I don’t know about you, but as time has gone on, I’ve found it harder and harder to be able to get everyone together for the holidays. So when we do manage to get together, I want to be sure the occasion will be really memorable. I wanted to make something extra special, and worthy of the holiday season.
I decided on a recipe we developed awhile back – Caramelized Shallot Stuffed Beef Tenderloin. I have to be honest: I had never purchased beef tenderloin before. I’ve enjoyed it at restaurants and here in the Test Kitchens, but was wary of the price in the grocery store. Beef tenderloin is not cheap. But when you’re serving it for a special occasion (such as a holiday), it’s totally worth it. And once you taste it, the price will more than likely become a fleeting afterthought.
To begin, lay your tenderloins out on a cutting board. When you’re buying expensive meat like tenderloin, I would suggest going to a butcher shop. I went to a local butcher where they were able to cut them specifically for me. Ask the butcher to select two tenderloins that are about the same size, so they roast evenly. Cut a deep slit in each tenderloin horizontally, as close to the bottom as you can get without cutting through completely.
Open the roasts so they lay flat.
Place the bacon in a 12-inch skillet and cook until it is crisp.
Set the bacon aside on a paper towel lined plate and pour the drippings into a bowl. Place 1 tablespoon of the drippings back into the pan.
In order to speed up the preparation of the shallots, I bought a bag that was already peeled at my grocery store.
You will have a lot of chopped shallots, but that’s intentional. They add such a delicious flavor to the stuffing when caramelized.
Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the bacon drippings in skillet, and then add sliced shallots.
Cook the shallots until tender and browned, and add spinach. Again, there’s a lot of spinach, but it will cook down.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the cheese, bacon and breadcrumbs. Remove from the heat.
Sprinkle the insides of the sliced roasts with salt and pepper.
Spread the spinach mixture over the inside of each roast.
Fold the top of the roast over the filling, and secure with kitchen string. If you don’t have string, you can also use skewers.
Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved bacon drippings and 1 tablespoon of remaining butter to the same skillet. Place the roasts in the skillet, browning on all sides.
Now place the browned roasts into a roasting pan.
Pour any drippings left in the skillet into the pan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes or until the temperature of the roasts reach 135°F. You really will want a meat thermometer when cooking these roasts. Tenderloin is best when it’s done at medium temperature – you definitely do not want to overcook a piece of meat like tenderloin!
When the roasts are done, remove them from the pan, place them on a cutting board, and cover with aluminum foil. This will let the juices redistribute so that when you cut into the roasts, all of the delicious juices (flavor!) don’t leak out. Let them stand for 10 minutes before slicing.
Meanwhile, add the whipping cream to the pan drippings in the roasting pan. I just put mine right on the stovetop and brought it to a boil until the gravy was thickened.
Slice the roasts (easiest to do with the string still on).
Plate with gravy drizzled over the top or on the side.
I served one of my personal favorites, Festive Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, for dessert!
Now this looks like a happy crowd! As my Uncle Gary put it, “This is the best steak I have ever eaten!” And that’s a huge compliment coming from someone who loves his steak!
If you’re looking for a special recipe to serve at your next holiday celebration, or “just because,” try Caramelized Shallot Stuffed Beef Tenderloin – you won’t be disappointed!