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Help with a beef tenderloin

Dear Hounds: I'm preparing a whole beef tenderloin (grilled to brown and finished in the oven to medium rare. My problem is while, tender, I think its a boring (but easy) cut of beef and needs a sauce. I usually make a pan gravy but with this prep, no fond. I plan to make a sauce from shallots, rehydrated cepes, and use a homemade beef/chicken stock supplemented with demiglace gold. I've not used this product before. Will it provide the oomf that i lack by not having a nicely caramelized roasting pan? Thanks in advance

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  1. Did you buy a whole, untrimmed beef tenderloin? If so, you can throw your trimmings into a fry pan to create a fond and release some meat juices for your sauce. If not, and you're really worried about it, you can buy some cheap chuck roast for the same purpose.

    If you don't want to do that, then demi glace gold is a solid, though not perfect substitute.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jeremyn

      Thanks. great Idea. I could get some beef rib bones and roast them. I've already purchased 1.5 oz of the demiglace so I could do both.

      1. re: gourmaniac

        Doing both sounds good. And, of course, feel free to cook those trimmings to death. Nobody's eating them anyway, so get as much juice as possible out of them by severely "overcooking." Same goes for roasting bones.

        On the other hand, this may be overkill if you're using a good, reduced, homemade brown beef stock. But then again, there's nothing wrong with overkill.

    2. One of the best restaurant meals I ever had included tenderloin with a buttery roquefort and caramelized onion sauce.

      1 Reply
      1. re: greygarious

        I was going to suggest something very similar. YUM.

      2. My wife wraps the entire beef tenderloin with bacon before it gets roasted. The meat stays moist using this procedure.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ChiliDude

          Thanks for all the help. I don't have a problem with moistness or tenderness. i just find tenderloin isn't beefy enough. I generally prefer a rib roast but for presentation purposes and ease of carving and serving size, I'm going with the tenderloin. RE deglaze, there won;t be much to deglaze unfortunately. RE roquefort sauce, it sounds very nice but might fight with the sides (asparagus and shiitake with soy butter and roast potatoes). I will add heavy cream to finish the sauce to be a little over the top. the event is a 50th and 60th birthday dinner.

          1. re: gourmaniac

            We serve Bearnaise sauce with our tenderloin. Old school, but delicious, and should complement the asparagus very well.

        2. deglaze with red wine. Make a reduction. Mmmm

          1. I haven't used demiglace gold. I prefer "better than bouillion" but I suspect the demiglace will be fine. Use some red wine in it. I think I would use a couple of spoonfuls of dijon mustard. There are lots of recipes on the web but you could throw some cognac or brandy and cream in at the last if you like. That should give you some ideas.

            3 Replies
            1. re: tonka11_99

              (demiglace gold) >> (better than bouillon)

              The latter is more like flavored salt. It is fine in some applications, but it won't produce the sauce that the OP is looking for.

              1. re: jeremyn

                I made a port wine reduction with demiglace gold for some wellingtons that came out very good (no fond was used).

              2. re: tonka11_99

                FYI: Better Than Bouillon comes in an Au Jus base variety (superiortouch.com).

              3. I always do a three-herb chimichurri sauce with mine (an epicurious recipe).

                1 Reply
                1. re: cackalackie

                  I use the demiglace gold for my tenderloin sauce, and I prepare it very much like you plan to do yours except I use half stock and half Cabernet for the reduction. While the meat is resting I pour the reduced sauce into the roasting pan and finish it with a splash of port and a couple of tablespoons of unsalted butter. I find that gives it the oompf that tenderloin lacks.

                2. Maybe make marrow butter - compound butter w/ marrow - the bones are cheap - you could probably add some red wine too... - you'll get some of that fat that's missing from tenderloin!

                  Also, culinarte bonewerks -http://www.bonewerksculinarte.com/pro... is the best demi glace I've found - haven't seen it in shops, but if you can get your hands on it - it's a lot better than the one that comes in a tub.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: harryharry

                    Thanks for that site. It looks like as great product and very good value. More than we can use though and make due with the demiglace gold. RE wine /port reduction. I would normally do this too but one guest has issues with red wine. I might sneak a squirt of port in though (don't ask, don;t tell).

                  2. Saute mushrooms in butter. Add a touch of cognac and lots of freshly-ground black pepper. Add heavy cream and cook down by half. Salt to taste. Seriously good on any steak.

                    I also like the Bearnaise idea - you can't go wrong with the classics.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: BobB

                      That sounds so good. What is a touch of cognac and approximately how much cream?

                        1. re: tzakiel

                          Exactly so - this is based on my favorite classic au poivre recipe. I found that when I was not coating the steak in pepper the sauce needed an extra kick and sauteed mushrooms seemed to do the trick.

                          As for quantities - it's kind of a measure by feel thing and depends on how many steaks you're making. In rough numbers I'd say you want to start with about 4 - 6 oz of mushrooms, 1 tbsp cognac, and 1/3 - 1/2 cup cream per steak.

                        2. re: greenstate

                          here a touch of cognac is whatever you want to spare from your snifter. cream as much as it takes to lighten the color.

                        3. re: BobB

                          My favorite sauce for beef tenderloin is similar to an au poivre, with a little more going on. It's from Soulard's restaurant in St Louis. I use brandy instead of cognac (cheaper). You won't believe how good this is. Any time I try to stray and make something different for Christmas dinner everyone gets upset!

                          ¼ lb butter

                          ¼ cup onions

                          1/8 cup minced garlic

                          1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms

                          1 small carrot, julienne, thin

                          12 oz. beef stock

                          ¼ cup cognac or brandy

                          2 Tbsp. flour

                          2 oz. cream

                          2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

                          2 tsp. salt

                          2 tsp. Pepper

                          In a heavy sauce pan, sauté onions and garlic in butter until just tender. Add carrots, mushrooms, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper, continue to sauté until mushrooms are soft. Next add beef stock and cognac. Stir in flour and bring to a boil. Stir in cream and bring back to a boil. Serve sauce over beef tenderloin filet.

                        4. I'm also casting a vote for a Bearnaise sauce.

                          1. Thought i would report back and thank everyone for the helpful suggestions. I went with a 7lb tenderloin cut into two pieces so they would fit in my la Creuset and roasting pan I dry brined the tenderloin with kosher salt, thyme and pressed garlic. The meat was browned in the Creuset, which gave me a little fond and roasted later. The sauce was made with shallots, rehydrated cepes and a little port, then added the cepe water, beef stock (made with a prime rib roast's drippings from last week), a small packet of demiglace gold. Reduced by half and finished with heavy cream. The sauce was great and took the meal up a notch. Asparagus with shiitake and soy butter was a nice complement. Roast potatoes were OK but didn't add much. i like the demiglace product but it's not like a homemade demiglace. Other components to the dinner were spring mint and pea soup, mesclun salad with avocado and pecans and a raspberry chambord chocolate cake. Guests were happy as was the cook. thanks again all.

                            3 Replies
                              1. re: souschef

                                The cake was wonderful but i can't take credit. it was from Konditor Meister in Braintree MA.

                                1. re: gourmaniac

                                  That cake sounds so good that I decided to go looking for a recipe (as I have to make a birthday cake next week), and found a number, the most promising of which was one by Nick Malgieri:


                                  The only problem is the chocolate genoise; I cannot stand cocoa cakes as I find them too dry, even when moistened. I think Rose Levy Beranbaum has one in the Cake Bible that uses water with the cocoa; if so I'll try that one.