Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze and Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary

Yesterday, I went to see “Julie & Julia” therefore did not get home in time to make a meal that takes a long time to cook.  Instead, I picked up a few things from Dorothy Lane, our gourmet grocery store next to my house, and did my own little spin on them.  I made a beef tenderloin in the oven served with a wonderful red wine, balsamic vinegar glaze.  I also had roasted baby potatoes with rosemary and garlic on the side.  It was yum!  Here’s what I did:
Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Vinegar Glaze
For the steak:
2 filet mignon steaks
1 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
salt & pepper
TIP:  When picking out your steaks, go for the darkest one you can find.  The darker the meat, the more flavorful it will be.
Preheat your oven to 400*.  Start by patting your steaks completely dry.  Something I learned from the movie is it’s easier to brown your meat if it is completely dry.  Who says you can’t learn things from the movies?!  So, pat your steaks dry, sprinkle them with salt, pepper, garlic, and rosemary and really push the seasonings into the meat.  You want them to stick when you put them in the hot pan.  Heat your pan to medium high and add the olive oil.  When the oil is hot, place your steaks in the pan.  You’ll want to hear a wonderful sizzle when you put your steaks in.  After about a minute, flip the steaks over and let them cook for an additional minute, or until the other side is nicely browned.
If you have an ovenproof pan, you can just move the steaks (pan and all) into the oven to finish the cooking.  If not, you will need to transfer the steaks to something that is ovenproof and put that dish in the oven.  You are just looking to cook the inside of the steak to your desired temperature.  I like to use a meat thermometer to ensure the proper temp:
120-125: rare; 130-135: medium rare; 140-145: medium
Oddly enough, I didn’t use one last night, so our meat with well done (we like medium rare to medium), but I thought it was still yummy.  Pull your meat out just shy of it being cooked to your desired temperature so it can rest a little before you eat it.  It will continue to cook as it rests.  If you like it medium, for example, you’d want to remove it around 135 so by the time you cut into it, it would be perfect.  Remember to remove your steaks from the pan for the resting.

For the glaze:
1/4 cup red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 large pinch brown sugar
Combine all the ingredients and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to simmer and cook until it has reduced.  After you pull the steaks out of the pan so they can rest, you should have a good amount of “stuff” left in the pan.  Pour your glaze mixture into the pan to “deglaze” it.  The red wine and vinegar combined with the pan drippings makes for a phenomenal sauce!  Remember, though, when you taste the sauce, it will taste super strong!  “A sauce is supposed to be strong.  If it wasn’t, they would call it soup.”  I believe this quote is from Alton Brown’s Good Eats television show.  Once you put the sauce on the steak, it tones it down and everything just flows.
Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
12-14 baby red potatoes, quartered or halved depending on the size
1 T olive oil
2 sprigs rosemary, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Can you tell I like garlic and rosemary?  I wanted the potatoes to cook pretty fast, so I cut them either in half or in quarters.  Put them on a cookie sheet and sprinkle them with the oil, rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper.  Toss to coat.  Then put them in your oven (that should be preheated to 400*) to cook.  It should take about 20 minutes or so.  Just cook them until they are nice and done.  I usually try to flip them at least once so both cut sides brown evenly. 
REMEMBER:  Put your potatoes in the oven first.  Like I said, they will take about 20 minutes to cook and your steaks should only take about 5 at the most.  Get your potatoes started and in the oven before you even start on the steaks and you should be pretty good on time.  Enjoy!

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