Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Sauce

by Joe G in Rouxbe Recipes

An elegant, yet simple dish. Pan-fried beef tenderloin is served with a delicious sauce made with shallots, red wine and dark chicken stock.

  • Serves: 2
  • Active Time: 25 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins

  • Comments: 80
  • Views: 53330
  • Success 94%

Step 1: Preparing the Salad

Preparing the Salad

To start, wash the frisée lettuce and tear into large pieces. Spin dry and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside while you cook the steaks.

  • 2 cups frisée lettuce (approx.)

Step 2: Cooking the Steaks

Cooking the Steaks

Before cooking the steaks, make sure they have come to room temperature. Once you are ready to cook, season the steaks with salt and pepper.

Preheat a heavy fry pan over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the oil. As soon as the oil just starts to smoke, add the steaks. Because the steaks are a bit thicker, turn the heat down to medium to medium low. Using the flip-often method, after about a minute of cooking, flip the steaks. Let cook again for another minute and flip again. Continue with this same process until the steaks are cooked to your liking.

Once done, remove the steaks, tent with vented foil and allow to rest while you make the sauce.

  • two 6 oz beef tenderloin steaks
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil

Step 3: Making the Sauce

Making the Sauce

To start the sauce, make sure to have the shallots minced and measure out the cold butter and red wine.

Over medium to medium low heat, add about one tablespoon of the butter, followed by the shallots. Cook the shallots until soft and golden. Once ready, deglaze with the red wine, making sure to scrape up any sucs from the bottom of the pan. Let the liquid reduce until you reach a syrupy consistency.

Once a syrupy consistency has been reached, add the dark chicken stock and any juices from the resting steaks and reduce again until slightly thickened. Test the sauce by spooning a bit onto a plate. The sauce should not be too runny or too thick. It should just move nicely on the plate.

To finish the sauce, turn off the heat and swirl in the cold butter, a bit at a time. The butter not only helps to thicken the sauce, it also adds richness and shine.
Finally, season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

  • 2 tbsp shallots
  • 3 to 4 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup dark chicken (or veal) stock (Rouxbe recipe*)
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Step 4: Finishing and Serving the Dish

Finishing and Serving the Dish

To finish the salad, add a bit of quality olive oil, salt and pepper. Gently toss to combine and add a bit more of each to taste if necessary. Adding the oil and seasoning in stages ensures that you don’t weigh down the greens or over season them.

Gather a few pieces of frisée and place them onto each plate, along with the steaks. Drizzle the hot pan sauce over the steaks and serve immediately.

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • freshly ground black pepper (to taste)

Notes

Here is a link to a recipe for Dark Chicken Stock.

If you happen to over-reduce the sauce, just thin it out slightly with a bit of stock or water.

Christian P

It was excellent!

I would have paid to eat this, it was really good!

Robert A

reducing the wine

I could not get the wine to reduce and thicken for the life of me. It did taste rather good anyways though!

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Question for Robert

Did you vary the recipe at all? For example, did you use bought stock, omit the butter, not reduce the wine to syrupy consistency, etc.

Let's get to the bottom of this. It will work. Just missing something.

Robert A

oil

I did use bought stock, but I couldn't get it to become syrupy before adding it. Perhaps more time would have yielded the correct results, but the steaks were getting past the point of resting and into the point of dying. I am thinking the problem might be in the amount of grape seed oil used for the steaks. I just eye-balled it and might have used too much. I've only started cooking in the last month so I don't really know how this would affect it.

Abdul aziz O

It was goodd...

Never thought i would cook steak.. as i thought its hard... Ive tried it yesterday.. and it was good.. just a bit salty... But overall.. its delecious and it was easy to prepare. two thumbs up!

Dorin v. B

Absolutely insane

This was...awesome.I have tried several recipes close to this,made from my own imagination.But this...well,if I'll know when I'll die,I want this to be my last meal,do die proud and full of joy

Dr. j. isaac N

Never had a steak this good at any restaurant

I have been cooking for quite some time and I tried this last week. It was absolutely the best steak I had ever prepared. I paired it with a good cabernet. We are repeating it tonight for some guests.

