>> Preheat oven to 375º. 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.

 >> 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. 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. 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. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat - be careful, 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 by half. Add the brown broth stock 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 further thicken the sauce 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. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sauted vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.
For this Chateaubriand recipe, you will need a large cast iron or steel frying pan or skillet - one without a wooden or plastic handle that can go inside the oven. If you don't have one, use a medium size, lightly oiled heavy based roasting tin for the oven cooking, and a frying pan for the stove top cooking.

• Preheat the oven to 445F, 230C. If you are using a different pan for the oven cooking, put it in the oven to get really hot.
• Unwrap the Chateaubriand and season with freshly milled black pepper.
• Put the pan that you are using on the stove over a medium/high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Allow it to get very hot until it just starts to smoke.
• Keeping the heat on high, add the Beef Tenderloin fillet to the pan and quickly sear on one side, and then the other. This should only take a minute or two at the most to achieve a crusty golden seal.
• Now put the pan straight into the oven (or transfer to the preheated oven pan) on the middle shelf and roast for 10 to 15 minutes depending on how rare you like it.

Cut the mushrooms into thick slices. If you are using the garlic (some folk prefer not to mix romance with garlic!), chop it finely. Now pour yourself a glass of wine and relax for a few minutes....this Chateaubriand recipe virtually cooks itself!

• When the Chateaubriand is ready, remove it from the oven and carefully transfer to a warmed plate and cover loosely with a piece of tin foil. Then leave it to rest for 15 minutes.
• Reheat the stove top pan or skillet with about 2 tablespoons of the fat and juices from the beef pan. When it's hot, add the knob of butter.
• Add the garlic to the pan and quickly stir through the hot fat to color slightly. Then add the sliced mushrooms and a seasoning of salt and freshly milled black pepper.
• Now sauté the mushrooms for about 2 minutes turning frequently adding a little more oil if the pan becomes too dry.
• Turn the heat up to maximum and deglaze the pan by adding the brandy. If you are feeling like a professional chef by now (!), and you are heating by gas, tilt the pan towards the open flame to let it flambé.
• Once the brandy has all but evaporated, turn the heat down to low and add the Madeira wine. Allow it to simmer gently and reduce for about a minute. Check the seasoning.

    TO SERVE - Carve the Chateaubriand in thick slices and arrange on a warm serving plate. Pile the mushrooms on top and drizzle the Madeira jus over.
The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. What is Chateaubriand? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. It’s a method of preparation or recipe. Like so many other famous dishes - Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette was named in honor of Francois - Ren de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.
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 makes it a perfect, somewhat expensive meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, 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 were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium - rare.
When you come to us (your butcher), you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in our display case. Tell us 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 your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.
For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, 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.
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Chateaubriand with
Portobello Mushrooms
and Madeira Wine Jus

1lb to 1½ lb (500g to 750g)
    center cut Beef Tenderloin
2 large portobello mushrooms
    washed and unpeeled
2 cloves garlic (optional)
4 tablespoons olive oil
Knob (2 tbs) butter
1 tablespoon brandy
½ cup (4 fl oz) Madeira Wine
    (or red wine if you prefer)
salt and freshly milled black pepper
Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut Tenderloin,
  approximately 1 pound
2 tbs unsalted butter
2 tbs olive oil
Salt and black pepper
1 shallot, minced
4 oz full bodied red wine
1 tbs butter
1 cup brown broth stock
2 tsp minced fresh tarragon
Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish
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September 2012