Tag Archives: steak

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Parsley Butter

Christmas dinner is all about extravagance in my house. Because it was just me and Grant this year – up in the mountains – I didn’t want to do a whole roast, but still wanted red meat. So I made my very first beef tenderloin, which turned out to be the most delicious, tender, juicy and fabulous thing I’ve ever made for Christmas.

I adapted the recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. They spent $1,200 testing the expensive tenderloin cut prepared various ways, so I felt OK spending $50 (on sale!). I bought one massive tenderloin that I had to hand-trim to get the tender mid-section ready for cooking. The center cut of the loin – called “Chateaubriand” – is roughly the middle third of the whole beef loin. The other ends have more fat and connective tissue – all of which I saved to make beef bourguignon later in the week.

Cook’s Illustrated is brilliant for a couple reasons: salting the meat and letting it rest 1 hour before cooking (you can see the salt start to draw out the juices, enhancing the flavor); roasting and THEN browning on the stove top (no “gray line”); and cooking in butter (drool).

This was one of those recipes that I was nervous about the whole way through – thinking I didn’t cook it long enough or did this/that wrong. But it came out perfectly and presented a true value of quality and quantity.

Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Parsley Butter

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 beef tenderloin (2 lbs), center-cut, trimmed of fat and silver skin
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 2 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 T canola oil

Using kitchen twine, tie roast crosswise at 1 1/2 inch intervals. Sprinkle with salt and let stand at room temperature for around 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 300 with oven rack in middle.

Pat roast dry with paper towels and sprinkle evenly with pepper. Spread butter all over the surface. Transfer to wire rack set in backing sheet. Roast until center of meat registers 125 degrees on your meat thermometer, flipping roast halfway through.

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high until smoking. Place roast in and sear until well browned on all sides, 1-2 min. per side. Transfer to carving board and spread 2 T flavored butter (recipe below) over top of roast. Let rest 15 min. Remove twine and cut meat into 1/2 inch slices. Serve with remaining butter.

Shallot and parsley butter

Combine all of the below:

  • 4 T unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 T parsley, minced
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Served simply with a side salad and roasted potatoes…almost too decadent for a quiet dinner for two…oh, who am I kidding?

We ate roughly half that night and I saved the rest for steak sandwiches the next night: crusty baguette split, then slathered with more of the shallot-parsley butter and topped with baby greens (or arugula), shaved Parm-Regg and thinly sliced steak (I gently reheated it at 200 degrees, so it was still medium-rare in the middle).
I have never had a steak sandwich so tender! Usually they are kinda hard to bite into. But this was too good.
Whew! I’m sweating just from remembering this. I highly recommend one splurge in your year – beef tenderloin at Christmas.
Enjoy, friends! xoxo

How to make cheap steak delicious

Like any frugal gal, I limit my meat purchases to discount bins and sale signs. I recently read an article in Cooks Illustrated about how to cook cheap steaks. I happened to have a couple top sirloin steaks that were on sale, a cut of meat that Cooks Illustrated recommended. Each steak was 12 oz. and about $3.

I cooked it simply, according to their directions, and it was delicious. Even my ribeye-loving bf raved about it! Except he said it tasted kind of like a hamburger…not sure how to take that.

Heat 1 T canola oil in a skillet until smoking. Season steaks on both sides with salt and pepper. Sear until well browned, 4-5 min. Flip and sear the other side, 2-3 min. Remove to a plate and tent with foil.

In the still-hot pan, add 1 chopped shallot and stir for 2 min. Add 1/4 c. red wine (or whatever you’re drinking) and scrape up the browned bits. Add another 1 c. of chicken stock or beef stock and stir until bubbling. Reduce and simmer until reduced, about 10 min. Season to taste and sprinkle in chopped parsley. Spoon over the steak..

Meanwhile, I made these amazing roasted baby potatoes!

Write Gals’ Perfect Potatoes

  • 2 pounds baby Yukon gold potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Heat oven to 400. Toss potatoes with a drizzle of oil, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Spread on sheet pan and place in oven.

Roast until potatoes are cooked through and browned, stirring occasionally, about 20-30 min. Cooking times may vary.

Yukon gold potatoes are simply the best, and roasting them really brings out their flavor. When I took them out of the oven, I tossed in one bunch of baby asparagus, smearing the existing oil and seasonings all over them. Then I roasted them 6-8 minutes, until just tender.

And that, my friends, was a wonderful and affordable meal! Enjoy, friends! xoxo

Skirt-steak tacos with black-bean and corn salsa


I can’t believe I’ve never made skirt steak before. It always seemed like the bottom-rung on the beef pyramid, but then I saw how often Bobby Flay uses it…oh, why not? It’s cheap, so it couldn’t hurt.

We simply grilled 2 pounds of skirt steak with just a little canola oil, salt and pepper. Medium rare, just a few minutes on each side. Charcoal grill.

Then, I grilled corn tortillas until they were softened and charred and filled them with a smear of sour cream, avocado slices, black-bean salsa (fresh tomatoes, roasted corn, red onion, jalapenos, garlic, cilantro, parsley, black beans, lime, S&P) and the steak (top with cheese of your choice, if you wish). I finished with a squeeze of lime, which really added something extra.

The tacos were simply a delicious mess. What a complex marriage of flavors, all wrapped up in a little pouch! Definitely remember to cut the steak against the grain, so it will be easy to bite off. We will definitely be making this again. Soon. Enjoy, friends!