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Proof that Good Ingredients and Great Technique Make Cooking Better

A few simple lessons in the Rouxbe Cooking School and you'll learn what chefs do every day (Premium Steaks, Stocks, Pan Frying, Pan Sauces). Best part is that this is all pretty easy stuff. Glad you're having success everyone.

Here's some more practice:
http://origin.rouxbe.com/recipes/1544/preview, or
http://origin.rouxbe.com/recipes/47/preview

Grace K

What type of wine to drink with this?

Hi Joe, love your recipes! I'm wondering what type of wine to have with this dish? I'm planning on making it soon for friends and wondered what you would suggest would compliment the dish? I think I read in another section that you would add some ideas re: pairing wine and dishes... or was I dreaming?! Thanks again for this site - love it!

John G

This recipe is a classic match...

for a Bourdeaux blend or a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa,California or McLaren Vale in Australia. Also a spicy Shiraz from Barossa Valley Australia would do nicely. A rich full bodied wine for a rich full flavoured recipe. Look to spend $25 to $50 for this type of wine. Good Luck!

Dorin v. B

Also

Sangiovese works very well.Unfortunately,I don't know what are the preferences in the U.S.A. I don't know if I'm allowed to recommend a wine producer (form Italy,that sells in U.S.A-unfortunately just the east coast),so I'll keep my advice,although the quality/price report is way good

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Also

Thanks for the wine recommendations....and Vasile...go for it, we don't censor comments, so go ahead and recommend the wine producer :-)

Dorin v. B

Well...

here goes nothing: www.giordanowines.com ...the offer on the original website,from Italy is much more diverse,but on the U.S. site the Autumn Selection is quite a success.I repeat myself...these are not top-shelf wines, but they're more than a hit referring to their price.

Patrick O

Wine producers to look for

First off, I would like to echo John G's recommendations, they are spot on! Personally, a left bank Bordeaux or Napa Cabernet Sauvignon would be my first choices as I’m not a big fan of Auzzie wines as they’re a little over-extracted for my liking. This of course is just a personal preference. Another often overlooked wine that works well with this dish is a Malbec or Malbec blend from Argentina, the land of beef. With that said, here is a list of a few producers I follow:
Left Bank Bordeaux:
With recent demand, this is now a fairly pricy proposition but with a little research, one can find excellent values (relatively) and extremely delicious wine from this region. Names I look for are Kirwan, Barton, Cantelys, Cos Labory, Beau-Site, and Picard. Most of these are available for under $50. Keep in mind that even though these prices may seem a little steep, many of these vineyards are next door to the Great First Growth producers that sell their wines for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a bottle. Best value vintages would be 2003 and 2004. Collectors covet the 2000’s and 2005’s keeping prices high.
California:
Napa is home to some of the finest Cabernet and Bordeaux style blends in the new world.
Some wines to look out for are the “second labels” from some of the bigger names. These wines are typically a great value and made for earlier consumption. Napanook which is made by Dominus is outstanding as is Innisfree by Joseph Phelps. Other favorites include Robert Mondavi’s Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, Sterling Napa Cab, Clos Du Val, and Beringer. As with Bordeaux, 2005 is an outstanding vintage but they’re all pretty decent after 2000.
Argentina:
Malbec and Malbec blends are my favorites from this region. Very seldom do I spend over $25 for excellent quality. Names to look for include Catena, Luigi Bosca, and Clos De Los Siete. In this region vintage years don’t seem to be as important as other areas. However, big wines like this do benefit from at least a few years of bottle age. With that in mind, if you can find some of these from 2005 or earlier, grab them!

Paddy R

Sauce very oily

Hi, great way to cook the steak. It was delicious.
my only problem was that my sauce was quite oily. I put oil on the steaks before cooking and also on the pan. I then used the juices from the steaks, the red wine, the shallots and the butter and stock.
However there was a distinct trace of oil even after the sauce reduced.
should i have put less oil in the pan or on the steaks ?

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Sauce for the Beef

Sorry for the delay in responding. The amount of oil you put on the steak and in the pan shouldn't really matter. But after the steaks are cooked, you could pour off any excess fat for sure. For the next step (sweating the shallots), we've added butter but you could also use a bit of the fat from the steak to cook the shallots - but you do need a bit of fat for this step.

