around one end of it; that is the way I purchased 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 – 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, always select a bottle that’s inexpensive but still good enough to drink.

How to make Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

Step 1: Make the Sauce

Melt 5 tablespoons of the butter in a medium saucepan and add the shallots.

sauteing-shallots

Cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, 7 to 8 minutes.

sauteing-shallots-1

Add the wine, beef broth, thyme sprigs, salt, pepper and sugar, and bring to a boil.

simmering-wine-sauce

Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes, or until the liquid is reduced by about half.

reduced-wine-sauce

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.

flour-butter-paste

Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter mixture, a teaspoonful at a time, into the simmering liquid, and simmer for a few minutes, until the sauce is thickened.

whisk-in-roux

The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated several days ahead of time.

thickened-sauce

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.

seasoned-tenderloin

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.

searing-tenderloin-2

Turn the tenderloin so that the un-seared side is down and transfer the skillet directly to a 400°F oven. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 120ºF for medium-rare, 15 to 20 minutes, or until done to your liking.

searing-tenderloin-3

Step 3: 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.

resting-tenderloin

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.

deglazing-pan

Add the flavorful broth to the red wine sauce, and bring the sauce to a simmer.

adding-deglazing-liquid-to-sauce

Carve the roast into 1/3-inch-thick slices.

slicing-tenderloin

Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.

beef-tenderloin-with-red-wine-sauce-1

More holiday beef recipes

Roast Beef Tenderloin with Wine Sauce

This beef tenderloin with a rich red wine sauce is a true show-stopper. Perfect for a special occasion!

Servings: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 20 Minutes
Total Time: 1 Hour 40 Minutes, plus 1 hour to bring the meat to room temperature

Ingredients

For the Sauce

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped shallots, from 2-3 large shallots
  • 1-1/4 cups red wine
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 6 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Beef

  • 1 (2 - 3 lb) center-cut beef tenderloin roast
  • Kosher salt (1/2 teaspoon per pound of beef)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon per pound of beef)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup beef broth

Instructions

For the Sauce

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the wine mixture is reduced, reduce the heat to low and remove the thyme sprigs. Whisk the flour-butter paste, a teaspoonful 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Meanwhile, carefully discard the fat from the roasting pan (remember that the handle is hot!). Set the pan on the stovetop and add the 1/4 cup of beef broth. Bring the broth to a boil, using a wooden spoon to 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.
  5. Carve the tenderloin into 1/3-inch-thick slices. Serve the beef, passing the red wine sauce at the table.

Pair with

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • 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.

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Reviews & Comments

  • Hi. I was wondering if this can be made of frozen 1 inch cut Tenderloin pieces. I live in the Maldives and we don’t have fresh meat available here. It’s all frozen and cut meat.
    I got some beautiful tenderloin pieces and was wondering if i can try this recipe on that.

    • — Sana Salih on May 29, 2021
    • Reply
    • Sure, Sana, but I would suggest cooking the meat in a skillet on the stovetop – on medium-high heat, it will be about 4 minutes per side for medium-rare.

      • — Jenn on May 29, 2021
      • Reply
  • Loved the new experience. My family enjoyed the dish. They kept going for seconds. Beef was soft and succulent. The red wine sauce was an acquired taste to me. I bought my 2nd fillet because its simple tasty and easy meal. Served with veggies.

    • — Sylvia on May 29, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made this. First, I’m a lifelong vegetarian, but I married a wonderful carnivore! Plus, our daughter and her husband are also Carnivores. I wanted to make them something special, and this was IT! RAVE reviews! “Fine Restaurant quality!” “Awesome!” “You’ve been holding out on us! You have to do this again!” And it was easy!!!! THANK YOU! and I loved The red wine sauce! We all loved the red wine sauce! Made asparagus and mashed potatoes as sides.

    • — Kelly on May 13, 2021
    • Reply
  • I was so afraid to ruin a very expensive roast! But I was determined to try your recipe because I believe in your instructions. Wow! Everyone thought we were dining heaven! Great job hand holding me through this recipe.

    • — Lulu on May 4, 2021
    • Reply
  • Were not big wine drinkers and don’t keep wine in the house. I use a lot of “cooking” wine. Would a Sherry or Marsala wine work for the beef. I can’t wait to try this looks wonderful

    • — April on May 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • Hi April, I wouldn’t recommend cooking wine. Cooking wine has additives and preservatives that add sodium and other flavors to it so is not a great substitute for the “real thing.” Sorry!

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2021
      • Reply
  • Amazing recipe thanks for sharing! Have just discovered you and found it so easy to follow.

    Any ideas for leftover sauce? I know other reviews have stated they’ve used on all sorts of meats but wanted to know of any other interesting way to use it. 🧐

    • — Shona Mathieson on May 3, 2021
    • Reply
    • So glad you enjoyed it! The one other option that comes to mind for using the leftover sauce is over roasted veggies. I think that would be yummy. 🙂

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2021
      • Reply
  • Excellent wine sauce. Best one I’ve tasted in quite some time. Definitely 5 star worthy.

    • — Louis Scott Cardon on April 25, 2021
    • Reply
  • I made the sauce to accompany a steak and it was absolutely delicious. It would go with anything !

    • — Deborah on April 19, 2021
    • Reply
  • I’m a lifelong vegetarian til I married my carnivore husband! He is also a professional in evaluating chefs. He has traveled worldwide with a top budget for feeding clients in top restaurants. In his youth, my husband was responsible for feeding Prince Charles and retinue.
    For Easter, I was cooking dinner, (lunch—to us!). I know ham is traditional, but my husband requested beef tenderloin! As a lifelong vegetarian, I’d never even touched a beef tenderloin, whether cooked or raw! Got busy on recipes. Found this one with rave reviews.
    Bought I a trimmed beef tenderloin. Trimmed it and Made it medium-rare. Smash hit! “Restaurant quality! Outstanding! How did you make it soooo tender? This sauce is awesome! You’ve been holding out on us!” Etc. I also cooked the head and the tail and rave reviews to every bite!
    THANK YOU JEN SEGAL!!!

    • — Kelly on April 6, 2021
    • Reply

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