Perfect Chateaubriand

updated Nov 2, 2023
christmas

This impossibly tender, center-piece cut of beef tenderloin is the steak-for-two filet of your dreams.

Serves4 to 6

Prep10 minutes

Cook35 minutes

Jump to Recipe
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.

Chateaubriand (pronounced shaa-tow-bree-aand) refers to a larger cut of meat that is the most center part of a beef tenderloin. Meant to serve at least two people, it has a high price tag because the meat is taken from the most expensive part of the animal. (Cuts from high up on the animal get less exercise and are, therefore, very tender.)

When buying meat for this recipe, your best bet is to visit a butcher or a supermarket that has a decent butcher counter. Ask them for “a two-pound chateaubriand roast” and what you’ll receive is a nicely trimmed roast usually tied with butcher twine. The twine is to help the roast keep its shape during cooking, which helps the meat cook evenly.  

Chateaubriand Versus Filet Mignon

Both of these cuts hail from the same super-tender part of the cow. The difference is size. Chateaubriand is a larger roast meant for serving at least two people. While filet mignon refers to a single-serve cut of meat.  

Credit: Photo: Vicky Wasik. Food Styling: Brett Regot.

What Sauce Is Best with Chateaubriand?

Traditionally chateaubriand is served with a pan sauce. This recipe instructs you to make just that: a deeply flavored sauce fortified with butter, shallots, and wine. It’s rich in flavor and very easy to make; it can be cooked while your roast is in the oven. If you have any leftover meat and plan to eat it the next day, horseradish sauce is a really nice accompaniment. 

What to Serve with Chateaubriand?

The richness of the meat and red wine sauce is best served with something simple.

  • Potatoes in almost any form are a great choice. Mashed, baked, gratin or roasted would all be delicious.
  • A simple vegetable like green beans, asparagus, or spinach round out the elegant meal.
  • If you and your dinner guest drink wine, the full-bodied red that you made your sauce with will pair perfectly with the roast. 

Why Use Demi-Glace?

Demi-glace is a very rich brown sauce that’s made by reducing stock and aromatics. The result is a flavor-packed ingredient that can add instant richness to a sauce. When you are making a small amount of sauce, like the red wine sauce in this recipe, using demi-glace adds more depth to it than, say, straight beef broth because of how concentrated it is. You can find demi-glace at grocery stores, butchers, and online. Veal or beef demi-glace would work great here.

If you can’t find it, you can make a substitute by simmering some high-quality beef stock or beef bone broth until it has reduced by half. This evaporates half the water, leaving behind a richer beef stock. 

Chateaubriand Recipe

This impossibly tender, center-piece cut of beef tenderloin is the steak-for-two filet of your dreams.

Prep time 10 minutes

Cook time 35 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds

    chateaubriand roast (center cut beef tenderloin)

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons

    kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon

    neutral oil, such as canola or safflower

  • 1

    medium shallot

  • 2 sprigs

    fresh parsley

  • 2 tablespoons

    unsalted butter

  • 3 sprigs

    fresh thyme

  • 3/4 cup

    full-bodied dry red wine

  • 1/2 cup

    beef or veal demi-glace (see Recipe Notes)

Instructions

Prepare the meat:

  1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. Let 2 pounds chateaubriand sit at room temperature while the oven heats.

Roast the meat:

  1. Season the beef all over with 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt and 1 teaspoon black pepper.

  2. Fit a wire rack inside a rimmed baking sheet. Heat 1 tablespoon neutral oil in a large cast iron skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the beef and cook, turning every few minutes, until the outside is evenly browned, 8 to 12 minutes total. Transfer onto the rack. Set aside the pan without cleaning it, you will use it to make the pan sauce later.

  3. Roast the beef until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 115° F for medium-rare or 125°F for medium, 18 to 22 minutes. It’s helpful to start checking the meat early, after about 16 minutes, and check in more than one part of the roast. Remove from the oven, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pan sauce.

Make the pan sauce:

  1. Mince 1 medium shallot. Pick the leaves from 2 sprigs fresh parsley and finely chop until you have 1 tablespoon.

  2. Add 2 tablespoons unsalted butter to the reserved pan and melt over medium heat. Add the shallots with 3 fresh thyme sprigs and cook until the shallots are softened, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in 3/4 cup dry red wine and scrape up any stuck bits on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Simmer until slightly reduced, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup demi glace and stir to combine. Simmer until slightly reduced, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove from heat and pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a serving bowl.

  3. Remove any butcher’s twine from the roast if needed and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices. Garnish with the parsley and serve with the pan sauce.

Recipe Notes

General tips: Measure and prep all your ingredients before you start cooking to ensure success. Timing is everything here and the sauce comes together quickly. Resting the meat for 10 minutes is very important. This helps the juices redistribute and stay in your meat once you cut into it.

Substitutions: You can substitute 1 fresh rosemary sprig for the thme sprigs. You can substitute 1 cup high-quality beef stock or beef bone broth for the demi-glace and simmer until it’s reduced by half.

Storage: Refrigerate leftover beef and sauce in separate airtight containers for up to 4 days.