Chateaubriand Recipe For Two
Chateaubriand is a classic French dish that is named after the French diplomat, writer, and chef, François-René de Chateaubriand. This dish is typically made with a thick cut of beef tenderloin that is seared on the outside and cooked to medium rare on the inside. It is served with a variety of accompaniments, including a rich and flavorful sauce made from wine, stock, and butter.
The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But what is Chateaubriand, exactly?
Not a Cut of Meat
Contrary to popular belief, Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Instead, it is a method of preparation or a recipe.
Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This size cut makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year's dinner for two.
One of the key components of Chateaubriand is the sauce that is served with it. This sauce is typically made with a reduction of red wine and beef stock, along with butter and a variety of aromatic ingredients such as shallots, garlic, and herbs. The sauce is thickened with a small amount of flour and is seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.
To prepare Chateaubriand, the chef begins by selecting a high-quality cut of beef tenderloin. The tenderloin is then trimmed and cut into thick, 2-inch slices.
The slices are seasoned with salt and pepper and seared in a hot pan or on a grill until they are browned on the outside.
After searing, the Chateaubriand is placed in the oven to roast until it reaches the desired level of doneness. It is typically cooked to medium rare, which results in a juicy and tender piece of meat.
The roast is then allowed to rest for a few minutes before it is sliced and served.
What to Serve with Chateaubriand
In addition to the sauce, Chateaubriand is often served with a variety of accompaniments. These can include roasted vegetables, potatoes, or a salad.
Some variations of the dish also include a side of béarnaise sauce, which is a classic French sauce made with butter, egg yolks, and white wine vinegar.
A Little History
The origins of Chateaubriand can be traced back to the early 19th century. It is believed that the dish was created by the chef of Chateaubriand, Montmireil, as a way to impress the diplomat and satisfy his love for tender and juicy meat. The dish quickly gained popularity and became a staple of French haute cuisine.
Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes - Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette, was named in honor of the Vicomte Francois-Ren de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador, and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.
Initially, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and be discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!
As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. However, you can undoubtedly vary this to suit your taste.
Chateaubriand is a luxurious and indulgent dish that is perfect for special occasions and fancy dinners. It is a testament to the richness and complexity of French cuisine, and it is sure to impress even the most discerning foodies.
Whether you are a seasoned chef or a novice cook, Chateaubriand is a classic dish that is well worth the effort to prepare. So why not give it a try and see for yourself just how delicious this French delicacy can be?
Buying the Steaks
When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. Instead, you will have to ask to have one cut for you.
You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment.
Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.
For those who are do-it-yourselves types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. The silver skin is relatively easy to remove if you have a sharp knife, as is the attached chain meat.
You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.
- 1 pound tenderloin center cut
- 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 shallot minced
- 4 oz wine full-bodied red
- 4 oz demi glace
- 1 tablespoon butter softened
- 2 teaspoons fresh tarragon minced
- tarragon leaves whole for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 375º F.
- Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.
- Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or saute pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I'm not rushing.
- Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned.
- Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. Then, with tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds.
- When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat; you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good "sizzle ' without burning the meat.
- Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan.
- Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer, so you don't have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. It would help if you had plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan.
- Place the pan over medium heat - carefully, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt because the handle can burn you.
- Add the minced shallot, and saute until translucent but not browned.
- Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium-high and reduce it by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy.
- Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary.
- Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to thicken the sauce further and impart a lovely sheen.For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over.
- Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves.
Your demi-glace recipe is too impractical to be made in modern restaurants, at least any that I've worked in in France. The only place I see this recipe still be done is in cooking schools. Modern demi-glace is essentially a highly reduced stock.
Sorry, but I think the demi glace on this page is a heck of a lot more practical than all of that chopping a chicken's feet and all of that nonsense on your link. I don't care if it is modern, this recipe seems much more doable to me.
Peter Hertzmann's link to the modern demi-glace "I dont think so" I will stick with RG's thankyou
What is a chateaubriand bouquetière?
The Reluctant Gourmet
A bouquetière is a garnish of mixed fresh vegetables, in season so I’m guessing this is classic Chateaubriand with a fresh vegetable garnish.
If you have to tell people you've worked in restaurants in France, it's not even likely you've ever eaten in a French restaurant.
There's always one in the bunch.
This recipe sounds exciting and reaaly good.
What starters would compliment the dish?
Bo - I suggest Starters of Pomegranate seeds on Lambs Lettuce - it is light, understated and delicate. It cleans the palette ready for the focal Chateaubriand. Desert of champagne jelly with single cream - totally delicious and once again light and refreshing - perfect after the bulk and richness from the Chateaubriand.
Try it and see
Sounds interesting - RG
I tried this recipe, but used my own demi glace. If you have a gourmet grocery store near you, you can buy it already done. It makes it much easier. Everything else works perfect! it came out great.
Hi Jim, you are absolutely right. It is so much easier if you can find a good commercial demi glace at your gourmet grocery store. If that is not possible, there are some good sources here for demi glace. - RG
well guys i don't know what all the fuss is about, we have being doing our sauces the "old" way for 8 years in our restaurant in china. that's why people keep coming back, quality takes time !