The other thing that could have happened is that you could have turned on the heat when finishing the sauce with butter. The final butter should be added off the heat or it will split the sauce.

Hope this helps.

Paddy R

Re: Sauce for the Beef

Thanks for the response. In hindsight i think i may have kept the heat on while adding the butter at the end which, as you say, seems to have split the sauce. thanks for the tip

quick question. a lot of the recipes call for a "cup" of certain liquids. how much in ML's is in a standard "cup" ?

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Standard Cup

The standard cup is 250 mls.

Christie C

Better than restaurant steak!

I made this recipe last night and I am proud to say that this was so much better than the leftover steak my husband took home from the Chop House Restaurant here in Pasadena! Whereas that one was oily and beefy, mine was a burst of flavors! I used filet mignon and got the sauce to reduce perfectly.

The only thing I had to change was use regular chicken stock instead of dark stock, which I didn't have time to make. As a result the sauce was a lot lighter, but it still tasted good. I wonder, could I use beef stock instead of dark chicken stock to achieve the dark sauce color?

The butter, shallots, red wine combo is to die for. We had this dish with mashed potatoes which were great in soaking up the sauce from the plate. Yum!!!

Thanks for the great recipe.

Christie C

Flip-often method

By the way, the flip-often method rocks and I'm so happy to finally get a sense for when the steak is ready just from feel. My steaks came out perfectly medium rare!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Better Than Restaurant Steak

So glad to hear that you had great success. As for your question about using beef stock...absolutely you could use beef stock for this. Just keep in mind though, if you use canned beef stock you may not get the same consistency with the sauce. This is because the canned stuff doesn't have the same gelatin in it.

You could even just use red wine if you like and omit the stock all together...this is also very delicious.

Again so happy to hear that you are feeling confident and happy with your steak cooking skills.

Henrik A

White wine works

Greetings from sweden, everyone!

I made this recipe a couple of days ago and I noticed that we didn't have any red wine at home (I'm not a big wine-drinker). Instead I had to use white wine for the sauce and it worked beautifully. Just a little tips that it works with both red and white wine...

\Henrik Anderot

K H

Extra shallots

I ended up using more shallots than called for, and absolutely loved the sauce! What a great compliment to the one inch thick tenderloin steak. Next time, I think thicker steaks.

Brent B

Fantastic!

I am cooking this for the second time as I write. We were truly blown away with the flavor of these steaks the first time. Very easy and wonderful. I have a Green Egg which I always prepared my steaks with great success. These surpassed... We became lifetime members because of this recipe! Fantastic!

Aneli V

Gracias

Realmente es deliciosa esta receta, sobre todo si se prepara como ustedes la recomiendan, con ese delicioso concentrado de pollo, lo serví con papas al romero y todos se sintieron en un restaurante frances de alta categoría, GRACIAS, estoy feliz con sus recetas y tips.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Gracias (my rough translation)

This recipe is really delicious, especially when prepared as you recommend it, with that delicious concentrate of chicken, served with rosemary potatoes and all were in a high-class French restaurant, THANK YOU, I am happy with their recipes and tips.

Siew eng Y

Making sauce in advance?

Could I make this sauce in advance and reheat it when I am ready to serve the steak?

Siew eng Y

Will red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar work?

Could I substitute red wine with either red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar? The red wine sauce is FANTASTIC but rather expensive to make.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Making Ahead and Substitutions

Pan sauces are à la minute (at the moment) sauces made in the same pan in which ingredients (in this case the steak) have been sautéed, seared or pan-fried. The sucs from the pan lend great flavor to the sauce. Therefore if you were to do this ahead of time, you would not achieve the same flavor.

As for the red wine being expensive, it is not very much wine and it is not something you cook everyday. You can use other liquids, but again you will achieve different results.

For more information on all of this, I suggest you watch the How to Make a Pan Sauce video.

Hope this helps!

Siew eng Y

Thank you!

Thank you so much, Dawn, for the clear explanation! The pan sauce video is indeed a great help!

