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Roast beef tenderloin

Roast Beef Tenderloin & Thai Gravy


Roast Beef

  • 1 kg (2.2lb) tenderloin roast (see note)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Butcher’s twine

Thai-Style Gravy

  • 150 g ground beef or any kind of inexpensive beef chopped into small bits
  • ¼ cup chopped shallots
  • 3 cups beef stock, unsalted
  • 1 -   Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 -   Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 - 2 tsp sweet soy sauce or brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp all purpose flour or cornstarch
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 2-inch piece of lemongrass, very thinly sliced (from bottom half)
  • 2-3 tsp lime juice
  • Thai chilies, thinly sliced, to taste
  • 4-5 sprigs chopped cilantro

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Roast Beef

Tip: Use a shallow pan or a higher rack so that the sides of the pan do not shield the heat from circulating around the roast.

Generously salt the beef on all sides and let it sit on a rack, uncovered, in the fridge for as many hours as you have time for, and up to overnight. This will allow the salt to penetrate the beef, and it will dry off the surface which will help with browning.

Preheat the oven to 450°F/230°C. (Or see stove-top sear method in the notes below.)

Truss the roast and place it on a rack fitted inside a roasting pan. Insert a programmable, leave-in meat thermometer into the middle of the roast, making sure the probe is at the centre, and set the alarm to go off 10 degrees Fahrenheit lower than your desired final temperature to allow for carry-over cooking. (The medium rare doneness shown in the video was pulled at 125°F, and it reached a final temperature of 135°F during resting.)

Roast the beef for 10 minutes at 450°F so the beef has a chance to brown, then reduce the heat to 275°F and continue roasting at this low temperature until the meat is done to your desired doneness. This low temp will allow beautifully even cooking throughout the roast. Make the gravy while the beef is roasting.

Alternatively, use the stove-top sear method: Preheat the oven to 275°F/135°C. Heat a large skillet until very hot, and add just enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Sear the beef on all sides until nicely browned and finish roasting it in the oven at 275°F/135°C.

Once the beef is removed from the oven, loosely tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 15 minutes, and up to 30 minutes if the roast is large. 

Transfer to a cutting board, remove the twine, then slice and serve with the gravy and your favourite side dishes. Enjoy!

Thai Style Gravy

Lightly grease a pan, then add the ground beef and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently until it’s caramelized; deglaze with a splash of beef stock if too much is sticking too quickly. Once the beef is quite well browned, but still has some pale pieces, add the shallots and keep cooking until the shallots are soft and the beef is very well caramelized, scraping the brown bits off the bottom of the pan as you go. 

Add the remaining stock to the beef, scrape off any bits stuck to the pan, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to reduce and infuse. 

Drain the sauce and press all the juices out of the beef bits. Discard the beef and return the stock to the pan.

Add soy sauce, fish sauce, sweet soy sauce or brown sugar and bring to a simmer. Dissolve the flour in some cold water, and stir about half of this slurry into the sauce and bring the gravy to a boil. Assess the consistency of the gravy and add more of the remaining slurry as needed. 

Stir in the garlic, chilies and lemongrass and remove from heat. Add a squeeze of lime juice, then taste and adjust seasoning as needed. When ready to serve, stir in some chopped cilantro.

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  1. You can get “centre cut” tenderloin from the butcher which will give you a nice piece that’s evenly sized throughout the entire length. However, since tenderloin is a bit pricey, you can get a much better value by buying the whole trimmed tenderloin (as shown in the video), and cut it in half. If roasting the big half, trim off one of the chain muscles to make it more even (save it for a terrific stir-fry). For the small half, tuck the tapered tail under. Make sure you truss the roast to help keep everything together tightly.

Keywords: roast beef, holiday recipe, thai fusion, beef tenderloin