Thanks Clive - RG
James, what is champagne jelly? How do you make it? I'm intrigued.
You can purchase demi glace at William and Sonoma for $35. I have tried it and if one has to buy ready made, it is ready good.
Concentrated demi-glace is available at Sur-La-Table for about $6. It can be mixed with beef stock to make a delicious 4 oz demi-glace stock.
Loved this recipe with a little bit of history :). Submitted to The Steak as featured recipe.
My Mother did this and put the meat in the oven and shut the door then turned off the heat . It was perfect but I don't remember how long she left it in the oven. Any ideas?
Hi Marcia, it really isn't about time as much as it is about internal meat temperature. You want the meat to reach an internal temperature of about 125Âº F. depending on how you like your meat cooked. Please see my post called How Do You Know When The Meat Is Done? - RG
I relish, lead to I discovered just what I used to be looking for. You have ended my 4 day long hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye
I am cooking a 4 1/2 lb tenderloin. How long and at what temperature should I cook it??
Hi Pat, did you check out the recipe with the post? It's all there for you. RG
William Montague Tayloe
I received two ten ounce tenderloins from Omaha Steaks. They are labeled "Chateaubriand" but don't include a recipe. They look lovely, solidly frozen in their see-through vacuum sealed plastic containers. I'm hep on your oven roasting technique and will surely follow your recipe but I'm making a Bearnaise sauce best described in Pippa Middleton's book Celebrate (Viking 2012, page 190) - Wish me luck! WmT. - Middleburg, Virginia
The Reluctant Gourmet
Good Luck William. Interesting they call the cut Chateaubriand since it is not really a cut of meat but a way to prepare them. Saying that, you typically use the "center" cut of a beef tenderloin, the most expensive cut so maybe that's how they market them. I have talked with many so called "meat experts" and they all have their own opinions about buying frozen steaks and I'm still not sure how much it effects the flavor of the beef. It seems common sense would say it makes a huge difference but that's not what I hear from a few experts. They say the quality of the meat is way more important. I don't think I have a Bearnaise sauce recipe on my site so I'll try to get around to posting one soon. Please let me know how it all works out for you William and Happy New Year.
Meat and seafood that has been properly frozen, seal packed, maintained frozen, then defrosted properly by the consumer/chef can be equal or better to fresh depending on beef source.
How did the bearnaise sauce work?
Vicky and I did this for our 26 anniversary last night. Not only was it excellent it was another meaningful sharing of 45 minutes from prep to enjoying. I served on hot plates that heated in the oven with the tenderloin.
going to give this a try with the exception that, while sticking to the searing instructions and temps and rest time, rather than scratching my poor ol' head ( old fat southern boy here who loves to cook,) i am going to make the sauce differently. normally what i do for a good pice of beef, if i make any at all, means taking about a cup of chardonney, adding just a bit of the stock from the cooked meat if done in the oven instead of the smoker or grill, and then adding to that the juice from one orange, along with a teaspoon of honey. i put this all in a small saucepan and warm it just until it begins to go past the light simmering stage, and have it on the side for adding to the meat.
good site by the way. b. blackmon, carrollton, ms.
I am cooking beef (chateaubriand style)for a few guests and was wondering if it is okay to sear the meat in preparation and leave loosely covered with foil until ready for it to go into the oven?
The Reluctant Gourmet
Sue, I guess that depends on how long you are going to leave it loosely covered on the counter. I've seen chefs pre-sear steaks and chops for the evening rush but I would check with a food nutritionist if you are concerned about safety issues.
Years ago in Olean, NY, at the Castle Restaurant you could order Chateaubriand for Two that was served and carved tableside by the restaurant owner, Butch Butchello. It was always quite the production, expensive but so delisciius! Took my wife of 34 years there for Valentine's Day back when we were dating! Made such an impression that she ultimately married me. This recipe looks and sounds the closest to how it was done. Too bad the Castle is long gone and just a memory. Tonight, we are going to try to recreate it! Bon Apetit!
I made a version of this recently but instead of the oven, I cooked sous vide. I finished the meat in the pan on the stove top and let rest whilst I made the shallot sauce. I served with gratinated potatoes and bacon wrapped asparagus. I bought already reduced beef stock for the sauce and it worked very well especially after I reduced it some more. Thanks for the inspiration and advice. The meal was an absolute winner.
I just made this recipe--with a few alterations. It was fabulous. I chose no shallots, no demi glace, no tarragon, but I did use a generous amount of red wine, which combined with the fat and drippings were reduced into a slurry as advised. The sides were halved, farm-fresh precooked baby turnips and halved home-grown Roma tomatoes, both simmered open side down in the iron skillet used for searing. The meat had gone into a rack within a larger pan in the oven. The flavors of meal with the wine, the turnips and the sweet tomatoes, blended into perfection. For the second course, I served baked delicato squash, along with a dash of the sauce.
G. Stephen Jones
Sounds delicious. Thanks for letting me know.
Spot on! Yeah this is the ticket to your lovely evening with your special. Have had it out but now, in times of COVID, we have been given the gift for home enjoyment. Thanks G.