Robert S

The Sauce

Happy new year and thanks for this awesome recipe. Seriously, it was easily the best steak I've eaten, and has given me a new standard. I did, however, have a couple of issues with the sauce - mostly, I think, because I used store bought (and not dark) stock. First of all, it took a long time to reduce, and even after I reduced it, it did not have a syrupy consistency. So, here is my first question: what is the best way to keep the steaks warm without drying them out while I wait for the sauce? Second, does the sauce get the syrupy consistency just from reducing the stock, or does it require the butter to get the right consistency? Also, I was hoping you could tell me what are typically considered dry reds, and is it a good idea to cook with the same wine that you drink, especially since the latter might/should be a little pricier? Thanks again.

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Reducing the Sauce & Resting steaks

Hi Robert. Glad you liked the steak.

If you have a good stock, making this sauce for two 2 to 4 people should only take about 5 to 10 mins (or less). The steaks should be fine if tented on a rack for this amount of time. If you need a bit more time, just pop them in an oven on the lowest setting (after the 10 min rest outside - not right away). You can also add them back to the completed sauce for a quick reheat (20 seconds a side just to get them hot again).

As for reducing the sauce, store bought stocks often do not contain enough gelatin to give the sauce the sauce-like consistency you are looking for. I'd strongly suggest you make a nice dark chicken stock and try this again. The butter will add a bit of thickness to the sauce but you should be almost there prior to finishing with butter.

Cheers, Joe.

David L

Sauce

I gave the recipe a try! The steak turned out great. I couldn't get the sauce to a syrupy state tho. I followed the water test to get the pan at the right temps...which on my gas range was actually at "low". The ball formed perfectly and was pretty cool to see! Do I need to increase the heat after adding in the wine? It would bubble a little and took a long time to even reduce. My steaks ended up getting cold as I struggled on the sauce. My sauce was runny but I was so hungry and ate as is, was still very good.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Sauce Consistency

Hi David, glad you liked the steak...as for the sauce not reducing fast enough or enough for you? I think you are correct that perhaps the heat was not high enough.

I suggest watching the lesson on How to Make Pan Sauces in the Rouxbe Cooking School. This will shed some light on the whole sauce making process. Cheers!

Dan O

Rib-Eye...Subsitution...Diversity

Fantastic recipe! This recipe goes to show simplicity is the foundation of TRUE flavor.

I used rib-eye steaks (just happened that they looked particularly good and well aged in the Butcher's Showcase that day) and the dish presented itself beautifully with outstanding taste, the guests will definately be requesting this one again. I decided to add crispy lardons and toasted pine nuts with a subtle balsamic / olive oil vinigrette to personalise it from the original recipe....

The rib-eye never fails...Definately my favorite pick for full, robust beefy flavour!!!

WELL DONE (actually med. rare).

Danny

Siew eng Y

NY Sirloin Steak...yummy!

I used NY sirloin strips to make this dish tonight...with the red wine sauce, of course! I flipped the steak only once, cooking for one and a half minute for each side. And it turns out perfect! Love it! :)

Jorge A

Beef Tenderloin

I see from the previous recipes that Rib-Eye and NY Sirloin were used for this recipe. Are these cuts of meat OK or would you recommend another one?

Jorge

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Rib eye or NY Steaks

Either of these cuts would work well in place of tenderloin. Happy Cooking!

Jorge A

Flaming Recipe

I used fillets for this recipe and they turned out to be excellent.

About the Flaming Recipe. I managed to burn the recipe (smoke and all) as I turned the wrong (electric) burner on. No damage to the house :)

Jorge.

PS if you need translations from Spanish to English please let me know. ...and the flag is the Cuban flag.

Lorelei H

Don't have homemade veal stock? No problem...

Now I have read from several people that the sauce didn't come out right. Either to thin, or split etc. The Rouxbe staff have said that it was the gelatin content that was the problem. What I did was use a the small container of More Than Gourmet Demi-glace Gold, 2.5 oz unit, and one cup of water. I went ahead and heated this up on the stove in a very small saucepan until it was mixed. That is all. I didn't reduce it or do anything else at this stage. If you use that in the sauce to replace stock...it will come out perfectly. The flavor was out of this world, and I am so glad I used this instead of Chicken Stock or anything else really. If you do not have the time or inclination to make your own veal stock for this recipe, use this instead. It is incredible.

