The Chateaubriand You Can Make At Home

You may be all set to dive into this classic beef dish, but first things first: we've got to get the pronunciation right. Chateaubriand is pronounced "shah-tow-bree-and." According to The Spruce Eats, it's reportedly named after François-René de Chateaubriand, a 19th-century French writer and diplomat who is said to have adored this particular cut and preparation of beef. 

If you're intimidated by this delightful entree, don't be. Chef and food writer Keith Kamikawa says: "I'd actually say, without being snarky, we could [call] this one 'shockingly easy' and it'd be completely true. It's really approachable. The only reason Chateaubriand could be intimidating would be the price," he maintains. "If the [recipe] instructions are followed, I guarantee it'll work." And given what you pay for a cut of this meat, you really want that outcome!

As for how best to serve this top-quality meat, Kamikawa says that "This is a classic dish, so I love classic sides. Chateau potatoes, which are simply peeled potatoes cut into ovals roasted with fresh herbs and butter, are [perfect]. Burgundy mushrooms are a favorite too, as well as seared asparagus."

And as for when to splurge and serve this special meal? "Valentine's Day, anniversaries, birthdays, any excuse for a dinner for two is when [to] serve Chateaubriand," says Kamikawa. "Of course if you want to share, the same thing holds true if you have a little larger group. It's easy and a fun project to work on together."

Gather your Chateaubriand ingredients

Yes, depending on where you get your meat, this recipe may cost you anywhere between $100 and $200. Chateaubriand is essentially a large roast cut of fillet mignon, a popular cut of meat that can indeed get pretty pricey. But it's a meal you'll long remember and one that will thrill your special someone or your very fortunate dinner party guests.

You'll need 2 pounds of Chateaubriand (also known as center-cut beef tenderloin), 10 1/2 tablespoons of softened unsalted butter, 1 shallot, 3 cloves of garlic, 1 3/4 teaspoons of coarse-ground black pepper,  2 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley.

Salt the Chateaubriand meat

Salting the Chateaubriand properly is almost as important as cooking it properly. So let's do this prep right. That said, don't get too anxious here. Just take your time and follow the instructions, and you'll have the Chateaubriand ready to cook soon enough. 

First, place the cut of meat on a wire rack placed over a pan or cutting board, to help with cleanup. Evenly tie the tenderloin with butcher's twine, starting from the center and moving out to the ends. Then rub the meat all over with the two teaspoons of kosher salt. Feel free to use more if a lot of the salt falls past the rack and misses the beef itself. Then, rest the meat in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. If you can, rest the tied-up tenderloin for up to 24 hours. This will allow the salt to truly infuse its flavor into the meat.

Make the black pepper garlic butter for Chateaubriand

Mince the shallot and the 3 cloves of garlic, and then sauté them in a small pan in ½ tablespoon butter. Cook until the shallots are translucent and the garlic becomes fragrant, or for about 2 to 3 minutes. Place the cooked shallot and garlic in a bowl and set it aside to cool. 

In another bowl, mix 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 ¼ teaspoons of coarse-ground black pepper, a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley. When the shallots and garlic have cooled, combine them with the butter mixture, then set aside.

Begin cooking your Chateaubriand

Preheat your oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the meat from the fridge and let it sit at room temperature for 10 or 15 minutes, then pat the tenderloin with a paper towel to remove any moisture. 

Next, rub the tenderloin first with a ½ teaspoon of coarse-ground black pepper and then with 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, taking care to cover the entire tenderloin with both. Now place the tenderloin on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake it for 30 to 45 minutes or until the center hits 115 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare (or 125 degrees Fahrenheit for medium), flipping and rotating the tenderloin halfway through baking.

Kamikawa says not to worry that those temperatures are well under "what you'd normally want since you still have to sear the tenderloin after that [...] Once you're done searing, it'll be a perfect medium-rare." Try to resist the urge to overcook this expensive cut of meat, As Kamikawa says, "Well, you can't uncook it."

Sear the Chateaubriand

Now it's time to get your sear on. Heat ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy-gauge pan that's at least 10 inches in size. A cast iron pan is ideal for searing, though a heavy-bottomed pan that's suited for high heat, like a Dutch oven, can also work well here. 

Heat the oil until it's beginning to smoke, then place tenderloin in the pan and sear each side to an even brown color. This will take about 1 to 2 minutes per side. Lightly sear the ends as well by holding the meat upright with tongs – that sear should take only about 15 seconds.

Butter up the Chateaubriand and serve

Place tenderloin on a cutting board and top it with 3 or 4 ounces of the black pepper garlic butter, then make a long "tent" over the top of the meat using aluminum foil. Let your precious Chateaubriand sit in that little tent for 10 minutes to let the meat rest.

Now, toss the tent, remove the butcher's twine and slice the (perfect) meat into ½ inch thick sections, making sure you admire the perfection of the Chateaubriand at each cut. When you serve it, go ahead and top each cut with an additional dollop of black pepper garlic butter as desired.

And if there's any left over, know that, of course, there's no way that you're letting it go to waste. "For reheating," Kamikawa says, "I'd pull the tenderloin [from the fridge] and let it rest to room temp, get a nice and hot pan, [and] put a dab of butter in the pan for a quick sear. You could also do the same on nice hot grill." When it comes to leftovers, think of all the ways you can add in new ingredients while still highlighting the meat itself. "This will [also] make an awesome cold or hot steak sandwich," says Kamikawa, "[but] my favorite is making a tenderloin eggs Benedict in the morning. That's some tasty steak and eggs."

The Chateaubriand You Can Make At Home
5 from 14 ratings
Chateaubriand is a classic meat dish that can intimidate, but never fear. This recipe will guide you to food greatness that will impress everyone at the table
Prep Time
1
hour
Cook Time
1
hour
Servings
6
servings
Chateaubriand
Total time: 2 hours
Ingredients
  • 2 lb. Chateaubriand (center-cut beef tenderloin)
  • 10 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
Directions
  1. Evenly tie the tenderloin with butcher's twine starting from the center out to the ends. Rub the tenderloin with 2 tsp of Kosher salt and rest in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 24 hours
  2. Mince one shallot and 3 cloves of garlic, then sauté in ½ tablespoon butter until shallots are translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a bowl mix 8 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1 ¼ teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper, ½ teaspoon kosher salt, and 2 tablespoons of chopped Italian parsley. When the shallots and garlic cool combine with the butter mixture. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the tenderloin with a paper towel to remove any moisture. Rub the tenderloin first with ½ teaspoon coarse-ground black pepper and 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, covering the entire tenderloin. Place tenderloin on a wire rack on a baking sheet and bake for 30-45 minutes or until 115 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare doneness (125 degrees for medium). Flip and rotate the tenderloin halfway through baking
  4. Heat ½ tablespoon of vegetable oil in a heavy-gauge pan at least 10 inches in diameter. Cast iron is ideal. Heat pan on high heat until the oil is beginning to smoke. Place tenderloin in the pan to sear each side to an even brown color, about 1-2 minutes per side. Lightly sear the ends as well, about 15 seconds
  5. Place tenderloin on a cutting board and top with 3-4 ounces of the black pepper garlic butter. Tent with aluminum foil for 10 minutes
  6. Remove the butcher's twine and slice ½ inch thick slices of the Chateaubriand to serve, top with additional black pepper garlic butter as desired
Nutrition
Calories per Serving 562
Total Fat 47.2 g
Saturated Fat 23.7 g
Trans Fat 0.8 g
Cholesterol 181.9 mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.8 g
Dietary Fiber 0.6 g
Total Sugars 0.8 g
Sodium 440.7 mg
Protein 30.6 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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