Sarah  B

Wow

I made this dish for company on the weekend, knowing that my sauce would be thinner because I didn't have the time to make stock. But even with the thinner sauce these were an absolute hit and not at all difficult to make.
Thank you

Daniel F

how to cook this recipe for a crowd?

Hi,

This is a wonderful recipe, I love pan sauces that allow you to use the bids from the cooked meat, however, I was wondering what the best way is to cook for a larger crowd (say 10 people for instance).
- If I cook all the steaks in the pan before making the sauce, the bids are likely to burn
- If I cook a batch, deglaze the pan then start over, looks like it's going to take forever :-)
- I could probably use more pans, but that will hurt my budget
How do restaurants do it? and what is the best way for the home cook to do it?
Thank you!

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Cooking for a Crowd

Hi Daniel,

Couple of options for you.

1. You could sear a single larger piece of beef and slice it (e.g. a whole beef tenderloin). You'd sear it, then place it in a roasting pan and then make the sauce from he sucs in the pan that you seared.

2. You could sear off the ten steaks in a single pan in batches of 3 or 4 steaks. Sear at a bit higher heat so you get that nice crust relatively quickly, then place on a cooling rack over a baking tray. Once they are all seared, you can then place them into an oven and cook them all to desired doneness (this is how restaurants cook for larger groups). Just make sure you protect the sucs from burning between batches. If the sucs get too dark, deglaze, scrape the bottom and then reserve the deglazing liquid on the side. The clean and bring your pan back to temperature for the next batch and repeat. This likely won't be needed but as long as protect the sucs and save your pan juices from the deglazing step, you're all set. By the way, you can even sear the day before if you like and then just bring your steaks to room temperature before placing in the oven to finish cooking.

Hope this helps.
Joe

Siew eng Y

Finish cooking in oven

If I want my steak to be medium, how high should my oven temperature be and for how long should it be cooked?

Joe  G
Rouxbe Staff

Oven temperature for roasting

I would cook this at about 300 / 325 degrees. As for how long, this is an answer I cannot provide. Every oven will be a different temperature, and how long you first cook it in the pan will also vary. If you want it medium, you will need to cook it until you see the first signs of blood escaping from the first piece of meat (no longer). Likely about 8 mins or so. Feel free to flip them once during the cooking as well (just like in the flip often method to redistribute the internal juices). Don't forget to let rest afterwards. Trust your instincts.

Ken R

why cast iron when flipping often?

I'm still not sure how to decide when to reach for a cast iron pan and when to use a stainless steel one. In this recipe, for instance, the cast iron pan is heated over med-hi heat and the heat is turned down when the meat is added because it is a thick piece of meat and will take time to cook thru. Now if this recipe was the flip-once method I would explain this by saying the cast iron holds a lot of heat and that one side will be browned as the pan transfers heat to the steak, then the pan cools so it doesn't burn the side and cooking continues. However the recipe calls for flip-often. So if one side isn't going to rest on the hot pan for very long, why was cast iron chosen and not stainless steel? Or am I just over-thinking this :-)

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Cast Iron / Flip-Often Method

Whether you reach for cast-iron or stainless-steel pan, you can perform the flip-once or flip-often method in either. Cast-iron is often better at producing even heat compared to many stainless-steel pans. The great thing about cooking is that there are many ways to do things and many different pans to cook with. By showing each, we want people to understand that there is flexibility in cooking. The most important thing is to learn the technique and to learn how to adapt cooking times, etc. no matter what the equipment. Focus on what is happening to the food IN the pan...not on the pan itself. Does that make sense? Cheers!

Keith L

I learned two things...

Use a filet mignon or a ribeye. I used a sirloin tip roast cut into steaks because that is what I had. Good flavor but does not lend itself well to pan frying. Way too chewy.

Also I could not get the sauce to thicken. I am attributing that to using store bought chicken stock because again that is what I had on hand.
The flavor was spot on though!
It would reduce down but never really thicken but I am assuming that is due to the lack of gelatins in the store bought variety as mentioned earlier.
I had it a good strong simmer but it was apparent it would have just simmered completely dry in the pan without getting any thicker.

Overall a fantastic learning experience!

Damian S

Red wine sauce

I used scotch fillet in the turn often method even though i over cooked it a little it was still nice and juicy and i made the dark chicken stock for the first time the red wine sauce turned out perfect and it was beautiful loved it thanks guys.

Viki G

Wine substitution

I would like to know what one could substitute for wine in making the pan sauce for this recipe? Some people may be sensitive to the sulfites in wine (or just not like the flavor)
Thank You

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Wine Substitution

Without the red wine, this will no longer be a red wine sauce. Other acids can definitely be used (apple juice, white wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, etc), but obviously the flavor will change. Please check out the lesson on How to Make Pan Sauce. This will be very helpful as we go into great detail about how to vary and build pan sauces from ingredients that have been pan fried. Cheers!

Laurie J

Pan

Hi! I bought my first Stainless Steel pan at Sur La Table and I wanted to try it out for this recipe tonight. But I see in the video you used cast iron. Should I use my cast iron pan instead? I don't want to ruin/stain my new pan on the wrong recipe...I heard that stainless is difficult to work with and clean. Please advise the best pan for this recipe? Thank you!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Pan Used in Video

You can use your stainless steel pan. You may also want to check out the lesson on Pan Frying before you use you new pan. Cheers!

Cindy G

Why does sauce break?

I have read other comments about sauce splitting or breaking - In this recipe I think I also added the butter when the pan was still on the heat.

Also, if the butter has come to room temperature does that make a difference?

What about other roux based sauces, why do they break?

The sauce still tasted very good!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Why Do Sauces Split or Break?

Cindy, you may want to watch the lesson on "How to Make a Pan Sauce" in the cooking school as we do go into quite a bit of detail regarding this in that lesson (particularly topic 6 and 7). Many of the same principles would also apply to other roux-based sauces as well. For more on roux-based sauces, you may want to watch the "How to Make a Veloute Sauce" and/or "How to Make a Bechamel Sauce" as well. Cheers!

R gordon S

SAUCE BORDELAISE

This is basically a bordelaise sauce, right? Try it by adding mushrooms. the trick to a bordelaise is to reduce the wine to such a point that it is highly concentrated, then add demi-glace, or very strong broth, veal or beef. Yum!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Bordelaise Sauce

The main difference is that Bordelaise sauce typically contains bone marrow and the wine used is classically from the region of Bordeaux. Cheers!

Jane M

SUPERB!!

Just finished eating and had to be one the best steaks I have ever eaten , let alone made all by myself. Very important to reduce wine to surypy consistency before stock is added. I love Rouxbe cooking school , the confidence I have in the Kitchen now is just awesome!!

Thank-you
Ken

Douglas A

Can Red wine sauce be made ahead

I wanted to know if I can make the the red wine sauce ahead of time (like day before and chilled) . If so should I hold off adding butter until that day? I think it may split or separate if cooled and reheated again. I have a big group coming over and cooking space is limited.

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Can red wine sauce be made ahead

No, this cannot be made ahead of time. This is a pan sauce and the sauce relies on the sucs that were formed from pan-frying the steaks (and it is definitely not recommended to cook the steaks the day before). If you have everything prepped in advance, it does not take much time to put the sauce together as the steaks are resting. One thing you can do ahead of time, is to reduce the amount of stock by about half. That way, you won't have to wait for that to reduce much once you add it to the pan. Cheers!

Gail S

Sticking Steak

My sauce turned out great even though I accidentally threw in too much red wine...it seemed not to matter too much! I also pre-heated the chicken stock to save time on the reducing.

The only issue was that the steak was sticking a bit, which I was expecting since I don' t think I had the pan temperature correct. I am going to review the pan-frying/testing heat with water method tomorrow and try again.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Sticking Steak

Now those are the kind of comments we love. You seem to know where you might have gone wrong, you are going to review the appropriate lesson and try again. Way to take the learning/practicing into your own hands. Keep up the great work Gail. Cheers!

Jennifer E

Amazing recipe

I've made this recipe a few times now, and the family is convinced I've become some sort of master chef. I had never seemed to get the temperatures right when cooking these tenderloin steaks on the grill. Now I'd like to try a whole tenderloin for a party. Any suggestions? I've seen the slow roast method before and that seems like it might be "safer" if I'm cooking a whole tenderloin for the first time. Could I season and then sear the tenderloin in a large roasting pan, then transfer it to another pan with a rack and cook in a low oven? What oven temperature would be right? 250? I guess I'm probably aiming for an internal temperature of 125 or 130? Then tent and rest? Thanks in advance for your advice!

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Cooking a Whole Beef Tenderloin | Amazing Recipe

Jennifer - Yes, you can absolutely sear the whole roast and then finish in a low temperature oven - 250°F sounds good as well. Although some slow roasting devotees might even go down from there depending on the actual size/weight of the roast.

It's the internal temperature that counts and 125-130°F is a good target if you want medium rare to medium. The carry over cooking capacity (in this case, probably around 7-10 degrees F) is determined by the size of the roast --and tent loosely for 15 minutes or so before slicing. Enjoy!

Daniel P

My texture and color still needs improvement, but a good first attempt

This is my second practice recipe after doing the sauce lesson. Because I have a family of six, i had to increase the amounts to get more sauce. I notice it makes a difference when trying to reduce because the surface area of my pan is smaller compared to the ratio of sauce I'm making. I also found it took longer to make the sauce then i was expecting, so my steaks rested more than usual and ended up cooler. I cooked it exactly as the recipe and video described; however, my sauce turned out lighter in color and thinner than the one in the video; my color was more purplish brown. Overall, it was still delicious despite needed some improvement.

I usually sear my steaks on cast iron and finish them in the oven. Next time, I will sear them and transfer them to an oven dish, freeing up my pan to start the sauce earlier. I think if I reduce the sauce more and use less butter, i can get a thicker darker sauce (it did taste a bit too buttery rich). I will also try this without increasing the amounts. I found the shallots a bit distracting too. I might try straining them out for a smoother sauce. Any suggestions are welcome. I'm hoping to add this sauce to my repertoire.

Eric H

Re: my texture

I've had this problem too...after many attempts, and reading all the comments I think that my stock is probably to blame for the thinness of the sauce. Try as I might, I haven't been able to develop a lot of collagen in my stock (have to wait to go to the big city to try and find some chicken feet, lol)
Hope this helps, Daniel...keep at it!

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Texture in Reduction

Hi Eric- You are correct, a good stock will form the basis for a good sauce-- as the gelatin (collagen+water+heat+time=gelatin) is what helps give body and silky "mouth feel" to the finished product. Chicken backs are helpful-they have lots of connective tissue. Just be sure to rinse them well as they can also have a good deal of blood and such which can cloud the solution. Enjoy!

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Improving Texture and Color

Hi Daniel- Let's find a way to make that sauce really come out the way you want it--and it's great that you are so positive about the sauce in general and open to fine tuning your technique.

There are so many variables in cooking that happen quickly-- so following a recipe exactly gives a good foundation but "practice makes perfect". Cooks are constantly fine tuning, chasing perfection, and improving the dishes they prepare--so don't be discouraged.

Reducing the sauce more will certainly help. Consider using a larger pan as well, as the extra surface area encourages evaporation and reduction. The depth of color comes from the development of sucs and how much you reduce the wine. And by all means, strain the shallots if they are off-putting texturally. Enjoy!

Daniel P

thanks for the suggestions

Thanks for mentioning the stock. I forgot to mention that I was a little impatient about making this sauce, so I used a lighter store bought stock i had instead of waiting after I made the dark stock. This probably contributed a lot to the lighter color. I'm going to make some dark chicken stock this weekend and try this sauce again.

I have also had trouble developing collagen in my stocks. I think part of my problem too is that I try to make too much.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Thanks for the Suggestions...

Ah, you got it Daniel. Indeed the type and quality of stock you use will greatly affect a pan sauce. Store-bought stocks typically lack that nice gelatinous quality—which means that they will generally not reduce and thicken. Instead they they will simply reduce and concentrate and in many cases become overly salty. So this is why your stock was had a thinner consistency. And if your stock was light in color rather than dark like the one in the recipe, then this is why your final sauce was lighter and more purplish than the one shown in the video. Hope that helps to solve the mystery. Cheers!

p.s. If you haven't already, be sure to watch the full lesson on "How to Make a Pan Sauce". In particular topic 5 "Adding & Reducing Stock".

Daniel P

Fixed it!

Well, I did it. I made some dark stock and made sure I reduced the sauce properly. This fixed all my problems. The color was like a dark chocolate and the texture was smooth and thicker this time. It looked almost identical to the video. I did strain the shallots this time, and I do think the texture was more appealing. It seemed a bit sweeter than what I was expecting; perhaps the pinot noir?

I'm so impressed with the stock I made, I'm ready to throw out the store bought stuff I have in my pantry. The gelatin in the stock really does seem to make a huge difference with the texture and viscosity of the sauce. I didn't have much viscosity in my stock after making it, but when I reduced it in half, it thickened up real nice.

Now, I will continue to experiment and improve. thanks for the help!

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Stock and Suce Success

Hi Daniel- What great news. The flavor and texture of quality stock will make all the difference when compared to mass-produced store bought products. You'll continue to improve your technique and create ways to adjust the sweetness (maybe a different wine or just less) and add other elements. Keep up the good work. Enjoy!

Andrew R

Red wine sauce

I was planning on doing a venison loin roast and serving it with a red wine sauce. The dish will also have braised cabbage, parsnip puree and beetroot. I have only made red wine sauce a couple of times before, and each time I've only used very cheap red wine. I'm moving away from using cheap wines in my cooking with the preference of using wines that are actually drinkable. My knowledge of wine is very limited. I was wondering from your experience. Does using red wines of different bodies have an impact on the final sauce? Do different wines impart noticeably different flavours to the red wine sauce? and if you could suggest a good wine to use for my proposed dish. That would be fantastic!

Thanks for all your help! And thanks again for all the past advice you guys have given me. It has always been extremely helpful to me and I really appreciate you all taking the time to answer my questions!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Red Wine Sauce

While I am more then happy to answer your questions Andrew—especially when you flatter us like that :-) but I think that you might find this post by Patrick O quite helpful.

You may want to read some of these other posts, as this has been a popular subject/question on Rouxbe over the years.

Hope that helps Andrew and good luck with your dinner. Cheers!

Coco H

Frozen Beef

When you say room temperature beef, what if the beef is frozen and how long should i put them out before i start to cook them? Is it possible if i defrost them in the microwave?

Myles S

Ref: Defrosting

You don't put them out! Defrosting in the refrigerator is your best bet.

Planning is key here; 5 pounds of protein will take approximately 24 hours in the refrigerator depending on the location within and temperature of your refrigerator whereas a chicken breast or little ground beef may take 8-12 hours. Also; the defrosted protein can be held in the refrigerator for 2-4 days, chicken 2 days, beef, pork, lamb 3-4 days is a safe measure of time.
Before preparing take it out of the refrigerator 1/2 -1 hour before and let rest a room temperature.

Defrosting in the microwave; in short, No! Microwaves are for reheating horrible stale day old coffee and cooking/popping corn in a bag with some kind of strange imitation butter sauce!

Hope this helps.

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Frozen Beef

As with any meat, you'll want to gently thaw it (in the refrigerator is ideal) and not soak it it hot water or microwave it. Once it thaws (timing depends on size of the beef cut, etc.), let it temper so that it's not so cold before you cook it. You may benefit from going back and reading this discussion forum - it has a lot of great information and existing QA that I think support benefit you. ~ Happy Cooking, Ken

Joann B

Salted butter

Can salted butter be used instead of unsalted butter? I'm not a very big fan of unsalted butter - what would the difference be? Thank you JoAnn

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Salted butter

Of course you can, just adjust the salt down since you are adding a bit of salt in with the salted butter.

Cooks typically use unsalted butter as it makes controlling the overall salt content much easier while cooking. ~Ken

Coco H

Microwave

Thanks Myles and Ken.

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